Issue Sixteen

17 Reasons Why

The cable car tracks are singing, sewing alarm into my pulse: Shame! Shame! Shame! I am. Jittering on a couch at Chela’s. Her man is a firefighter. A Chinatown native. Small-time coke dealer. He’s still on duty around the corner, where we spent the last evening. It’s...

Who Cares if We Contaminate the Line?

Cottonwood pods carry me, like snowflakes onto the fertile ground. Around us, origami butterflies and swans decorate the vines of poison ivy plants and cotton mouths loop around, playing our wedding march sonorously slick with singing and sass, punctuated by a tenor...

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...

Pin It on Pinterest