by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens  

I saw a sparkly backpack in front of me and didn’t know where to turn.  The canvas was black but consumed by clear gemstones two inches in diameter from top to bottom and side to side. It was bedazzled, one might say, up the wazoo. I did not even notice who was carrying it. Maybe she had auburn hair.  I did not know whether to run from it or run to it. Oh to molest it with my fingertips- to touch something bumpy and glitzy and cheap and expensive at the same time. I had wandered into a crazy zirconia dream or nightmare.  I don’t think this backpack just held homework or lunch or important files. I think it communicated with things that made crop circles. I think it found lost children. I think it helped stalled engines and donated to charities.  I think it detected spyware. I think it knew Morse code and sign language and was probably interviewed by NPR as the next big thing.  But be careful, even in two seconds I knew it was capable of murder. That was clear. There was darkness in this sack that baby deer fled from. Have mercy on you if your arms fell asleep carrying this sick caked thing. It walked away from me in the end.  It went right and I went left, glittering in the sun light, blinding me, nudging me into a candy coated sparkly wasteland.

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens received a B.A. and a B.F.A. from New York University and currently calls the Midwest home. She has poems published in Superstition Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Burningwood Literary Journal, The Apeiron Review, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag, Star 82 Review, Thirteen Myna Birds, Rufous City Review, Squalor Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Untitled with Passengers, Gravel Magazine, Sein und Werden, The New Poet, Scapegoat Review, Menacing Hedge, and Iowa City’s 2013 Poetry in Public Project.