Issue Sixteen

Shay’s Lot

The house burned down. One person died. Don’t ask me about that person, his name or how old he was. I’m telling you right now, I won’t talk about it. I fucking can’t. I cannot think about it. At first, everyone treated the fire like it was a sad accident, just one of...

Aspects of Poetry

My friend’s mother talked on the phone for hours, pacing the kitchen, smoking cigarette after cigarette, pausing and frowning in dramatic caesuras, then replying in a burst of diatribe or praise. She’d hush us—vamoose, I’m talking—and then, after a brief apology,...

Gag Order

silence. you promised. lips pressed thin. don’t tell, you think. but—the heaviness of it. the weight of words distended, when once upon a time you oozed innocence, unblemished and soft, trailed by truth like perfume. light exploded through your pores, your dreams,...

A Meditation on Bitterness

I am five and I go to a co-ed school. It is the summer after I’ve passed 1st standard, first in my class. I am seated in between two nuns who are about to start interviewing me, and my parents are made to sit across from us on a separate sofa. We are here seeking to...

Eat and Eat

You are asleep when I get to your room. I watch your back rise and fall, your face toward the window, toward the Domino Sugars sign lit in the distance. The thick window slightly tinted so the sun doesn’t seem too bright, so it doesn’t need a shade with a cord. I...

There is Something I Need to Tell You

I do my best to avoid images of violence or death. When a slow-motion car crash is recreated on a tv show or a hockey replay presents a gruesome injury, I cover my eyes. If I’m with company I look at my phone, where violence has become unavoidable. I have seen the...

Skippy

I come back home out of breath and unbearably sad. I look for Skippy. “Skippy, where are you?” I say. “Skippy?” I search the common room, the kitchenette, my bedroom, under the couch, the windowsill, my desk, and for reasons I cannot fully justify, the freezer. Skippy...

Shooting Star

Einstein overturned the idea that time is the same everywhere.  Time is relative for a horror movie, for a soccer match. For a storm brewing. You kept windows unfastened, watched a podcast. Our star bent over the tub in the adjoining bathroom; her three-year-old...

He Used to Be Gold

But now, he’s hungry.  Husband walks in, his teeth shining bright, a big smile on his face, like he’s just entered heaven, he throws his jacket on the floor, takes off his shoes, yelling, honey, I’m home, like in the movies, but we’re not in a movie, it’s not...

Memoir in Five Weddings

1. Wedding Poetry We sip steaming mugs of coffee. Stevia keeps mine dark, sweet and mellow in the caverns of my cheeks. Between us, Wallace Stevens lies open on the bed. “Want to hear a poem about a wedding? It’s called ‘Life Is Motion.’” “Sure,” I say, hoping it...

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