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SATURN / Sharon Olds He lay on the couch night after night, mouth open, the darkness of the room filling his mouth, and no one knew my father was eating his children. He seemed to rest so quietly, vast body inert on the sofa, big hand fallen away from the glass. What could be more passive than a man passed out every night—and yet as he lay on his back, snoring, our lives slowly disappeared down the hole of his life. My brother's arm went in up to the shoulder and he bit it off, and sucked at the wound as one sucks at the sockets of lobster. He took my brother's head between his lips and snapped it like a cherry off the stem. You would have seen only a large, handsome man heavily asleep, unconscious. And yet somewhere in his head his dark eyes were open, the circles of the whites glittering as he crunched the torso of his child between his jaws and crushed the bones like the soft shells of crabs, and the delicacies of the genitals rolled back along his tongue. In the nerves of his gums and bowels he knew what he was doing and he could not stop the orgasm of it, his boy's feet crackling like two raw fish between his teeth. This is what he wanted, to take that life into his mouth and show what a man could do—to show his son what a man's life was'. 34 · The Missouri Review THE PARTISANS AND THE S. S. / Sharon Olds When the men and women went into the woods they knew what would happen if the others caught them. They knew their bodies would be undone, their sexual organs dismantled as if to break the mold so the human could not be made anymore. They knew what the others went for, the center of the body, and not just for the exquisite pain but to send them crudely barren into death, throwing those bodies down in the village at dawn to show that all was ended, the genitals themselves gone— and the young kept going into the woods. Each time the others dumped a body in the square, raw blackness between its legs, ten more people took to the woods, springing up there on the loam dark as the corpse's wound, as if they were its children. The Missouri Review · 35 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 34-35
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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