de • cay


You ever watch those time-lapse videos of animals decaying?



Recently, Editor Heather Lang moved from Washington State to Nevada. She packed up her car with all of her belongings, and she drove to her new home. When we talk about moving, we often think about the impracticality of carrying things. We think about all of the things we accumulate, about all of the things we box up and haul around from place to place because everything is so indispensable and irreplaceable. Except one day everything we own, every single thing, ends up abandoned or discarded or tossed in a landfill.


A few weeks ago, Editor Letisia Cruz was walking home and saw a homeless lady hauling two shopping carts down the road. She had a limp and could hardly walk, so she would pull one cart, then take a breather and walk back and pull the other cart, and so forth. Who knows where she was headed or how long she planned to go on that way. Or why. Maybe she’d grown accustomed to the weight of those carts. Maybe hauling that weight gave her a sense of purpose. Or maybe she simply couldn’t bear to part with the things they contained. In a world where she could lay claim to nothing, here were two shopping carts brimming with possessions she had claimed for herself. She owned things.


The problem with things, of course, is that they decay. They deteriorate, depreciate, become unusable. It’s the same problem of impermanence we have with our own human bodies. One way or another, we will and must let go. Eventually, everything will be stripped away.


Sarah Hulyk Maxwell’s poem evokes a life in shambles, the deterioration of things—a house, a home, a body—nothing but ashes and crumbled bones. Hiram Ramos’s image juxtaposes a corroding foundation with the words “Dream On.”


You ever watch those time-lapse videos of animals decaying? You have to be in the right frame of mind, but in its own way, decay is beautiful.




Welcome to ISSUE 18 of Petite Hound Press.


POET Sarah Hulyk Maxwell lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two cats. Her most recent work can be found in Salamander and The Bitter Oleander, and is forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly.


PHOTOGRAPHER Hiram Ramos is a Cuban-American photographer, writer and world traveler. He's made it his goal to wander the world and document the beauty that exists in every corner of the Earth no matter how mundane or magnificent. He has been to 30 countries in his quest and resides in New Jersey between adventures.


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