by Despy Boutris

It was the year we buried the rabbit in the backyard. It was the year of burials, the year of fires and floods and winds so strong I started walking backwards and Gas & Electric cut the power to keep telephone poles from falling and igniting, to keep the whole town from turning to blaze. I read two books a day and decided I wanted to break the record for the world’s longest continuous kiss. Or I wanted to turn scythelike and cut off all that was dead, or to water this wasteland until it turned green again. My legs were tree trunks prepared to ignite as smoke spirled up toward the sky. That year, I skinny-dipped more than I care to admit. That year, I dove underwater unsure if I’d ever come up.


Despy Boutris is a writer. Her work is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Southern Indiana Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Raleigh Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston, serves as Editor-in-Chief for The West Review, and works as an Assistant Poetry Editor at Gulf Coast. Find her on Twitter or visit her website.

The Roadrunner Review nominated “Burials” for the Best Microfiction and guest editor Amber Sparks selected it to appear in the 2021 anthology.