Issue Fifteen

Cannibals

Every hour we shed 30,000 skin cells. Some we’ll swallow back down, like an auto-cannibalism. Some won’t be ours, but they’ll settle in and stay. It’ll look like a place called home among the bronchi and the bronchioles, the ligaments and the tendons, the red and the...

Albatross Soufle; Bird Home

Albatross Soufflé There’s no secret to how the world is made: it isn’t. It grows from the leavings of holy box turtles, flightless origamis, snufflings lost behind elder doors. Tears and Tvarscki, Chopin and Coffins. My daughter’s goodbyes that settle into my heart...

Chestnut Street

Only a few people and maybe two stray cats remember when this house was purple, not tan. Every autumn except the last, a white Maltese often frolicked through the yellow ginkgo fans confettied on the sidewalk like he was too late for a parade. A pair of wood-planked...

Want

The wind descended from the west            To rattle the orchard trees. Dogtags nailed to apples and plums            Rang out like wine flutes struck At the marriage table. The star-white blossoms            Let go their limbs and laid themselvesAs if for a funeral...

(too often a sentence)

                                                          , too often a sentence forgets its beginning, wandering to and fro toward an ill-formulated end only to be abandoned in a momentary distraction; an insect in the throes of death trapped at the edge of a...

Casino People

The Angle of the Winds and another killer appear on a highway going nowhere. And there, a fallen farmhouse as though the sky pushed down from above and the ground from below, timbers slowly snapping, swallows like souls bursting through the doors… I know these people,...

It’s the Night Before

Harry leaves me, but I don’t yet know. We didn’t sit down and discuss. I’m leaving you, he never said. I don’t yet know how in the morning, Harry will tell me to leave the breakfast I am cooking, bacon aroma waking him up, and him telling me to come back to bed. How...

This is a superhero story

This is a superhero story. It’s about a kid who is growing up in Hollywood. He lives alone with his mother in an apartment that was once a cheap motel. She cleans houses in Whitley Heights and gets up early and comes home tired, so he has most of his time to himself....

You Can Sail Away on a Ship

     I still complain about Dad from time to time (though he's been dead now these many years), whereas he was always complaining about his mother. His own father—unflappable medico from the old country—he never said a word against. But his...

Misunderstanding Mother

I am still shaking mossy dreams from the rivulets of mind when I remember the story my mother had been describing—it was the one about the yellow duck, the man with the wooden paddle, and the long curl of the Yangtze River in summer’s ebbing light. Somehow I’d...

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