Featured: Good Luck with Your Hobby (excerpt)

    Holly Coddington

    Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
    It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
    And nice to be surprised
    Although that is not what happened today.
    I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
    Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
    Just the other day I was walking Charlie
    And a black man approached me quickly
    With his hands in his pockets.
    I was scared.
    Charlie wasn’t scared.
    Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
    The train station because it is dark …

    Featured: Monday Morning

    Maximilian Heinegg

    Off Church Ave, old men do cartwheels
    on the asphalt of a middle school playground.
    When they begin their Tai-Chi, they remove
    jackets, & smooth the wrinkles out of the air.

    I come courtside with Anthony- tarnished skills,
    freshly inflated ball. We lay our jackets & keys
    on the fence beside our water & any pride,
    trying to recall the form & follow through.

    Our opponents are ourselves, until three
    ten-year olds demand a game. They talk smack,
    have handles, rebounding elbows, cursing
    like those they’ve observed, but play hard, fair.

    A good shoot-around follows, as pigeons, the …

    From Issue 15: The Caver

    Elizabeth Youle

    After the long passage underground, over dark puddles and under low mineral formations, Judith and her small cadre at last found the entrance. She paused for a moment to watch. The portable gas stoves heating up Thanksgiving dinner made the scientists’ long shadows dance on the walls of the cave just like ancient torchlight would have done. The assembled group was settling in, draping blankets on a large flat portion of the ground and repurposing stalagmites to hang up their parkas and carabiners.

    Two tenured professors, Mary Claire and Sean, took plastic containers and tin foil bundles out …

    From Issue 15: Uncertainties

    Carla McGill

    I know that there is a hundred percent certainty that it will happen. Death. With new advances in science, is there the slightest chance? No. It’s nice to know that there is reliability in the universe—that something is one hundred percent. Other things are more uncertain. Marriage, for instance. In America, there is a forty-six percent chance that a first marriage will end in divorce, and that changes all the time. The percent rate goes up for second marriages, making it more advantageous to stay in the first marriage. In Orange County, California, thirty-three people each day apply …

    From Issue 15: Seasonal

    The solitary orange tree of my youth was a scrawny thorned thing approached on lazy afternoons, supper a long ways away. The air choking. So thick, it was as if I had drowned. The citrus’s skin split easily, thrown against the deck father had built. That falling sound of lonely.

    Me still a youth, knife-less; lips to skin, sucking the tang of its sour juice, savoring. Already party to the sorrow of summer fruits. The sweet sticky dripping quickly gone. Peaches and cherries falling in & out of season.

    In & out and in & out.

    Until I was no …

    From Issue 15: Ardor

    Tim Keppel

    Monica Rendon was waiting for Professor Lawson’s outside his office. Dressed in jeans and a halter top, she sat down hesitantly. In class she was quiet but attentive, always observing; when she did speak, her comments were incisive.

    “Professor,” she said haltingly, “there’s something I want to write but I don’t want to share it with the class.”

    “Remember that the other essays will be pretty personal.”

    “But, still . . . ”

    “Okay, if you want, you can just show it to me.”

    “Thanks, professor.”

    “Don’t worry, nothing’s going to shock me,” Lawson said. “I’ve seen everything.” …

    From Issue 15: Bodies of Water

    Ash Sanders

    It was the summer of Nancy Drew–the year I finished the last of Carolyn Keene’s seventy-eight mysteries at the library by my house and, enthralled, started again on the first one. School had been out for a month by then, and the heat came down like an omen, flat and hard on our bodies. My father had a name for this weather; he called it July’s Murder. I liked this because it sounded Nancy Drew, and it worded the world exactly: the grass curling with exhaustion, the sidewalks belly-up with sun by early morning, crying: uncle! uncle!

    Everyone …

    From Issue 15: The Clash

    Gerald Yelle

    This was supposed to be a day for comedy.
    Day of the dawn, not dawn of the dead.
    It was supposed to be a celebration. A much
    needed respite. We’d been drinking and now
    we were going to stop. We were going to
    check into a shelter, then check ourselves out.
    We were going to weather the needles
    and pins. Take inoculations. Gargle with saline.
    Lave the wounds. Visit the doctor. Butter the toast.
    I don’t remember what we were going to do.
    I think we were going to visit our father.
    I think we were going to …

    From Issue 15: Drowning


    Kandie St.Germain‘s a desert dweller and the author of *Closet Drama,* Bear Star Press, 2001. Her poems have most recently appeared in *Rattle* and *Willow Springs.*…

    From Issue 15: Cabinet

    David Ishaya Osu

    i have stopped praying
    with my forehead, it is

    no longer light that finds
    the place, it is pain that

    knows why a bee keeps
    coming to my breasts, it

    glows like bends in wine
    her eyes continue in mine

    love can be seen as flying
    from one mirror to another

    our hairs grow a web wide
    to speak with skylarks and

    fall together as alabaster
    angels into a cry bare as

    mayflowers: after water
    colours comes a cachepot


    David Ishaya Osu was born in 1991 in Nigeria. He is a board member of the Babishai …