Driving in Lake County, Illinois, by Morgan L. Ventura

In fields corn is blooming, embers burning, gilded sea of spun glass. My father points out
            the car window
to rattle off a folktale or maybe urban legend about haunted crops, vengeful farmers,
            and our own relatives
who came over to find nothing after leaving nothing. The radio cuts out. The Midwest sits
            between transmission zones,
memory and fantasy. Once we drove past these same fields, Mr. Kapinski’s farm.
            Dead center
stood a figure, alight in tangerine flames. I did not know if the figure was human
            or otherwise
and my father once again pointed out the window to assure me it was nothing but a sight
            to be held,
that I should neither fear fire nor endings, that death—and loss—can be luminous.


Morgan L. Ventura (they/she) is a writer, twice-Rhysling nominated poet, and ex-archaeologist. Based between Ireland and Mexico, Morgan’s currently PI and curator of a digital repatriation project commissioned by the University of Exeter’s Imagining Futures Through Un/Archived Pasts initiative. Their short fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lackington’s, Strange Horizons, and Augur, among others, while essays appear in Best Canadian Essays 2021 and Geist. You can find Morgan on Twitter @hmorganvl.

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