Of Sparrows; A Heron’s Age

Miriam Bird Greenberg

Photo of Miriam Bird Greenberg

Of Sparrows In the mountains with only the wild         animals for company, ghosts roam the roads, the story         goes. They’re carrying jerrycans, and the wild grasses wave dimly behind their dim         forms as if snow- • • dusted, or dark where they pass         through the wanderers—a bayonet, a wolf’s tooth—and reemerge         on the other side, the teeth a wolf’s teeth; she stalks     the…

The Shabbos Goy

Helen Schulman

Photo of Helen Schulman

We were in Paris all of three weeks, my baby girl and me, when we saw our first bride. Without my cat-eye glasses, from afar she appeared even farther away; the world’s teeniest bride, like a miniature pony. Upon approach, however, it quickly became clear that she was merely a child, probably only around four or five years old, a wafting meringue with legs. The…

The Wait

Greg Gerke

Photo of Greg Gerke

The mass of heat and humidity suddenly fell away in the first week of August like a large, invisible drape had lifted, letting in cooling Canadian winds. People were happy, but because of the weather and the date, two things every website or newspaper made well known, they also started to speak of summer’s end, though they hadn’t done much except stay locked in an…

Out in This Desert

Ali Rachel Pearl

Photo of Ali Rachel Pearl

Just east of Los Angeles’ seemingly infinite suburban sprawl, the tract housing and strip malls eventually end and Interstate 10 forks at the exit for Highway 62. Highway 62 snakes north up the Little San Bernardino Mountains. It slithers through Morongo Valley until it eventually levels out and becomes 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley. The desert towns along this highway speak to the US’s…

A Baby in the Piazza

David Kirby

Photo of David Kirby

                          What’s the difference between Eisenhower-era horror movies and the Italian Renaissance? Not a whole lot, I think to myself                           as I cross the piazza after a night of drinking with friends, and suddenly a wolf tears past, the moon rises and sets                           and rises again, clouds race across the sky, vines snake up trees,                           temple columns, the legs of passersby as the fog rolls over…

The Affected Area

Beth Morgan

Photo of Beth Morgan

When my son feels sad, I bandage his forefinger. I’ve taught him that sadness is a feeling that happens in the right forefinger. When he’s tired, I put ointment on his elbow and wrap a bandage around it. “Pressure must be applied to the affected area,” I say, “and exhaustion lives in the elbow.” He’s four years old. When my son lies to me, I…

Tuna Mornay

Janine Mikosza

Photo of Janine Mikosza

Donna in blue stockings, real stockings, one leg apiece clipped to a black, lacy suspender belt strapped hip-low, matching bra with a tiny rose sewn between the cups, Debbie Harry hair, stiff and smelling of Marlboro Lights, standing by the window in her second-story share flat above the pizza shop (four shifts a week, six ’til ten at night) opposite the Hopetoun Hotel in Surry…

Interrogation of the Sodomite

Aldo Amparán

Photo of Aldo Amparan

In 1901, México City police detained forty-one gay men at a dance. Many were subjected to slave labor. Since then, in México the number forty-one has been used in jokes & derogatory remarks against homosexuality. There are currently six countries where the death penalty is used for people in same-sex relationships: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, & Somalia. 1. Asked to remove my mask,…

Nothing but the Blood

Joy Clark

Photo of Joy Clark

I am driving to Shreveport to see my counselor, and everywhere I look are crosses. They spring up like weeds in ditches, rustic pine or painted white, sometimes hung with plastic flower garlands. They are peeling bumper stickers and billboards, they dangle from the rearview mirror among wooden beads, they shine fluorescent across T-shirts of drivers—drivers who cross themselves in one slick motion. There is…

Relocation; Rift; Party

Inbar Livnat

Photo of Inbar Livnat

Translated from Hebrew by Shoshana Akabas Relocation A man wanted to meet me before he relocated from Israel to Texas. He thought I could potentially be his spouse and leave everything and move away with him, all because he was going to work somewhere in Texas and fulfill his lifelong dreams. I don’t have a problem with fulfilling lifelong dreams, but this man didn’t know…

Notes on Williams, Abstraction, and the Line

Dean Rader

Dean Rader

A little over a year ago, I started writing poems that entered into conversation with specific drawings and paintings by Cy Twombly, a practice that sent me to William Carlos Williams. Williams was one of the first American poets to overtly write poems about particular paintings, and he was also one of the first American poets to write, regularly, about art and poetry. As Bonnie…

Principles of Chaos

Chelsea Dingman

Photo of Chelsea Dingman

If the hurricaning sky wolfs this sad peninsula. If depression is the glass held up to all of this rain. If the rain doesn’t fall, but shimmies against the panes. If rain. If brick. If buckled, the brick speaks. If brick is the language of our dead cities. If we are left for dead. If I kissed the bodies pulled from me, more than once,…

Polygamy

Terese Svoboda

Photo of Terese Svoboda

Why should I object to polygamy? The baby is barely a month old, I need the help. But not from Regina the vagina, the Brazilian princess in a sequined mini hiked to her waist in the hall in front of the elevator, hooked, as it were, to you. I am calm now, that is obvious. I am remarkably calm, and you have a point: that…

A Brief History of Pain

Akpa Arinzechukwu

Photo of Akpa Arinzechukwu

It is 3:00 a.m.; the owls and stray cats are out to play. In the room, alone, I feed on the last tablets of a sleeping pill, pain relief cum antidepressant. I think it is the last day of my life even though I try to be faithful to the pills the doctor promised to keep me here longer. In my head, someone knocks me…