Mustard, Milk, & Gin

Megan Denton Ray, Purdue University


These are thirty-three brief truths not included: 1. I only saw one swallowtail last year. 2. Pure satisfaction is following a weed to its root. 3. I believe that roots are real, and that they demand from us commitment and care. 4. I’m trying to learn how to relax my jaw. 5. The night my parents drunkenly bought the blue Pontiac, we went to a drive-in for burgers, and laughing, they announced in the speaker I think we bought a lemon. 6. My father had a heart attack in his forties. 7. The night before, I was angry at him and when he said I love you, I didn’t say it back. 8. Two years later, the police found him slumped over his steering wheel, having driven through town during a 3-hour blackout. 9. Midnight changes us. 10. Strawberry season changes us. 11. The precise color of a newborn’s fingernail changes us. 12. Like my mother, like a sparrow—I, too, have the gene for collecting. 13. Once, reclining at the dentist, the hygienist’s pregnant belly orbited my head as she cleaned my teeth. 14. Her baby kept brushing against my forehead. 15. I imagined I was the sun. 16. I imagined I found a pipe in the kitchen cabinet and crawled through. 17. There is a such thing as a forensic plumber. 18. Lately, nothing makes me more angry than a man telling me how to build a fire. 19. My father has a fireplace again. 20. My mother is still in love with my father. 21. I know the song of diagonal sleepers. 22. I always miss the pupa dance and the back splitting open. Maybe I’m not meant to see it. 23. A rosebush is a well of energy. 24. The day of my grandmother’s funeral, I found her Lady-Slipper orchid. 25. The first crop circle was thought to have been caused by rampaging hedgehogs. 26. I want to break my left arm. 27. I want to always have one hot drink and one cold drink nearby. 28. Chiffon makes me sweat. 29. Nothing is learned by turning away. 30. I’ve never told anyone his name. 31. I pray that God will digest him. 32. I pray for a God as large as a sunlamp to always laugh his heat at me. 33. Three is the perfect number.^




Kaveh G. Akbar, Purdue University, Marianne J. Boruch, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Creative writing

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