Cover Photo: Pacific Bonsai Museum, Washington (photo by author)
Pacific Bonsai Museum, Washington (photo by author)

On the Sixth Day

The oregano crossed the street.

On the sixth day, we knew there would never come a seventh because that would mean rest, and we don't rest. The herbs are spilling over the yard's boundary, and how did the oregano get across the street? The neighbors will fuss. I don't know the neighbors, but I care. I'll cross the street, get rid of the pesky oregano, and it won't know the seventh day either.

Do the trees? Do the birds? I've seen birds sleep, but not trees. They just skip to falling over. That's what I relate to. Falling. Maybe that's the sixth day. Fall, tumble, somersault. Fathom it. Really, try to. We begin to fly because fuck falling over.

We are each the ring of a living form greater than ourselves, some kind of universe tree. And in the ring of this era, the gods look back at us and say, goodness-what-a-godawful-year-no-pun-intended-we-didn't-do-this. Gods, far away, don't let this be a thick, dark ring unimaginable and unimagined. 

Puncture this place with oxygen and a movement to ignite--ignition, Ignatius (who was that?), movement, memory. Remember us, remember us, remember us.

Big surprise, the seventh day comes. The neighbor catches me. She wants the oregano because it is a gift after all. Apparently, you can still give gifts even without meaning to. You can still give. You can.

Even as you rest. 

Corinne Hughes was born in the hill country of central Texas and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where she works as an outreach and program coordinator for a cultural studies center. In 2004, she had the pleasure of attending the National Book Foundation Summer Writing Camp in Bennington, Vermont at the age of nineteen. After years working in conservation, Corinne went on to study in Russia and Kyrgyzstan during her undergrad. She worked as a freelance writer and received the Jury Prize in an academic journal for her research abroad. In recent years, she has found her passion in literary arts nonprofit management and received an MPA from Portland State University. She is currently at work on a series of short stories focused on the world of wood reclamation and a novel that takes place in a kaleidoscopic house. She is apply to MFA programs for Fall 2022.

Additionally, she writes on Russian art history and can be found at museumstudiesabroad.org.