NOVEMBER 24, 2022

A Tornado Touches Down in Wanderoos, Wisconsin, and Stays

The gray gravel cut me. The lilacs have fallen off their branches. After the silo came down, the cows caught a disease and died a week later. Now, I don’t know which way is north, or why he didn’t kill me when he had the chance. Threw me down the hole with the cows. Stood me before the silo and said run ‘er down to the bulldozer. Now, I’m stoned in pebbles and cigarette burns, and the lilacs have already fallen off their branches. They couldn’t even survive until the burial. I wonder when the dogs will find the beef shank, veal loin, or scalped skull. The dogs will use my bones for fetch while he hammers away at my jaw, teeth, and pelvis. I imagine I find a heaven in Andromeda and the forest a quarter mile west.

I don’t know why he didn’t kill me when he had the chance. I never asked to survive.

I don’t know why other victims didn’t survive; I don’t know where they went.

I hope it smells like clean linens, lilacs, or ground meteorites. I hope it tastes like comfort.

I’ll give my last rib for us to be okay.

Laurel Reynolds (she/they) is a poet who attends the University of Minnesota for English Literature. Her work often explores the connections between queerness, pop culture, trauma, and relationships. Check them out at!