Deb Olin Unferth

Everywhere she looks she finds pieces of the story she wanted to write. A shred here, a shred there. She even made an audio recording, though she sounds halting and frozen, her voice weak and unnatural, her word choices awkward. Still, all the pieces add up only to scraps—more racket than song, more stones than statue, more rags than rug, more twigs than nest, more brambles, more dust, more flotsam than mermaid, more failing ocean, more drying river, more coming darkness, more awkward removal of clothing with a stranger, decaying skin, dreams scattering at the alarm, shifting dots of sunshine on the floor, less alphabet, less table of elements, more stuttering excuse, more racing doubts, more hesitation, drifting thoughts, more spreading universe, more space debris, lost star system, more wheelchair-assisted disembarkation than stride, more botched bloody murder where you're chasing a half-dead deer though the woods and aren't you proud that you almost but did not kill an animal cleanly.

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of two books of fiction and a memoir. WAIT TILL YOU SEE ME DANCE, a collection of shorts and longer stories, will be out early next year from Graywolf.

Detail of art on main page courtesy of Danor Shtruzman.

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