ESSAY: Behind the High by Josh Russell
Behind the High, I lifted the dead hummingbird from the sidewalk with a sheet of lined notebook paper you’d kissed to blot your lips and laid the little suicide to rest in a tangle of ivy at the base of a slender tree. Had it seen its reflection in the museum’s window and did the double draw the bird to its death? Fear of the doppelgänger is, after all, little more than narcissism. When later I found and unfolded the paper I’d tucked into my pocket, I remembered both the bird and another of your kisses: one morning you kissed me, and after riding trains and walking through January cold, I sipped bookstore coffee and transferred to the cup’s white edge the kiss you’d pressed upon my lips.
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Josh Russell’s chapbook of very short prose is Pretend You’ll Do It Again (Greying Ghost Press), and the most recent of his three novels is A True History of the Captivation, Transport to Strange Lands, & Deliverance of Hannah Guttentag (Dzanc Books).