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pain

Dear Eros,

I have found you where I shouldn’t—in the wrong bodies, 
at the wrong time, and once on a subway platform 
with my feet stuck to a pool of dried soda taking gum 
from a near-stranger’s mouth. That night you were spearmint 
and the 6 train. I have been woken by you, put to bed by you. 

The Thoroughbred

There is, in a nearby field, a retired show horse living out
whatever days it can win, a white horse speckled with brown
flecks. Its limp mane welcomes your hand. On its face,

Illustration by Lauren Nassef

The Obituary

When reporting on suicide, the CDC advises against including the suicide method or overly positive descriptions of the deceased for fear of causing contagion. 

Which gave Reporter Jane a problem in reporting on how her dad did what he did. She can’t mention the means, so readers will be left to wonder:

Was it a gun? A rope? A razor? Pills? Poison? A train? A hair-dryer? 

And (according to the CDC), the mildly suicidal among them will begin to salivate.

Leslie Jamison

An Interview with Leslie Jamison

April 14, 2014

The first Leslie Jamison essay I remember reading is “Fog Count,” in the Oxford American. At the time, I was busy researching and interviewing lifelong residents in small-town Virginia, and Jamison’s depiction of the community surrounding a W [...]