Breadcrumbs

Michael T. Young I keep believing in the fresh start, keep turning back as if to begin, but there’s no going past the push of hunger. As a child, I filled jugs at a natural spring, my hands rich with the scent of moss, the rocks gurgling, the smell of wet soil saturating the air… More

Scrawl

Michael T. Young He likes to repeat to himself a phrase from a Keats letter: I will clamber through the clouds and exist. It steadies him like leaning against trees, or brewing coffee to a thick brown resistance. It’s that kind of private refusal that helps him push on, dress the children for sleep, clean… More

A Plague of Cottonwoods

Laura Powers June, and they stand in flowering frustration at either end of my yard. Cottonwoods (geneus populus) are gendered and must be planted accordingly to avoid the outrage of unspent catkins (desiderium). I learned this too late to now keep seedpods sticking to the laundered sheets I’ve strung to dry between them like a… More

The Language of a Marriage

Laura Powers In my lap, The Awakening rests like a pretension. Lately, I’ve found myself going in envy of fiction—not as a poet, but as a woman living a linear life, as she must with no parrot screaming foreshadow in its raucous patois: Allez vous-en! Get Out! Sapristi! Goddamn it! No one is in danger… More

Maybugs

Perry Janes It’s as if everything is built to pull us forward towards an age we won’t remember the seasons. The geometry of late spring drones in my ears: honeycomb octagons, grass lines all pointed upwards. The water wheel I built cycles, unmoving, while I shoot blindly into the field with my cornstalk popgun to… More

The Reality Show

James Cihlar Nervous and too public, Tillie smothers Emily with anxious love, shuffling her off to the convalescent home for teens at the bidding of the zeitgeist. I cannot become cold in front of the blackboard, my shins covered in sequins. When Maxine’s nameless aunt brought shame to the family through illegitimate pregnancy, the villagers… More

Out Back at Sunset

Jeff Knorr The sun tails west and everything darkens in its path. I am reading about a storm in the Himalayas and listening to a little music outside. The dog has come to my feet, as if to remind me of my sins. But she gives me eyes that allow me to feel steady as… More

Frozen

Carlos Hiraldo If time travel were possible, men from the future would be here tonight, shadowing our footsteps. Like squadron of Supermen guiding their Lois Lanes above the New York City night sky, they’d carry you and me and my dead parents to a Utopian future where death doesn’t end all arguments, disease has been… More

Deconstruction

John Middlebrook Retracing my steps, I walk my life backwards, resisting the urge to grasp too soon. I recede all the way to where words were not heard, trading my refinements for the gifts of birth. Now moving forward, I see once more clouds on puddles dropped by the sky; shadows are sponges cast from… More

Fallout

John Middlebrook When I return to my place, nothing has moved beneath the layers of dust. Everything’s intact as if I had planned how it should be found. The series of decisions we made together now leaves us, one by one, to grasp that our chances are as random as the wind chimes’ unrehearsed jangling… More