Devil’s Lake

Fall 2015 Issue

Kristina Marie Darling & John Gallaher: The Practice

We’ve each killed someone, but it’s been so long ago we no longer remember the details, like what it was over or what we did with the body. That’s fine, we think, as forgetfulness is a kind of pardon or fresh innocence. And maybe it never happened. Maybe it’s just something we’ve dreamed up out of guilt for how nice the view is from the patio and infinity pool. There are times though, in our love-making, where our hand will slip, and the thumb will find itself at that little indentation at the base of the neck and it’ll feel so familiar, like a reflex. Maybe we shouldn’t go through with the renovations to the guest house after all. No, that’s safe, we’re sure. Maybe we shouldn’t sell the rental property or look inside the freezer we keep forgetting we keep in the basement.

Sentenced To

After the affair, after the bank robbery, and after we’ve each done our jail time, what will be left? You never seemed to have a good answer, even though you’d mention Goethe and Kierkegaard, trying so desperately to sound convincing. Beyond the window, the trellis has fallen into disrepair, and the little strands of ivy along the gate are coming undone. The guest house, too, looks like it might be haunted. Maybe we shouldn’t plan our escape route just yet. Maybe we should each buy a house in a different city, leaving all that paperwork in boxes at the bottom of the lake. You’ll see me again at the conference, and think of how familiar I’ll look, as though you'd held me at gunpoint in a dream you kind of remember, but have already half forgotten.

JOHN GALLAHER & KRISTINA MARIE DARLING were born in Portland and Tulsa. Their collaborations appear in OmniVerse, Requited, diode, and elsewhere. They currently live and write in rural Missouri while also taking frequent trips on the bullet train from Paris to Agen. More from this issue >