Issue Twenty Two

We Carry Our Father’s Ashes

We gather our father’s ashes from the crematorium, two days after the cremation because by then the ashes and bones have cooled down. We sift through them, find the stent that allowed him to eat for ten days before he passed away. We gather our father’s ashes in our...

Love Poem for Mr. Miyagi

From the first moment I saw you through that screen door,chopsticks in hand, I knew I had finally founda teacher to call my own.You started teaching us from the very beginning.When you turned around and gave Daniel that starewe all knew your first lesson: knock, don’t...

Magic House

I almost ate a live jellyfish once. I was crouching beside my dirty blond cousin on the wet sand. Dustin: Dustin who told me what virgin was. The entire family was getting away from our lives in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and Tennessee; we met at a scrubby campground...

On Fire (Or, Last Wishes)

There is fire on the mountainAnd nobody seems to be on the runThere is fire on the mountaintopAnd no one is a-running —ASA, Fire on the Mountain I wish everyone I love              the joy of dancing naked. Tonight, I am holding a piece of chicken              from...

Red Awning

You’re home free when you smell the butter. Just watch your pace between the register and glass doors. Focus on the red awning of the crêperie outside. And take the exit on the left – this she makes me say with her – because it’s the only one not hooked up to the...

Fair and Lovely

we believed the neighborhood voicesthat said fair was most beautiful before they brought the ointmentturmeric, yogurt, and honey your face was buttermilkunder the nightlightthat one sideways molar, a diamond once you fit in your father’s palmswhen you arriveda pink...

Red Flannel Shirts

Donald came to me on a quiet night. I was reading by candlelight. The full moon out the window was big and round like one dead eye. I never liked to be disturbed on such nights, but Donald could wreck me anytime he pleased....

The Warbler at the Window

The windows of my sunporch claim at least seven birds a year. I watch a warbler dance in midair, executing a whimsical waltz with its reflection in the glass. Seeing, not seeing. Then, it’s back to. This. My right hand up. Stop. The man across from me, Corbin—his left...

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