Pablo Escobar’s Hippos

Photo by Patrick Gijsbers via Wikimedia

Photo by Patrick Gijsbers via Wikimedia


Pablo Escobar’s hippos have never experienced a natural habitat, a river in Africa. Zoo-bred, transformed into illegal cargo, El Viejo—as the locals call him—and two accompanying cows (unidentified), were shipped to Colombia to entertain Pablo Escobar at the Hacienda Nápoles. When Colombian forces killed Escobar, the government did not preserve or maintain the Hacienda but let it rot instead. The house, broken into and destroyed by those in search of money, weapons and drugs, fell apart. Forces of nature occupied the grounds. Untended the Hacienda returned to the wild. Electric fencing no longer fed electricity died and failed to contain the hippos.

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The City is a Lonely Pandemonium

by Chris Cartright

James thought that he might try to sleep with Madeline today, but he would not, because he didn’t really want to, except that Madeline might finally make him feel like he had touched another person, that they had touched him back; but since he didn’t know her name, Madeline wouldn’t feel the same, nor would […]

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disjointed: notes on healing

by Sung Yim

fistula \fis·tu·la\ an abnormal connection between organs.      I’m freshly eighteen years old. The piercer clamps my tongue with forceps and says oh, that thing’s just begging to be pierced. This discomfort is layered and hard to describe. His rubber gloves are smooth as what skin, I think, should be like. He hands me a pamphlet […]

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Of Ramadas and Monsoons

by Philip Kobylarz
Photo by Phil Scoville via Flickr

  People who collect more cars than they’ll ever need in a lifetime live in prison camps of their own design, addicted to crack or heroin or a combination of alcohol and air conditioning that leaves them listless, pale as whale bone, or blacker than highway tar, and trapped in a bleak moonbase of existence […]

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by Renee Igo
Lighnting by LonghornDave via Flickr

  In between the flash and boom of thunder, I count eleven seconds. Though it’s the middle of the night, we’re both awake, lying face-to-face closer than the four-person tent necessitates. Between the next flash and boom, I count nine seconds. Wordlessly we sit up, preparing to move outside. To wake our students, and sliding […]

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When We Were Birds

by Joe Wilkins

The light shifts here, the angle lengthening through the curtained window in the back. The boy’s face, however, remains sharp and clear. Perhaps, too, there should be some rising nighttime sound: the sighs of an old house, the susurrus of a city, a gentle wind worrying the windows.

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The Absurdity of Curling the Curled

by Saeide Mirzaei
Photo by Nahid V via Flickr. Creative Commons License.

Does curly chest hair get any curlier when twisted around a forefinger? He’s stressed out again, and he’s doing it. It’s an automatic unbuttoning of his shirt’s top button, followed by a twisting of a bundle of curly chest hair pressed lightly between two fingertips. It’s a continuous twisting and untwisting. He once explained to […]

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