Issue Sixteen

Little Girl

1. Missouri In each place called home, the lovers, the farm with blue eggs, and the calf being born. Learning that the best branches for whipping are from weeping willows. From the backyard you could see for miles, trace the lines of the fences and county, patches of...

Residence

The first woman who lived inside herself reported, via text message, that it was nicer than you would expect. Cramped, yes, but I can hear myself for the first time in forever, she wrote, and then the second woman found that this was true—that from the inside, the...

Some Nights

When you looked at me, there was nothing looking back, but a threadless needle containing only the shape of the room. Wood paneled walls, a clean floor. We would smoke on the couch and spend all night watching a woman sing in slow motion on the TV. The moon slipped...

First Date

He said we’d rename every dog we saw because it’s a better game than love. I name every dog after favorite poem titles: I call the golden, “If all of my relationships fail and I don’t have any kids, do I even know what love is?” He nicknames the dog knowledge. I name...

Born Again

My son, who just turned thirteen, refers to himself as Sergeant Dagny. I named him something else, of course, although I no longer know what to call him, no longer know who he is.  We have never left Minnesota, this unknown town of ours, but he talks incessantly...

Lunch in Kennedy Park

My wife and I find a table Under a tree whose branches And leaves are fulsome enough To provide us with protection From the rays of the summer’s sun. Delicately we unwrap our burgers As if they might crumble before Our eyes if we weren’t so careful. Reaching for the...

The Whitening

No one ever remarked on her teeth and that was just fine with her. But perhaps her teeth were less white than they used to be. Her grandmother had purchased for her birthday a gift certificate to a dental clinic. White, Overnight was written in a thin black...

Sunrise Over the Long Island Sound

Last summer I visited my father. He hides his worry better than anyone I know. A stubborn skin that refuses to peel its layers, convey the daunting of it all. The length between home and shoreline. The precious soil sloughed of its greenery, like the skin off of a...

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