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Spring 2016

The Last Miracle of Kitezh

Look at our sky. You’ve never seen as sky as murky and dark as this one. Strange shafts of light are all we know of the sun. We never see the stars. Have you realized, yet, that this isn’t sky?

Somewhere east, a single mother hides her daughter’s bra, conceals the evidence of her blooming behind a Jack pine door. She descends the guilty stairs in too tight heels, slips money into a crack in the wall with a bone-deep, leadened sigh. Her heavy door opens in morning shadows—another knocking man ignoring the protesting snap [...]

Three Poems

Early Morning, San Bernardino, 1969 Even then I knew: my father was waiting for a message and we were supposed to be witnesses. He could not stop his mind’s wild associations, but the sky kept its silence, tar-black and star-smeared. My brother whimpered, pinned against the swing set while Daddy pointed at the heavens, his [...]

When We Were Birds

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.

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 [...]