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Worm Fence Fragment

Basted bristles slop stain

across cedar, dyeing it barkbrown, clumps marking

a rabbit warren, tattooing,

spotting the thistle.

Last fall vines snarled

the lowest rail; now,

holed, black, and rain-moist,

the rail leans.


tangle and suffocate

the naked wood

until the rail falls

from post into mud, shavings

charcoaling the warren,

and the pocked rabbit


Nick Ripatrazone was named runner-up for the 2008 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize, and his short story collection manuscript was a semifinalist for the 2008 Hudson Prize. His work has been anthologized in The Long Meanwhile: Stories of Arrival and Departure (Hourglass Books, 2007), and has also appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Saint Ann's Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. He is pursuing an MFA from the University of Texas, El Paso.