“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares

“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant

“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus

“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction

“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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I have been placed, the heart of me, back in this system I know. I feel its contours and the blood that rockets through this body like angry wasps. I know its pulse and every echo that spreads through this lake. But it does not know this heart. It may reject it, foreign invader, demand the imposter shrivel, briefly glimmer, a candy wrapper on the side walk. It waits for a familiar pulp of muscle, a spark.

Baltimore, so familiar and so unfamiliar. Charming and charmless. I knock the holes, the pegs until we rattle together again, a rebuilt jalopy, tenuous contacts sparking

enough to get us through the winter.

It's going to be a tough first day, but I will get through. Even this keyboard feels wrong. But soda tastes good again. Everything will begin to taste like itself again, or I will get used to its taste.

I finished The Tide King in the two weeks I was at Hambidge and also wrote 50 pages of a new novel, Rabbits Singing. I guess I should feel successful, but I am incomplete in some way. I am here, home, waiting for the transplantation to take.