Experts Say

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it is best, when experiencing behavior issues
with your dog to take them on a long walk. I have,
after some time, started to see why this makes sense.
exhaust the mammal so it no longer has energy for destructive
tendencies. if I were not living in the twenty-first century
and did not have a semi-reliable Honda to releases black molecules
full of waste and harmful chemicals into the air, how would
I exhibit my behavior issues? all mental health experts
and psychologists have leaflets full of answers and explanations.
you are this way because you are not that way. the semi-gloss
matte used to print complex diagrams of the human psyche onto
those leaflets makes the heavy cardstock non-recyclable.
the paper has behavior issues, refusing to be repurposed.
there is an at-home remedy. I am sure. the expert that
answers my video call eats ice chips from a Red Solo Cup
the entire time I talk about my problems. the link to the portal
did not work the first two or three times, so she had to send
me the email again. eventually, the portal opened and thank
god. now my boyfriend can eavesdrop from the other room.
it’s just, I keep ripping into bags of sourdough bread and
cream cheese while he is at work. I also continue to talk about
my discontent when he gets home, and unfortunately, it feels
like he is tugging on the end of the rope. instead of standing
on my own two feet like a human, I growl from the toe-side of
his tube sock. if I were not living in the twenty-first century
and could not whisper prayers of gratitude after driving by
the scene of car accident, would I go out and hunt for destruction?
would I walk among abandoned homes and oddly love the taste
of dirty water against my throat as I lap it up? would the mice
and woodland creatures become my friends, all of us licking clean
the insides of empty food wrappers and calling it survival.
I have decided to stay silent and ignore all experts in hopes
that someday, someone will appear with a brand-new,
cappuccino sofa set I can tear into with my sharp teeth
the second they turn their back.

Emma Jane Sullivan is a writer and artist living in Springfield, Missouri. She is currently teaching and studying in the Department of English at Missouri State University. She is currently working on a novel. This is her first publication.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN