Open Throat by  Henry Hoke

Open Throat

Henry Hoke

There are things living under the Hollywood sign that you may not wish to think about, especially if you are hiking there. There is a bull-necked man who has some peculiar tastes and hates squatters. Plus a cougar and a young woman, who meet up and become friends with disastrous consequences. The story is told by the cougar - a metaphor for the conquest of the West and Trump's America.


I run around the side of the house into an even larger grassy area in the back

when I get there I see a girl in a cloak on her knees lit by a blue lantern in a circle of sparkling stones and she holds a bowl and the bowl pushes smoke into the air

she lays the bowl on the ground in front of her and puts her head down so the cloak covers everything except her long hair and her long hair spills and licks the grass like a flame

it's a color I didn't think I could see until now

she keeps her head down and I sneak by and hug the edge of the house

I can hear her whispering


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