Priscila Uppal is an internationally acclaimed poet, fiction writer, and York University professor. She is the author of The Divine Economy of Salvation and To Whom It May Concern. Her memoir, Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize and the Governor General’s Award. Priscila lives in Toronto. For more information visit priscilauppal.ca.
This short story is taken from the collection Cover Before Striking. The most common phrase in print is “cover before striking,” a warning to those about to innocently strike a match to be careful not to burn their fingers. Uppal’s characters in Cover Before Striking are all people pushing their lives to new levels of intensity, danger, or passion as they test their limits and those of the world. Implacable and just a little unhinged, the stories of Cover Before Striking each move toward that moment of contact when the sparks begin to fly, when destruction and beauty seem to blur together. With this collection, Priscila Uppal offers the literary equivalent of playing with fire.
“Mycosis” was published in Pagitica and nominated for the Journey Prize.