Shielding Her Ugly

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By Meg Tuite

Every day braveness seeps out of her. It puddles around her feet. What sits inside is a virus. It is plump and saturates the middle regions that cannot be excised out. It comes from one of those holes in the net of childhood. She has one photo with her dad. Her tiny face harbors a whole fleet of shoes making secrets out of their steps. He clutches her twisting ten-year-old body in a snapshot encompassing all the shapeless ‘nos’ and grisly silences that smack of war when a closed door is a weapon. Her mom wrings the absence of wind.

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Meg Tuite is author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition, a short story collection, Bound By Blue, and won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging. She is a senior editor at Connotation Press, an associate editor at Narrative Magazine, fiction editor at Bending Genres Journal, and editor of eight anthologies. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, over fifteen anthologies, nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize, five-time Glimmer Train finalist, placed 3rd in Bristol Prize, and Gertrude Stein award finalist.

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