A Letter

Dear Reader, The work we’ve read during this past submission cycle has been astounding, and because of the…

Instructions for Waking & Four More Poems

bring the cigarettes out, and drinks for you and Dan, left the Diet Cokes there, sweating on the ledge. Tonight you’ll allow me to stay for no other reason than to listen. You knew what I would become. But I can’t remember words now,


"Skate babies," he said cryptically. "Protects them from all the dangers." He flapped a leathery arm towards the snack bar and drawled something about signs.

Like Disaster

The news suggests that acid rain is to blame. Years of acid rain falling unchecked, seeping into the ground and doing what acid does, eating away at everything it touches. Scientists point to plastic models, removable chunks revealing concavities in the earth, the surface too thin to support what’s on top.

The Future Carries Us Forward to Winter

You stand in the hall poking at the window blinds. They’re old vinyl, faded yellow and nearly melted with years of endless sun. Your fingers walk to eye-level, push a slat up so you can see out, and then climb higher. Above your head you reach to press your finger, through the hole of a bent, half-broken slat, all the way to the fogged glass.

Heartleaf Philodendron

I had stereotyped her. She wasn't shy or cautious, but flung the door open to reveal a riot of colourful living. A floral-patterned rousari was settling over the crown of her skull as if it had just dropped from heaven. The ends of it draped loosely beside her thin arms. I didn't know where to look, and tried not to flick my curious gaze to her periphery. It meant meeting her eyes, those eyes.


The photo album is dry like carefully stored tinder, the dried rose petals haphazardly stuck on the front look yellowed and frail.

The Shore

A Maine morning, sea and sky muddled gray. She’d picked her way from the beach to a small piney island across a stretch of seafloor low tide had left bare.

Desk Lunch

She skitters away on her keyboard: Tic tac tac tac tic. Then pauses to scratch her head; the noise a cacophony, forming a symphony of disturbance that rattles my loaded head. Every day she rattles me.

Lancing the Toe & Unbreakable

In the middle of surviving you, I sat on the sidewalk outside the bookshop that paid me too little, sterilized a safety pin with the flame of a lighter and stabbed it through my right big toe.

The Bees & Two More Poems

The surprise clusters of brown pears punctuate the leaves. My children burst down the pickers’ lane their feet smashing the rotten fruit into a fragrant mess, a prayer in earth. It is all too much.

Then and There

A rook snags a branch in the sycamore outside my bedroom window. That’s not what I’m thinking about.

These Are My Dress Clothes

I could be a shutter, about to fall off its hinge and be consumed by feral shrubbery. Start a new life as a rotting piece of wood. Natallie raises her fist to knock, but the door opens. He looks like someone who once sold bathrobes in a plaza. Long, red, veiny hair combed over a blonde face.


The night of my parents’ funeral, she told me that the most important thing you can tell people, dead or alive, is that you are here. On this earth.