• Henry Alan Paper ~ Friday

    When I asked him why he had made Aliya – that is, why he had decid­ed to live in Israel for the rest of his life – and why, so unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly, he had decid­ed to do so as an obser­vant Jew – this is what he told me.

    ~

    He was not at all a reli­gious –more

  • Eric Roy ~ Four Poems

    On the Shoulder of September

    First week of September, accused of touch­ing a student
    inap­pro­pri­ate­ly, I was called to the principal’s office
    on my off-peri­od. Knot in my tie too tight, I didn’t dare
    adjust it. He raised one fin­ger, less to indi­cate a start,
    –more

  • Chila Woychik ~ Waterfields

    Riffles in the dis­tance. The sound of won­der breaks along the shore. Rivers that twist and curl. Lakes toss­ing fish toward heav­en, then pulling them back again. Waters coax­ing thirsty wildlife near. The streams and ponds, small­er ver­sions flash­ing –more

  • Tahia Abdel Nasser ~ The Tea Picker

    We swooped down in tea coun­try. The moun­tains were cool­er than Colombo. The tea hills rolled emer­ald-green, lush, and order­ly. Mist rolled through the hills, tall slen­der trees swayed in wel­come. They looked like ani­mals gath­er­ing, bend­ing, crouch­ing –more

  • Kevin Grauke ~ Five Poems

    The Final Quarantine
    It don’t take long to kill things. Not like it does to grow.”
                                          —Homer Bannon, in Hud

    Bulldozers dig a pit wider and
    deep­er than any swim­ming hole
    and four cowhands on horseback
    dri­ve the dis­eased beasts down and
    in until hide rubs against hide,
    with­ers to thurl, flank to dewlap.
    Necks strain above –more

  • Jeff Friedman ~ Five Prose Poems

    Not Everything Was in My Father’s Will

    My father left me a CD with noth­ing in it and a record of all his closed accounts. He left me a hole in which to deposit old birds, the bust of the uncle he hat­ed, old news­pa­per clip­pings of ads for cloth­ing lines he was sell­ing, the tran­sis­tor radio –more

  • John Grey ~ Two Poems

    Like Day and Night

    By day, the river’s for fishing.
    Or canoeing.
    Or swimming.
    No bod­ies bloat up to the surface.

    But by night,
    it’s a float­ing graveyard.
    A car­cass bobs against the banks.
    An old man and his dog come across it
    and call the cops.

    Whole fam­i­lies come –more

  • Christopher Merkner ~ White People Swimming

    Months after the cel­e­bra­tions of life, my wife invit­ed a man to the house for lunch. I toast­ed four slices of wheat bread and unwrapped two slices of cheese from their plas­tic slips. He and I spoke about the absence of snow. I found his views exhaust­ing. –more

  • Jihoon Park ~ The Zookeeper’s Guide to Animals

    The Tigers

    Make sure the tigers’ blind­folds are on at all times. They will eat you, and each oth­er, on sight. The only way our tigers can coex­ist is for them to be unaware of one anoth­er. If one of their blind­folds falls off, shoot that tiger imme­di­ate­ly. –more

  • Cezarija Abartis ~ The Next Day

    Caroline drank her morn­ing cof­fee, its dark­ness fill­ing her mouth, coat­ing her teeth, tongue, palate, fill­ing for an instant, burn­ing, clos­ing off for an instant, clos­ing every­thing off. Anton let out a meow like a knife slice to the flesh. He was –more

  • Nate Lippens ~ Pompeii

    Rudy and I talk on the phone late at night, often from one or two until dawn. He lives in New Orleans and I live in Wisconsin. Both of us have returned to our home states after decades away in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin.

    When I was still liv­ing –more

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  • Pavle Radonic  ~ The Hearth

    The Hearth (Montenegro)

    The fuck­ing of the sun had always irri­tat­ed and wound­ed Bab. It was uncouth and seemed to her to be as unholy as the fuck­ing of God, Jesus and even worse, the moth­er. The worst her father had ever cursed was the fuck­ing of the goat.

    Our house guest –more

  • Michael Borth ~ The Tsar Bomba

    It was not snow but pure ash
    in the after­white of the sun­y­olk of the Tsar Bomba.
    The peo­ple were gone, fast and deleted.
    I walked in the supreme quiet.
    The screams were inhaled by the amanhecer.
    The trou­bles were sim­pli­fied –more

  • Andy Plattner ~ At the Democrat Museum in Madisonville, Kentucky

    My moth­er and I sit at oppo­site ends of her kitchen table. I drove up from Memphis this morn­ing, at the urg­ing of my two sis­ters, who say they’re get­ting wor­ried. They want me to call after­wards, get my impres­sions. My moth­er and I are wear­ing face­masks. –more