Issue Nineteen

This Goes On and On

I can distinguish each one by their walker sounds. My mother’s walker makes a steady clacking, a locomotive’s leisurely journey. And there I wait, say, in the kitchen, as if on a platform anticipating her arrival. I coax and cheer her on, hugging her when she finally...

A Good Earth

I talk facing away from the dead They replace me with the change in my pocket A penny that has yet to be invented They say, “You have to know how to cut a throat on the way to cutting a throat” After sleeping on a mattress made from two garbage bags of clothes I...

The threshold

Where’s your bedroom, is what Jane, once being inside of Papa’s house, asked of it. Like this. She placed a palm on my oily jeans. Don’t worry, she said next. I said Clara. I said Jane—Sisters, I said. You two are different. They looked at each other and licked, up...

Not on the Railroad Tracks

The tracks flanked the river between twin rails. The red light blinked westward a permanent, arrested fixture, begging stop forever. Crews cruise westward then eastward like any way was a good direction. The sun shone fall in its amber palette.  Music stuttered...

Hardboiled

Monday needs someone to tell her that she sounds like Lauren Bacall, so she walks over to the fire station and lays herself down on the top of a fire truck. I clean the truck and listen. She’s like a fever except what I have to wait for her to do is the opposite of...

Beechcraft Bonanza

They had a story in the paper last week about a guy up in Kossuth County, and he built a Beechcraft Bonanza in his barn.  A model, I mean.  Full-size.  Same one killed Buddy Holly, and it looked just perfect.  Like it could actually fly.  You wanted to climb on inside...

New Orleans

The dead don't stay buried in New Orleans, so I took you on the ghost tour with me. I saw you skewered on a spike, choking blood onto the sidewalk. You were trying to jump from the balcony of a girl you saw in secret. She watched you die. It made me smile....

Robust and Infrequent

Another Friday, another night spent admiring thousand dollar quilts made by friends at the art gallery. I have absolutely no idea how they were made, unlike my big heavy book. They are truly shocking when thinking about quilt expectations. Take what you think about a...

where i was when i realized you are me

i had obsessed over logistics, maps, inroads, geography: coast, sea, shell, flight, waystation, layover, customs and immigration that i forgot i could access you, just one of the 65,000 children adopted between 1980 and 1989—city of exiles, generation of sparrows...

Scopophobia

In Tarrytown, I met a woman who told me a tiger killed her husband on their honeymoon.  She didn’t like to talk about it, she claimed, though she often brought it up in conversation.  When I asked why her moods were ever changing, she would gaze at me and...

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