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The Idea of Birds

We read poetry aloud. He is on the ground in front of me. I rest my elbows on my knees and lean over in my beach chair. After swimming, his black curls have slid down his neck, his hair now heavy and immobile to the wind. The ocean breeze carries a chill, so he puts [...]

Fertilizer for Pretty Things

Flowers like having dead things plunged down with their roots. Most people don’t know, but we do. They like little bits of rotting parts, like weasel toes and bird feet and the inner soft pieces of insects that fill their bulbs with the necessary flavors. Then the stalk flits up, sometimes over a matter of [...]

Mausoleum

A body wants to lie down; it wants to buy a plot. Who will meet you at the entrance to this mausoleum? She there, with her head in her hands, woman of sorrow guarding the steps, bent to a phosphorous moss so slimy and insidious it liquefies stone. Creep close to pay your respects; someone [...]

God’s Blood

In June, Buni opens the last barrel of her famous black wine just before the holiday of the Saints Peter and Paul, the Summer Saintpeter—Sânpetrul de vara—when the sky opens and we can see God’s face. No one knows how she makes the wine last that long. By this time, the village has gone dry. [...]

Elevation 6,985

On the Western slope of Colorado, just outside of Telluride, the San Juan Mountains have been hazy the past two days because of a fire accidentally started by a homeless schizophrenic’s cigarette. From the cocoon of a hammock, you stare up at the blackest sky counting stars through the haze. It’s the kind of expansive [...]