Saturday 18 June 2022

'Upon Finding the Dusty Nikon COOLPIX a Year Later' by Josh Dale

Img_359.jpg flashes onto the screen. It is outdoors. There is an ambulance in the snow-covered grass. A cop car is behind a red and black SUVs rented out by Differentially. The profiles of Malcom and Todd looking onward to the front door. An EMT’s jacket reflects from the camera flash. Their eyes are red as they look in the direction of the photographer. There is a stretcher behind them. Davis is upon the stretcher, but his lifeless body cannot be seen. Human mass and a white sheet covers him. To the right of the frame, Beth is wiping a tear from her cheek with a glove. A few stripes of ice flow like claw marks on the navy stucco exterior. The squall was brutal for everyone, except for Davis.

Img_360.jpg flashes onto the screen. It’s a blurry picture of the night sky. A few stars skew like paint smears. A finger obscures the top left corner looks like the moon. One formation looks like a body lying on a plane of cosmic mauve.

Img_361.jpg flashes onto the screen. A rest stop with a peculiar landmark. Two bronze figures. One, a hunter pointing a shotgun and two, a black bear rising on its hind legs. A few blurry cars zip by on the freeway. The bear and man are to scale. There’s a small plaque by the foot of the hunter, but it cannot be read, even by zooming in. The bear’s head is oxidized but the rest of the body has a dull sheen. It looks as if the persons in charge of upkeep could not reach the top of the towering beast. Defeat comes in many shapes and sizes.

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