Issue Sixteen

On the Way to Our Summer Place

None of us wanted to get there. My father and mother in the front seat. In the back seat, us kids were thinking of ways to slow it down. My sister, Little Peg, said “ooh, let’s count the gas stations.” But, of course, most of them were gone after the bomb hit. “Let’s...

Dream of the Rising Sea

I am walking between two loose narratives, connected by a seaside promenade. Rising from dark water, my childhood’s plastic toys and adulthood’s kitchen utensils float near the stony edge. I can’t resist gathering things within reach with promises to use them in my...

Tree Dreams of Becoming a Mast

Pieces of that day, together with phrases or words from a novel or a poem I remember, still snag within me, meshing, blending, trying to turn what we did in that last hour into something greater than it was. As if the work somehow made small legends of us in some way...

Evidence from the Door Recorder

            Those fucking boys were at it again. Doorbell ringing in the middle of the night, them shining their flashlights into the foyer, daring me to come outside, trying to kill me with their laughter. Their...

Camber Sands

Today it’s hotter at Camber Sands than anywhere in Death Valley. I’m eating olives stuffed with anchovies because I’ve drunk all the wine in the plastic wine tumbler. Maureen doesn’t like olives. Too foreign, she says. Reminds me of that Israeli guy, did I tell you...

One Away From Enough

When the cotton candy colored sky spins out shadows that land in the hungry crevices of old brick that line these cobblestone streets, I begin to wonder what my brother had eaten that day. Perhaps beef stroganoff, his favorite? Probably not. A paper cup of chocolate...

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,...

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