… thoughts.
by Julie Mahfood

Her thoughts swarm as insects do, by the hundreds and all at once, stopping and starting in unison before landing to devour. They shine and have wings, thin gossamer layers framed by nothing wider than a strand of hair. In groups they buzz and move. Opaque, black clumps form around her, shadow spots on the ground at her feet.

She, in turn, swarms: organizes her family's social life, does the shopping and keeps up with her reading. She cooks, bathes the children and attends to endless mounds of laundry, as though these things are succour. Turns the music on loud. She cannot hear the needs of her children, and her own circle in quickening spirals,

phone calls, emails, poems composed in her head as she drives. She swarms so she will not think of you, so she will not replace you too easily. She swarms because she cannot cease, swarms for the same reason insects do— so that, by not stopping, she will not be devoured by one of her own …

Julie Mahfood is a writer and editor who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Past projects include being copy editor for the magazine Xtreme Body Mod and editor of the children's books Thanks, Aunt Zelda! Thank-you cards for kids to craft (Lobster Press: 2002) and Make Things Happen (Lobster Press: 2003). Currently, Julie is hosting a quarterly reading series called W.I.R.E. for Montreal's West Island writers, as well as raising her two preschool-aged children. Julie's work has previously appeared in the following: Friendly Erotica, The Antigonish Review, Room (of One's Own), Telling Stories: New English Stories From Quebec (VĂ©hicule Press), and on the CD DuBref Session 1: Spoken word anthology. She lives with her family near Montreal.