The Heir | Andrew Coburn
Forced March | Robert Lietz
Dear Leader Dreamer | Gabriel Check
Antipastoral: Dairymen | Amy Groshek
Snapshots of the Epic | Gregory Lawless
Three Reliquaries | Laurence Davies
The Inexorable | Stefanie Freele
Travel Photography | Joshua Walker 
Post-Christmas Inventory | Laura Kolb
Cityscapes, Silos, Blue Nudes | Amber Krieger
Farming Silence | Lauren Ashleigh Kenny
Evan in the Tent | Walter Cummins
Three Poems | Grace Wells

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The Hostage Place | Grace Wells

Invisible the insect held within the amber of our father’s boat. 
Hull he built himself, condensing his finest fibres into boards 
that bore the lick of sun and wave until their taught wood sung.

Evening light could strike its umber sail to flame, light a vision 
that denied the bite of rope, of salt, the angry sting, for though 
the rudder steered, our father drove with a lashing tongue. And

I never wanted to feel the look upon my mother’s face upon my own.
That horizon gaze which stared beyond and saw nothing
left each of us unable to find a course out from his dark hold.

Each of us still able to inhabit the place we’d crawl; the prow locker, 
cupboard for pump and bailer, anchor, and metal chain that clinked 
into each wave; where to the kind sound of water receiving wood 

we learned to sleep, cheeks pressed into the life-vest’s
sweating, yellow flesh.

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | spring 2007   

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