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.*…

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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… …

From Issue 15: The Wild Part

Barbara Carlson To you, half-witted sleepwalker walking on stones along the river under a black wind, what is it that still lights the blanks between your dreams? The secrets that haunt your life? Kept in the darkness for your shawl? Is there a thread of inmost longing that guides your mystery? And will you let the shawl unravel to nothing? You, leaving your shoes on the shore of all that is empty & vast between lives. The shoes will hold rain & let night overtake them, shoes that once held you for all that you thought you were & could… …

From Issue 15: September

  David Sam So green goes pregnant underground or flies with wind— divine botanical passion We darken this with restlessness for other equinoxes How to vanish turning away from such an unreliable map Where in the end my likeness will walk without me while the world has changed   David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. He has four collections and his poetry has appeared in over 70 journals and publications. His chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest….

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