Category Archives: Reprint

Broken Red Ceramic Heart

I told myself before the move to wrap it carefully, box it, place it way up high on a top-floor closet shelf, a packing strap around it once or twice, and double-tie the ends in furious knots—all which I did, … Continue reading

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Rely on Mystery

A single milkweed plant has sprung from seeds scattered last fall. I almost fancy myself a gardener, except that so much potential died with those plants that didn’t grow. A door left open says “forgiven”, the only word not worn … Continue reading

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Two Kinds of Idolatry

They crossed the border for an egg, exodus over Red Sea frozen over by night providence, chased by red sun and ungodly idol, by fetter and fly and famine, for                         theirs is a coal desert bearing the face of a … Continue reading

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Upon Seeing Floating Dust at Golden Hour

When she said there is nothing left―I am gone like a father, false like a specter―maybe you cannot help but wonder if she was even here,―or if you built her out of Jenga block bones buried in a meadow of … Continue reading

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A Small Price to Pay For Yo-Yo Ma

Stan McGreevy was a legend in Santa Pulmo. For over forty years, he had been one of the most popular teachers at Santa Pulmo High, where he taught music and directed the school band. Twenty-three of his students went on … Continue reading

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Corporeal

In this place again, the for rent sign in the uterine wall, the timeline realigned for the present, the list of reasons as reminders of why. List of concerns, list of pressing matters, list of choices, list of real or … Continue reading

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Under the Lights

At 16, the mother I love, sends me to the frizzy-haired psychologist. My thoughts are everywhere. They’ve always been everywhere, at my feet, in the sky, on strangers’ faces. She prescribes bright pills, forcing my mind to roll over and … Continue reading

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Neon Disguises

Las Vegas: city of billboards, debauchery, and celebrity second chances; a desert oasis of burning lights and alcohol-fueled gambling binges. It’s a city with an identity crisis: a metropolis among sand dunes, a tourist haven founded on poor imitations of … Continue reading

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Summer Child

      ​      ​Everything is repeated, in a circle. History is       ​      ​a master because it teaches us that it doesn’t       ​      ​exist.       ​      ​            —Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum This summer is finally nearing its end. I can smell distant fires, oak smoke and cherrywood, on the … Continue reading

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Gateway

Everything of that culture, laid across a fantasy gateway, imagined color amid a sea of monochrome. Fog condenses, heavy in sorrow, saturating tracks laid by missing fathers. Paper lanterns glow, recalling dynamite that turned letters to home into ash. Pacific … Continue reading

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eight

for breakfast, peach flesh             slick and yellow— spoken over,                         blanched. butterknife dreams             love bites across             plump curves                         —she never said no. eight peaches, lucky. pits torn up,             gone out, rolling heads and tails;                         probability, ever             retrospective. for breakfast, thoughts             and … Continue reading

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when we lose control of our tongues…

This is a reprint of work originally published in Kissing Dynamite. Laleh Gupta (she/her) is a sixteen-year-old student from Maharashtra, India. An editor-in-chief of Indigo Literary Journal, her work appears or is forthcoming in Claw & Blossom, The Cabinet of … Continue reading

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The Seed

Sally was cooking dinner in the kitchen. Outside, little Janie was crying. She was screaming something about that midget. Kyle was in the living room watching television: a woman being chased down a San Francisco street. “Go out there and … Continue reading

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Late Developers

In the last few weeks of her life, I caught him peeing in the sink. I came through the back door, as all of us always did, via the porch with its fly papers and window ledges and stands chock-full … Continue reading

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After The Bomb Went Off V

roaches scuttled out in eagerness to survey their inheritance This is a reprint of work originally published in Four and Twenty. Ian Chung

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Paper Animals

It was the last day. At the beginning, I had found myself counting the days. We had arrived here in the heart of winter. The little village was located up in the mountains, a place so untouched by globalisation it … Continue reading

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Nails

Ten. My mother pulled my fingertips into the light, the ragged bloody edges and hangnails all on trial. “A proper lady should have pretty hands,” she said. Neither proper nor pretty, I guessed myself a heathen, a muddy girl spitting … Continue reading

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Redemption

How we remember, what we remember, and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality. —Christina Baldwin Forgive me Father, but I am not a dying age. Not a lopsided heart cage you pretend to enter. Where … Continue reading

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Two In The Bush

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush A bush in hand is worth a chair And a chair is worth a hack and a push To plant it a house new and fair So they sang, the … Continue reading

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Waves

Today I become liquid noise, and my wet coughs catch on the wetness outside of me. It is tangible; it is disconcerting— The warm slow movements of my body work in tandem with the current, with your hands that fill … Continue reading

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12 Trees

In the SoCal suburb where we lived for four years in a hundred-year-old house with a bedroom and a half, with a fruit cellar, the trees were always in bloom— a different tree, it seemed, every month. So I had … Continue reading

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Waking Poem

There is one image of our heads together and I cut them off in the morning, dragging our severed gaping mouths behind me. I start writing my notes in blood and I want to stop writing these poems. I can’t … Continue reading

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A Rut, or Cutting You Out

Today the sun does not rise. Today nothing rises but me, to the window and back like a dull knife wearing away the carpet in hope that it will split open to reveal something. With my luck, it would reveal … Continue reading

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The Floor Plan

is missing. I pass through the rooms like anyone else would who felt like they’d been here before: hastily, looking for clues. This room has your eyes and they are unblinking. My father is in the corner eating his own … Continue reading

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Half-Skull Days

Last week, it rained six days straight, not for six days straight, as it can back home in the Midwest, but on six consecutive days. In the eighteen months we have lived in Southern California we have not experienced more … Continue reading

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