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Natalie Peeterse


1. The kings who ruled __________ had courage and greatness.

2. Exposure : clash of chainmail OR a thresh of gear (circle one).

3. __________ was one good king.

4. __________ had sex for the first time when she was 11.
And __________ cannot read (use the same answer twice).

5. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember.

6. Never before has a force under arms disembarked so openly—not bothering to ask when __________ dipped his balls in the teacher’s coffee cup, wasn’t it hot? Expelled not for that, but for drying them on a girl’s backpack

7. __________ hates me.

8. __________ unloaded about a hundred dime bags in the boy’s room during senior English before we caught him, the bags swirling in the toilet: green/black preen on the waves.

9. I think that’s a felony, Mr. __________ says to me, his eyebrows : question marks. Shit. I don’t want to go to court this summer.

10. __________ with the k-n-i-f-e.

11. __________ died of a heart attack yelling at the bus driver.

12. They fuck each other on the bus, you know? With the blowjobs. In a cruel frenzy. Slick with slaughter (circle one).

13. It was sheer vanity made you venture out on the main deep :

14. __________ blackmailed me with South Park. That’s not satire, he says, that’s reckless endangerment. We are church people, he says.

15. __________ is so fat the desk looks like a lost, wind-swept sea-plank stuck into him (he waddled, swaggered, sunk).

16. __________ only has four fingers, and I did not notice until January.

17. She says of __________ : this ain’t nothing but porno. My life upon her faith, I already know this junk.

18. __________ 's father once tied her down and __________. She lived. She went on into the next day and then the next and eventually into mine.

19. Three pieces of warm chocolate from under her coat—for __________.

20. The truth is, the sea-test obsessed you : the past greedily loping out there beyond the firelight—it is littered OR glittering (you decide).

Author Portrait

Natalie Peeterse has an MFA from the University of Montana. Her poetry has appeared in Blackbird, Sonora Review and Strange Machine, among other journals. Selected poems have appeared in the anthologies A Cadence of Hooves (Yarroway Mountain Press) and I Go to the Ruined Place (Lost Horse Press). Her chapbook Black Birds : Blue Horse, An Elegy won the Gold Line Press Poetry Prize in 2011. She has been a fellow with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a participant at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and an artist in residence at the Caldera Institute. She lives in Missoula, MT.