Issue 11, December 2013
{ Bole House }
by Nikki Wallschlaeger

There are reddening sumac leaves in the apex of the ends. So I built my first fire where the heads on the wall are stuffed w/ glass eyes of the folks who stuffed them.

I brought in logs for the fire. They did not fit so I made them fit. I felt arrogant. I am learning the secrets of the glass eye & once a deer stood where I am satisfied. There were no walls & there was no stuffing.

When I was done feeling satisfied I thought about the horse who was fitted but not stuffed, who was standing by the road inside a fence. S/he was looking at the earth turning & I looked at fires where

our dreams still burned, but it's dark now. I wonder if they keep her in a room with the bodyless where the nightmares begin when the moon waxes violent. Where dreams take aim from the birdhouses.

So I went outside. There were crickets yelling across the night to the horses & the woods being cut for fires so the heads went to sleep, keeping one glass eye open, to learn about the secrets of fitted endings.

Nikki Wallschlaeger's work has been featured in DecomP, Esque, Word Riot, Spork, Great Lakes Review, Horse Less Review and others. She is the author of two chapbooks: THE FROGS AT NIGHT (Shirt Pocket Press) and I WOULD BE THE HAPPIEST BIRD (Strange Cage Press, forthcoming). She lives in Milwaukee, WI, and you can reach her at