Nate Duke

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Bandon Oregon, Ubi Sunt


The Belgian Malinois on the marijuana farm

has killed four of the sheep. Another sheep

(dead from exposure) decomposes in the far

pasture. Pulling sea grass up from off-season

cranberry bogs, I think about the boy who

was given this farm by his parents, his fancy

extendable chainsaw stuck deep on some

bough. Tools, new last season, rust in piles

of sand. The boy is twenty-nine. His lady,

a recent alumnus of Bandon High, cooks

mutton for us every night. They had a girl

from Yale out here; said she licked her plate

like a dog. I don’t see why that’s disparate

or offensive. We drove up Elk River to take

pictures of opal water cresting into rapids.

I didn’t bring anyone with me. I didn’t ask

anyone. Nobody I know would’ve come.

Nate Duke was born in Arkansas. His work is forthcoming in Granta, Colorado Review, Southern Humanities Review, the Arkansas International, and has appeared elsewhere. He is currently a PhD student at Florida State University.