Category Archives: Reprint

Grandfather Reached Up To Touch The Ground

Measured time by the ton. Knew men only by their shadows. Lived with a darkness that left a taste in his mouth. Thunder even trains that rolled through his nights sat him up screaming. He sang to the rhythm of … Continue reading

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New World in the Waiting

Each night is mundane and lonely. Night-birds spread their wings. The moment I’m looking for is buried beneath the black soil. Each wound I polish on the secret stone shines in false light: there is nostalgia too. When the lizards … Continue reading

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Newspaper Planes

Do you believe in God? he asks. I swat away a horsefly but it keeps trying to fly through my ear canal. A pause, a realizing that the question is too big for the park. Looking for an answer in … Continue reading

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Heritage Unwound

my grandmother pulls parsed consonants from her lips the way she unearths the soft underbelly of steamed fish, separating bone from skin, sinew from flesh she wraps vowels with the soft skin of baozi, molding and pinching them into shape, … Continue reading

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Overcrowding in Ventress Prison During Pandemic, March-July 2020

(Author’s Note: Incarcerated sources are kept confidential to protect their safety and privacy. Each prisoner is identified by a randomly chosen letter.) “When Obama was President, there was still some people put in place to deal with” research and preparedness … Continue reading

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Incarcerating Family

(Author’s Note: The identities of prisoners and their family members are confidential in order to protect their safety and privacy. Each source is identified by a randomly chosen letter.) (Part 1) Introduction Over the past eight months, prisoners and their … Continue reading

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Touchpool

It’s a supervised visitation, a controlled contact. – Two fingers only, in the center of the back! – Put your whole hand in the water, and wait! calls the zookeeper. The rays flow past in their elegant capes. Their eyes … Continue reading

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Immaculate Reception

These days, she would have been famous, Screamed at us from every headline, Her every move avidly tracked By the paparazzi. Pose. Snap. No star but hers would have guided The wise men to her sponsored bed In the best … Continue reading

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Infidelity

Lunchtime and the city releases us, gasping for unrecycled air but lungs filling with smog, today’s egg sandwiches already gone soggy, while the plaza is packed by slim cut suits and ties. Traffic swerves and screeches, the acrid tang of … Continue reading

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The Dinner Table

After a while I forget how to speak with my hands. Years since. I eat with spoon and fork at the table, sometimes on the floor. Go through glasses of water just to feel full again. I stain the table … Continue reading

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Hang Fire

Here is almost home: grouted             white tiles settling like a heartbeat while I wait for the doctors             to call me back. Picking at chipped nails and listing promises that probably             never mattered, but I can’t say for sure. Now I … Continue reading

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How Long We May Have Pause

And sometimes one goes to an art museum if only to feel like someone who goes to art museums. And they pause in front of the appropriate paintings but they catch up to themselves and end up by the pottery. … Continue reading

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Airport Relativity

First person and present tense must strike you as odd— how I could both greet and record your emergence from this crowd of funneled souls, recount details that never occurred, at least not regarding your arriving at 4:10, then 5:25, … Continue reading

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Flip Requiem

Only black-and-tan clumps cling anymore to our oaks (raking finally making sense), which stand silent as pickets this side of winter’s no-longer fierce or precise approach. I’m over a father’s death, an angry mother’s postmortem reach (though there it is … Continue reading

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The White Hen Pantry’s Last Green Pepper

She takes the waxy mass of green from its cool wire rack. Outside, she throws the sack into the parking lot where it dances on the hot concrete. She tosses her find into sunlight, squeezes it with pulsing rhythm, feels … Continue reading

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Going Back

Can a chair hand made from poplar make me whole? We scour for the one-of-a-kind, crafted with the visionary’s eye. Spirits reach out in Lick Creek, Nauvoo, New Harmony. At dusk, we join deer drawn by trust into open fields— … Continue reading

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Sjögren’s Syndrome

Anything begins with water: the mouth of the Euphrates, villages, city-states, empires, all our ideas gathered, passed down, one place, another, now and later. And stays alive as well: cell, tributary, heart. The body a creek bed thirsty for a … Continue reading

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Anomalies

…for everything flowers from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness…                         —Galway Kinnell In the endless mall of Florida—a French patisserie run by French people. Birds flit for crumbs. Sherbet umbrellas beckon Town … Continue reading

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Adequacy

After Thom Gunn When we wake in the night with the sheets tangled round our legs, we switch the light on/off without a sound, just checking to make sure who lies beside us here. Love grows by exploring the boundaries … Continue reading

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On Being Gay In Yemasee

I’ll never forget us entraining this freight at dusklight to escape cabbage farms, rusted barns and Bible-barkers who stumble through starrified nights. Will our fear follow us? We poach peaches off pallets and lick juicedrips off our lips like it’s … Continue reading

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Tryst

The secret to sin is to do it in secret. We learned secrecy young— two girls taught to swallow our hunger— so we meet up at nightfall once the last lights have gone out. We walk down the roads, cursing … Continue reading

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Faith

I knew the dying was coming— knew her heart struck twelve because I couldn’t sleep, could only gaze out at the hallway, past my door as it creaked on its hinges, the wind outside the open window running its hands … Continue reading

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April Morning with Cicadasong

And still I’m traipsing through the fields of wildflowers and grass and foxtails. Beyond these fields are more fields and then more and then the cloudless sky. Bees hovering around coral-colored blooms, I make my way to the river, crowned … Continue reading

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On Overcoming Gamophobia

Since your silence scares me, be roadkill, be oil spill, be the elevator that stalled on its way down. Let me learn to love the quiet; let’s learn to speak without noise. And since I despise tight spaces, locked doors, … Continue reading

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Planetarium Janitor

The projector’s clicking eyes hold the only dust he’s not to touch. Powdered soap clouds the water bucket like the Milky Way the sky as he mops the aisles. Ten years have taught him which levers to pull to starlight … Continue reading

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