This Nectarine

by Hollie Dugas

I think I killed Mary Oliver
after a fight we had I chose you
a determined little life
I want to make sense of us
why isn’t the path clearer
there are things appearing out of nowhere
or am I only the illusion
I want to understand with you
what comes first—
have I, too, already been chosen

when I put your picture next to her poem
this fate           I picked it from a branch
that does not know of choice
if there is only destiny
I did not kill her            I couldn’t have
because of God           I am an artist
a cog in a machine
things that haven’t happened yet—
the egg—if there is no freewill
this nectarine is the reason

Hollie Dugas lives in Louisiana. Her work has been included in Barrow Street, Reed Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Pembroke, Salamander, Poet Lore, Watershed Review, Whiskey Island, Chiron Review, Louisiana Literature, and CALYX. Hollie has been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, the Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review. Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of the Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). She is currently a member of the editorial board for Off the Coast.