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“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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Storms

We were in the middle of a run when lightning flashed, discontent rumbled across the sky. We've been caught in torrential downpours before, and when you're miles from home, there's not much you can do about it but get wet. One can plan accordingly, check the weather, ensure that the hardships you endure are the ones you're expecting, but sometimes it's just a beautiful day and the the moment whispers seize me, the wind on your face, the sweat of your labors a dew on your cheeks, your legs light and strong. Outcome be damned.

But from around the skyscraper, the tree, it hits you. The rains drops larger, closer, a sheet that traps you and gets into your eyes and sloshes in your sneakers. You swear you will be more vigilant the next time, take the necessary precautions, if only you can get through this. You will get through this.

And then it stops, clouds once pregnant with tears, with rage, dissolve. It's gone, a memory from sleeping, hazy and full of emotion but no longer trapping you in its grip. The sun peeks out, grabbing the edges of its skirt, a bashful girl. It opens its mouth, diamond bright breath, little laugh.

You will never stop running, rain or shine. And sometimes you follow the clouds, those dark, hard plumes, full of sharp knives, as they leave you in the sun. Boring old sun.

But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
—"Storms," Stevie Nicks