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We lived across from the graveyard. The house was squat and ex-white, the luster peeled off by years of facing north into the weather. My mama liked it because the sun hit the kitchen first thing every morning, and she took her tea at the table half hidden by azaleas, the house’s covert prize.

We found the dead man curled up beneath those azaleas, then barren, that winter the lights went off repeatedly. Somehow he’d come over the fence and curled up in the mounded snow. May Lore poked him with a stick to be that much more sure. His skin gave just little, like soap at the end of a hot shower. “Why?” we whispered one to another, wondering then and still, why not a little bit further, veer left at the crossroads of Abbott and Archer, hurdle the low fence into Memorial Sen and achieve the proper ground?

Magdalen Zinky is a writer and theatre artist based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe. Her fiction has been published in Red Sky and Knack Magazine. She was the recipient of the 2016 LGBTQ Scholarship for a writing residency with SAFTA in Knoxville, TN. She is a founding member of The Junkyard Theatre Company and a company member of Daughters of Elysium.