Royee Zvi Atedgi, seed pod. Chester County, PA

Into Eternity

by Royee Zvi Atedgi

Supposedly the land of milk and honey. I look down into the courtyard where people are sundials with stubbed shadows. There’s a woman scraping bird shit off the glass borders of her balcony across from me with a dustpan. A Labrador trails her with his mouth wet and happy. Looks like an exhibit at a museum from where I’m sitting. Like the dioramas we put together in school. I am higher than she is. Probably five whole floors. Cypresses bend out here. Birds fly between them. Wild hogs pitch trashcans over and terrorize children. There’s a new relation, reason I’m here. Had to look up what it means when it’s your cousin’s child. What is she to me I mean or what are we to each other besides blood? I wonder. [Read more]


by Royee Zvi Atedgi

Looking after the greenhouses that summer with Leann. I thought it was what we both needed. What she needed, especially. But three weeks in, on a humid and rainy morning, we got real drunk on some bottles of wine we found in the dumpster behind the winery down the road. I licked some out of her navel. She lapped some out of my hand. We drew a bath and listened to the rain hammering down. And in the afternoon, after napping a bit, Leann went to the greenhouse to check the thermometers. She said she’d be right back to try and sleep some more, but after she didn’t show for almost twenty minutes, I went to check on her. That’s when I saw the long green hose strung up to the rafters and Leann trying to hang herself with it. I say trying because when she finally got her head through the loop in the hose and shoved off from the table she was standing on, her head slipped right out and she landed on her back, into a table of succulents... [Read more]


by Royee Zvi Atedgi

I covet my neighbor’s life. I sit on the porch, I have nothing to do but sit on the porch, and watch her move through the foyer and up the stairs or into the kitchen. The first time I saw her was move-in day, late last August, her father straining against a corner of furniture. She appeared, just her arms, to take hold of the other side. Little blonde hairs glossy with sweat. They work as a team. By afternoon, everything is moved in and her father, with his hands on his hips, exhausted, looks at his watch. She throws her arms around him in gratitude and I want to throw up. But then the bottle that I stole from the restaurant––grounds for a firing and maybe prosecution––would have been a waste. It was free, at least that’s how I looked at it. I didn’t pay for it. I perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to get to this place where something stolen is simply free. I take all kinds of things. I know why I do it. I want to know my own thrill... [Read more]