Harp & Altar
Edmond Caldwell

Susan Daitch

Luca Dipierro
Inside a Cow It Must Be Dark

Craig Foltz

A.D. Jameson

Matthew Kirkpatrick

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Inside a Cow It Must Be Dark
Luca Dipierro

To the top of the mountain it takes two hours if you walk like I do. The boy scouts, it takes them five hours. They stop to sing and eat. They watch birds. I watch them.

My family always wanted me to be a boy scout. They insisted that I become a boy scout so they could get rid of me. They said that even if I spent all day in my room with the door closed and the headphones on, they would know I was in the house.


The name of the mountain is Lucco. Lucco is also my name. I am not like a mountain. I can see my ribs.

Once on top of Lucco, you have to come down because you do not want to be caught by the night up there. If you wait under a tree for the morning, weasels come and eat your hands while you sleep.

The cows in the fields belong to Mr. Paumeni and I would not go near them if I were one of those scouts. The cows run so fast that you would not believe it if you did not see it.

The cows run after people because they are tired of all that grass.

They are morons, the scouts.

I have never seen the teeth of a cow.


I take my eye out. I put it on the table next to my bed, in a little plate. Azure china, only for desserts and my eye in our house. In our house we eat dessert twice a week. It can be apple tart or apfelstrudel or chocolate apples or apple crostata or apples with marmalade.


My bed is small like a coffin. I almost lay in a coffin once. My friend Martin and I went to see the coffins exhibition in San Felice. There was a coffin for a baby, all white with golden letters coming out of golden trumpets played by golden angels. The angels with their round cheeks looked like Martin. At a stand, they gave us a key ring with a little plastic coffin attached.


When I am smoking, I slip my eye into my pocket. I often forget to put it back in my eye socket. All the things that they told me about what I should or should not do with my eye are cow shit. My family, they hit the table with their fists and say that please I have to put the eye back in, that they do not want to see me walking around like that. They do not mean the word “please” when they say it.


Once, I woke up and I saw that it was snowing inside my room. I had left the window open. There was a small square of snow on my carpet. I stood up and looked outside and saw all the roofs and streets white. I remember thinking that I could throw myself out of the window and I would just land on my feet.


I walk to the top of Lucco. I stop for five minutes to eat bread with mortadella. There is never a shortage of mortadella in my family’s fridge. A cow looks at me and drools. These cows crave meat.


I consider taking my eye out and throwing it down into the valley.


The boy scouts, I have decided what to do with them. I watch them from behind a pine. They erect a wooden cross in the middle of the camp, ten feet tall. They sit around the cross and sing about their greed being punished with a whip.


I give my eye to a cow to chew with a fistful of grass. The cow spits the eye out. Inside a cow it must be dark.


I throw my eye against the wall. My eye is indestructible. The wall is all scraped. My eye is scratched.


It is eye-cleaning time once a week. I need a glass of warm water and a toothbrush. My family says that they can smell it if I do not scrub.


I tell my family that one day I will jump out the window. They ask me when is that going to happen. They say that all the accidents in this house I am the one responsible for. When the living room almost burned, it was my cigarette.


Martin does not want to help me burn the boy scouts. He is afraid we will not be able to control the fire and that we would burn too.


I lie in the grass and suck on my eye. My eye has no taste. I wait for the boy scouts to come back to the camp. Every morning they go into the woods to watch birds and record the sounds of the birds on a tape recorder. After dinner, they sit in a circle around the tape recorder and play the bird sounds back. Their faces look like they understand what the birds are saying, but they do not. The boy scouts are morons, and they are morons in the first place because birds do not say anything.


I watch my eye in the fire. I take it out of the fire and throw it in the creek incandescent. I take it out of the water and bury it on the side of the mountain.