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Once Called Eden, Now Called Smog: The Plotless Ramblings of a Sleepless Fool

Andria Lane Spring

Louisville, KY

J. Graham Brown School


CAS for Database

          “Here comes the last train for the coast…” the eldest among the crowd murmured. After that: silence. We stood watching women in woolen coats shed their layers as they jumped into the passing cars, and soon enough, the long thing snaked from the station, carrying in it our indigo and ruin, full of nude bodies, covered only by the flowers they scattered within the softer hairs of their skin: tender heads, and long legs, and wonder-full hands. Their mouths: hungry caverns, avalanches containing voice, sunsets without the soul.

          All I could think was ribcage and hum.

          And so the rest were doomed to the caves of the valley of shadows, where willows and canaries were darkened and withered, and sang crooked songs of sullen roots. Walking with feet as heavy as the weighted hearts of saddened mothers, whose minds filled with dread at the take-off of their sons.

          The place where ocean never touched, the landlocked, once-called Eden of the middle earth, where now we breathe in only the dust of our lost souls, the children of God turned mildew underground.

          So we send them off, our fertile nudes, fruits of our labor and thoughts of our sorrow held in their skin, bound tightly by blood and daisy petals, to the coast of Anywhere. Dusty trains somehow safer than the dirt that grew them from seeds.

          They promise to tell our story to their children and to gift them with our names. But it has been so long already; the train pulls from the station and the raptured minds forget the faces of their weeping mothers and fathers. And after all, it was a great big world, but the foreign soil will never bear a decent crop.

          The fruit is always sour.


Ooh, I love it. "All I could think was ribcage and hum." It seems abstract initially, until you think about how your chest vibrates with the power of a train rumbling out of a station. This piece is poetry disguising itself as prose.


Andi Spring is an a 2019 graduate of the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville, KY. Writing has been a passion for her as long as she can remember.

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