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Orion's Sword

By Gabriel Hurier

I am leaving
though I do not want to go anywhere less
than the space between
the Little Dipper
and the tip of Orion's sword
as it plunges to the hilt
into the unsuspecting black
deep space
and dark matter
of unknown days
and untold stories
of complete and utter


About Gabriel Hurier


By Ryan Werner

Growing up Catholic meant that I learned context faster than most. Good sex was functional, bad sex was vandalism. I explained this to Sandi on our third or fourth date and she asked me about dancing.

“I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of Baptists. As far as I know, Catholics don’t have any rules regarding dancing.” I told her.

She jangled her bracelets, leftovers from her mother’s gypsy phase in the 70s. “Are you sure?”

“Not really,” I said and looked at the bracelets again. She wore them well, all the way up her forearm to the meat above her elbow. She was thick everywhere it mattered, but instead of finding a charming way to tell her that, I picked at my food for a minute and she did the same, bites the size of dimes as we watched each other on the sly. Slow sips of wine, pretending to pick out the different flavors.

She went back to the sex thing. “What do you mean by vandalism?”

“Destruction with no motivation. Misuse of the body, depreciation of the soul.” The light didn’t hit her so much as meet her, glide across the top of her chest and lower neck. “Things like that,” I told her, hashing over the first time I heard such implications at mass and in bible studies. Some things we’ll believe forever just because we heard them first.

I start again. “There was a philosopher who rallied against people being the means to an end instead of the end itself, which is the exact opposite of Catholicism, I think.”


"No, it wasn’t Kant.”

“No,” she said, setting her wine glass down gingerly. “I’m saying the word ‘cunt.’ Can you say it?”

“You mean, am I spiritually allowed to say it? Sure. Cunt. I like big ol’ sloppy cunts.”

“You’re not the best Catholic I’ve ever met.”

“I doubt you’ve met any,” I told her as a joke, but we both became quiet as she thought about it. I had moved to the city a couple years ago with my faith already gone. The people I met seemed to never be born with it, which was fine but different. The sex thing was the weirdest to me, how open a topic it was. The first summer I was here I saw a man sitting down against a dumpster I normally jog past. When I slowed up to check on him and make sure he was all right—not passed out from the heat or anything—I saw he was holding his cock in his hand, a pile of semen on his shirt above his navel. Several flies had landed in it, their wings in a drastic flutter to help their legs get out.


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