Did you know that frogs grow noisy before it rains? And dogs and cats always sense tornadoes looming. Also, wind is silent; we only hear it when it blows against something. Even though little can be learned about people from their facial features, our noses can detect a trillion smells. Meteorologists say lightning strikes 20 million times a year but kills only 432. And hailstones can grow as large as baseballs. 316 people are shot daily and 48,222 die each year from gunshot wounds.  Bullets from an AR-15 travel almost three times faster than one from a handgun and liquefy organs, leaving a smashed cavity the size of a grapefruit. Although wives’ tales say otherwise, lightning often hits in the same location twice, sometimes more. And cats really do land on their feet. It takes blood 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body. Scientists tell us that full moons don’t impact human behavior, but violence rates rise along with air temperature. A simple way to learn the air temperature is to count the number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds and add 40. One definition of the word execution is “to carry out a plan.” Blood tastes as salty as an ocean. In time, people grow accustomed to violence, especially young children. Did you know that the only muscle that never tires out in the human body is the beating heart? And sound, whether the blast of a gun or tinkle of a baby’s laugh, won’t ever carry in the absolute silence of outer space. Psychologists say it’s normal to feel upset following a distressing news event, but the feeling eases after a few weeks as predictably as snow melting each spring.

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Andrea Marcusa’s work has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Cutbank, River Styx, River Teeth, Citron Review, and others. She’s received recognition in a range of competitions, including Smokelong, Raleigh Review, Cleaver and Southampton Review. For more information, visit: andreamarcusa.com or see her on Twitter @d_marcusa.

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