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Jessica Cory teaches at Western Carolina University and is a PhD candidate specializing in Native American, African American, and environmental literature at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is the editor of Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene (WVU Press, 2019) and the co-editor (with Laura Wright) of Appalachian Ecocriticism and the Paradox of Place (UGA Press, 2023). Her creative and scholarly writings have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Northern Appalachia Review, and other fine publications. Originally from southeastern Ohio, she currently lives in Sylva, North Carolina.


Trigger Warning

My right hand held
the thin black plastic
lasso, threaded it

through itself, ringing
the taupe bumpy antler
resembling barren tree

branches. Were sycamore
& elm silhouettes the last
beings this doe or buck or button

buck saw alive? The leaf
litter beneath their tawny
heads, autumnal pillows

drenched in blood
the color of dried maples.

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