I have a new essay published in Squalorly today. Here’s a sample:
Scuttling through the undergrowth, examining the waxy green leaves of the rhododendron, seeing if the plants are an alien life-form masquerading as beings-of-this-world, I realize I am no botanist. I carry on, leather notebook in hand, and glare at the people on the asphalt loop. Young couples in matching maroon hoodies and blue jeans faded at the knee drink in the romance of the sweeping water. Fishermen kidding no one in camo, including the walleye and the pickerel frogs, stoop over the shoreline with their hands grasping straight rods. Their fingers fidget, missing the rifles secured in the parking lot. The pond looks deeper than my last visit—its belly swollen from the run-off. Around me the dampness of the melted frost has left a pungent smell in the earth, like discarded chewing tobacco. With a final glance at the water, I write reflection is an illusion and head deeper into the woods.