Lemma; Dilemma; Trilemma

Sandra McPherson

Photo of Sandra McPherson

Lemma One horizon tells us it’s for everyone— it’s the only one. There’s a comfortable marsh growing at its outcome. The damp everything sums substantiates surfaces. Submergence breaks the string-soft brushline with reeds cedar root        strips bear grass. Crayon-blend berry stain. A horizon of clams smoked and dried for winter. Beds of snails cattail mattresses wetlands of swans and snow geese kingfishers. Dogs sheared with mussel-shell…

Lemon Trees

Ellen Weeren

Photo of Ellen Weeren

When her son walked into their townhouse, Zach’s dark-brown curls shielded his eyes. It wasn’t the first time Stephanie thought the deflection looked intentional, but she hadn’t yet found evidence that her son’s aloofness hid anything significant. She resisted giving him a hug. His phone dinged with a soft melody she’d not heard before, one that didn’t match the hard-rock beats he usually assigned to…

Chemical Bonds

Neema Avashia

Photo of Neema Avashia

In India, during his rural medicine rotation in the late 1960s, my father lived in a village terrorized by rabid dogs. They traveled in packs, chasing children, biting bicyclists, infecting the villagers with rabies. These villagers became paranoid, delirious, and hydrophobic, deteriorated into a comatose state, and then died, in the span of just a few weeks. There was no money for vaccines, so my…

Conqueror

Kathy Fagan

Photo of Kathy Fagan

The lights are green as far as I can see all down the street, sweet spot predawn, a Sunday, no one out. I measure time in travel now. This route’s a favorite, half derelict, half grand, an oak hydrangea blooming on old wood. I left a note in felt-tip for my dad, prepped him, then reminded him last night, but at 4 I had to…

Erasure

Sakinah Hofler

Photo of Sakinah Hofler

Danielle Holmes was the first recorded disappearance. We didn’t notice right away. She had always been a quiet one, respectful, never speaking unless spoken to, never sitting at the conference table during meetings, opting instead to stand in the back. It was about a week into her disappearance, in the middle of our monthly meeting, after the team lead asked her to forward him the…

violence inside us

JJ Peña

Photo of JJ Peña

 it’s a tired-ass afternoon & i watch my cousin jasmine cook sopes. she doesn’t trust me to help in the kitchen because i make inedible lava-lamp meals. she shreds cheese one moment & then gasps the next: did you hear? jeremy’s going to jail. i tell her no. i don’t think of our cousin jeremy, ever. when i was a kid, he used to…

Listening in Common in Uncommon Times

Ella Finer

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I. Are we flying with the planet or against it? I am flying back to London on March 14, 2020. The world has already changed forever and will keep changing. I am going home. . . . The production of commons requires first a profound transformation in our everyday life, in order to recombine what the social division of labor in capitalism has separated. For…

Chronic; Bad Romance

Amanda Gunn

Photo of Amanda Gunn

Chronic which is another word for again which is another word for relentless let’s talk about relentlessness three autumns on a dimmer switch three pale winters where I can’t get warm & three electric sparkling green springs collapsing into summers hung loose at the hinges skin waking up once numb now reanimate & alien bursting with sensation I feel my shoulder jump & I twist…

File, Edit, View, History

J.D. Hosemann

Photo of J.D. Hosemann

Her husband always had his things. In the beginning it was flashlights. The garage was chock-full of flashlights hanging on the pegboard or organized in drawers—flashlights of various shapes and sizes all requiring different batteries. Some were so tiny they fit into a shirt pocket. Some were enormous cannons of light you held like a gun and, by pulling a trigger, would shoot yellow beams…

My Husband’s Second Wife

Sara Schaff

Photo of Sara Schaff

Delia looked the same. Her gray-black hair was piled attractively on her head, in the style she had favored before marrying my husband. At first she didn’t see me as she scooped organic walnuts into a paper bag. She wore a signature dress: long, almost transparent. As she leaned toward the bulk bins, the fabric grazed the floor. I considered the best way to escape…

The Cold of Winter

Doreen Oliver

Photo of Doreen Oliver

The Kenyon Review · "The Cold of Winter" by Doreen Oliver I was standing near the coat section of Costco when a fellow Black woman—a woman I barely knew—revealed to me she was on antidepressants. I’d just wound my way through that central bazaar filled with jeans, toys, books, basketballs, and twenty kinds of socks and found her pushing her mule-sized cart between the rack…

Poem with a Phrase from Bishop

Bonnie Naradzay

Photo of Bonnie Naradzay

sometimes my sister will e-mail me at 1am to say she’s feeling distraught and then at 3am a message to report she’s feeling so much better now but I don’t know this till I wake the next morning and piece the sequence together what I mean to say is she made up her mind again to run away from her husband in her late-model car…

A Brief Catalog of Perfect Women

Liz Breazeale

Photo of Liz Breazeale

The Inside-Out Woman The Inside-Out Woman wings her arms all the time, a bird about to take off. Across her torso and back and belly hang her organs, a web of scarlet, wet-tooth gleaming. Everything is otherwise unremarkable: the stomach digests and the lungs expand and the liver, a dense sponge, does whatever livers do. So the Inside-Out Woman stands for hours as a living…

The Glowing

Tara Lindis

Photo of Tara Lindis

We were told we were part of a bright new future. Radium was rare, sought after, the new wonder drug. Wealthy women with completely different lives from us clamored for radium face cream for an infinite youthful glow. The upper classes drank radium water and brushed with radium toothpaste. Not all products contained the substance obviously; not everyone could get it. But we got to…