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The Contract / Mark Rogers

photo by Mark Rogers

Years ago, on an evening game drive in Zambia, driving along in an open Land Rover, we come across three lionesses huddled over a fresh zebra kill.

Our guide says, “We’ll come back later.”

An hour passes, where we see elephants, giraffes, and other creatures. But my mind kept going back to the zebra kill. When we finally circle back we see several hyenas skulking around the kill waiting for a chance to snatch up the leavings. Two of the lionesses were on their sides, resting after the meal. Then I saw the zebra’s body move in a hollow way and I realized the third lioness had its head and shoulders inside the carcass.

Then I saw something that epitomized the contract between the spirit and the flesh—the lioness’ huge eye peered out at me from the asshole of the zebra.

from the memoir Orpheus on the 101


MARK ROGERS is a writer and artist whose literary heroes include Charles Bukowski, Willy Vlautin, and Charles Portis. Rogers lives in Baja California, Mexico with his Sinaloa-born wife, Sofia. His award-winning travel journalism has brought him to 56 countries. His crime novels have been published in the U.S. and UK. Uppercut, his memoir of moving to Mexico, is published by Cowboy Jamboree Press. NeoText publishes his Tijuana Novels series and Gray Hunter series. You can reach him at


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