Summer/Fall 2019


Cheerio Petals

Amanda Auerbach

The color yellow and the red heart on the box remind me parts / of childhood are nice not / embarrassing. Does that include eating / cheerios with fingers?


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

2 Poems

Wendy Xu

And if they’re missing / in inaction, forgive them / Their useless pearls, nouns

Hollow Pockets for Resting

Alicia Mountain

That empty matchbook winter was a new trudge / through short-light afternoons with time to kill.

The Parable of the Dead Dog

David James Poissant

The story the fiction writer reads is fiction. His wife has never cheated. He has never run over a dog.

Astros Sign Osuna Despite Local Outrage

Iliana Rocha

It means to want so badly. / How close win is to want is the distance / between his fast ball & her face.

Cheerio Petals

Amanda Auerbach

The color yellow and the red heart on the box remind me parts / of childhood are nice not / embarrassing. Does that include eating / cheerios with fingers?

Crackhead Clint Will See You Now

Thomas Kearnes

Here it was laid out: we’d tricked with Clint a few times over the years. Sure, he was a geek, but he possessed this obscure magnetism. He was so indelibly himself, we allowed ourselves, when with him, to believe that the established rules of conduct, constraining all men of our tribe, could be ignored.

History

Joshua Burton

One night, my father will come home late with a rifle in his hands / yelling “I’m here.” Everyone will laugh. / Every corner of the ocean is the same.

from Fudekara

Liliana Ponce transl. by Michael Martin Shea

The return trip has a map already. Surviving in sugar waters, in rhythms of algae. / The earth in the hollow is breaking—I knew it instinctively, and in my mind, insects were swarming, traversing the city of your map.

Hurt Locker

Ernie Wang

How much muscle one carries is the largest determinant of bodybuilding credibility, regardless of the degree of fairness with which it’s constructed, and by this metric, he was the one, not me, with the authority to dispense advice.

Betrayed

Joy Castro

When I first saw the bright gold rip of gas flares against the Corpus night sky from the passenger seat of some guy’s green Datsun—all that oil just rushing incinerated into the air—I said, Damn, don’t they know about global warming?

2 Poems

Roger Reeves

And did we come to some conclusion about who set fire to the Master’s House / The autumn-petal of it, swinging flame on the black bough of the sky?

Disability Seen Through Photographs, Darkly

Pepper Stetler

The people whom Arbus photographed were probably separated from their families when they were born. Their mothers and fathers were most likely told that they would be too much of a burden to raise. However, none of this is really what we are supposed to be thinking about when viewing the Untitled series. We are told to think about the compositional choices, the lighting, the true talent of Arbus who discovered these subjects.

The Evangelist

Kathleen Blackburn

I was twelve, with little idea of the drying sediment, the vanishing well, under my feet, though as far as I could tell West Texas was desert. A shrug in the middle of forgotten. At the time, I feared one thing only: Dad would die because of me.

But were it not for the caps lock key [...]

Rachel Z. Arndt

While waiting for the ring I was waiting for his call. And while waiting for his call I was waiting for my finger to heal; the doctor had taken the tip and it had not healed, and then I was putting medicine on it twice a day, covering it with a bandage I had to wait hours to take off, each time.

Perfect Kill

Caroline Sutton

Dragonflies are like Waze. They predict. They don’t chase after mosquitoes, they intercept them, which means they have to calculate the mosquito’s distance, speed, and trajectory. Dragonflies perform these calculations in milliseconds, far faster than Waze, which always takes agonizing seconds to load as it computes the route, average speed of drivers, and quagmires that might await.

2 Poems

Jane Huffman

I have a worm / beneath my hair — / a future worm, / a nerve / from the eternal / present.

Salvation

Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Rationalizing didn’t help. No matter how much he told himself that this was a different woman, that it couldn’t be the same widow, he couldn’t escape the gut certainty that she was.


From the Archives

I Remember the Rabbits of Sasso Field

Carlie Hoffman

From the bleachers I watched them / watch you (multiplying, it seemed) / running sprints in heat / across the grass, / standing in for X's and O's.

Oranges

Nadia Born

The first skin I tattooed was orange peel. Supposedly the texture is similar to humans. I bought a kilo of oranges to practice on before you agreed. You came down for the weekend, watched as I tested the weight of the needle in the nook of my hand. When I cut into the first orange, there was no thread of blood – just juice.

The Void Wife

Kate Folk

One thing was for sure: Elise couldn't be Robert's void wife. On the day the void was scheduled to hit San Francisco, she hid from him in the ruin of the Sutro Baths. She gazed out at the Pacific while behind her, the void consumed Oakland. The void had appeared six months ago in a slender belt around the globe near the 90th meridian, slicing through Detroit and New Orleans, Bangkok and the Kirov Islands of Russia. Since then it had expanded in both directions on both sides of the planet at the rate of seventy miles a day, like two immense pairs of lids drawing over the eye of the earth.

Wheels and Bushings

Maureen Langloss

It was six o'clock in the morning when I started collecting clocks, and now it's 9:37. 10:37. I mean it's 10:00cm. These clocks are all wrong. Time is spilling out of them and getting everything. . . getting everything. . . that word when the clothes are on the floor and crumbs are in your bed and you've spilled wine and yelled at George.