M. RANDAL OWENS
She's screaming and I know it is not really her fault but there is blood and a lot of it too and I don't want her to feel bad but it's hard for me to talk because there is also blood in my throat and she is doing that hitting herself in the head thing that makes me uncomfortable and I try to move my hand up to stop her but the piece of 2x2 is stuck in my shoulder and inhibits the movement of my arm and so I can't touch and therefore comfort her and the stake was sort of my idea because she scattered garlic around the bed and then garlic in the sheets and she told me this over the phone while I was at a court hearing in Dallas defending an oil company and it sounded funny but not serious and then she said she borrowed her Grandmother's crucifix and she said she slept with it and I didn't really believe her because who would get so worked up about reading Bram Stoker's Dracula while home alone and I was only half listening because the most recent attempt at capping the oil leak had failed and the amount of oil dispersed counted up to millions of gallons and I said (joking) that she should also sharpen a wooden stake and then I came home a day early because the Judge called for a recess and I worried about her because she asked more than once if the sea turtles would survive the oil and hell no they would not but I didn't want her to teeter the wrong way again and so I told her yes but I knew she knew that nothing would survive and when I arrived home the house reeked of garlic and all of the blinds were open and then I walked into the bedroom and she appeared from behind the closet door and stabbed me with the 2x2 piece of sharpened wood and now she is crying and I wish she would stop because she is doing that choking on phlegm thing and all of her breaths are short and she still hasn't called 911 for an ambulance and I am very concerned about blood loss.
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Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.
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M. RANDAL OWENS
Originally from Memphis, M. Owens now lives in Iowa City where he is currently pursuing an MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. His work has recently appeared in Crazyhorse, Redivider, Hobart, decomP, as well as other print and online journals. "Surfacing" was originally published in decomP in 2011. It is reprinted with permission of the author.