Ian Carr
I could live in the descending chords of a seventies serenade, the spacious tawny bars breaking the light into golden bricks. I would have been at the guitar all day while you went to your class and gathered flowers in a clutch of muslin on your way home. The kids smell like the pyracantha again, their blond hair dirty with the resin of the waxy red berry. Evening leads to thick ceramic bowls of something. Warm and off-white and swimming with split herbs. Later there's the waterbed, bounded by red-stained pine planks, or something else that grows in the cindered air of the high blue desert. The same wood our table is made of, the one you brought home from the roadside Indian stand. I think our children can live here. I found the cow's head i [...]
Rage Hezekiah
I plucked an owl pellet from the ground cradling it, delicate, as if a palm-sized bird and not the mass of bones and fur purged from a second stomach. In science class as a girl, I learned these dark forms teemed with the remnants of undigested pieces. Wielding a small scalpel, my latexed hands unfolded the debris, bits of spiny tail, sh [...]
Tessa Livingstone
Hollow, like a tunnel-boned bird, the cello is held securely by its neck while one hand twists the tuning peg, evoking a shrill, sharp sound. From the farmhouse an ill-fated rooster calls out, ruffling its feathers bathed in dust and inflicted with sickness. The cellist envisions red, unblinking eyes, the curling of armored toes, the tan [...]
Jim Davis
It's now, she says. Now, & never again – so we beat on, boats against the current & swooned slowly, heard the snow falling faintly through the universe. I had been there before, lying on my back, thumbing my nose at You Know Who, which is why I don't tell [...]
Margaret Young
It’s not like you can compress the files of love to fit them in, there are eight thousand sixty twelve of them in orange steel drawers, not labeled well: you can’t, say, squeeze in rows of tiny corn urging up along North Professor, bottles of daylight leaking in th [...]
Meredith Kunsa
(Florence, Italy) As I approach the piazza’s open-air gallery, Bologna’s Rape of the Sabine Woman thrusts above quarried stone — Romulus’s warrior stands dominant over the crouched Sabine man, while his woman writhes from the victor’s grip — flesh giving way where his hands clench, her expression beseeching an invisible god. Though the wo [...]
Brandon Krieg
Arrival at the Complex Over the rutted high road of this preserve, wide white contrails converge, dimensioning a cloudless vast wash above snow-battened grass: crisscross stalks, some pressed, some melt-released, conduct acute sun-slant down tangent con [...]
Zebulon Huset
If fruit could represent anything but sex I would be content to transcribe still-lifes, glad to stack sand castles from the grit of memory as Jaws trolls just offshore—which I do— but the slick-skinned, the bulbous, the juicy bits of ovarian flesh turn me to y [...]
Kevin Heaton
(at the end of days) After our rabbit died, there was no more hot chocolate. No Tootsie Roll Pops. Only skimmed barn milk and origami cats. Alongside the Mississippi, the Yazoo still laid down a click track, but in the fog. Her hobos coined potted meat with boxcar songs. Then, tongue-tied alloys began to chink the metal: lungers, phlegm wi [...]
Vanessa Couto Johnson