Men croon playful puns about you. Men legislate, fix your tan tunic and wide bulb with geography. Men say your sweetness comes from the soil, comes from a depression-era accident from a patch of sandy land. Brimstone trapped underneath . . . in Georgia clay. Michele Reese is a Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter and the author of the poetry collection Following Phia. Her poems have also been published in several journals including Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, The Oklahoma Review, Poetry Midwest, and The Paris Review. Follow us!
We put the canoe in, Sophie and I, before the sun had warmed the pond and the fog had dissipated. Enveloped by the smell of damp-draped earth, we paddled in silent synchrony, each paddle angled efficiently, barely registering sound slicing the water. When we spoke, it was of the European cities we would visit, the country house we would build and the summers we would spend on Martha’s Vineyard. As the chill and the fog lifted, we saw the blue sky, expanding like a promise that we were moving into. Sophie was silent, as the … Continue reading On Field Pond by E. H. Jacobs
Walking in Queens, I stop, make a snow angel in a quiet lawn, flakes coiling like crystal— Above my head trembles a black bough I start: from the house, an eruption of singing two girls, a mother, a father with a cognac this yard, I see, belongs to a family I’m outside in the dark, concocting a family, in the window two girls dressed up like angels school pageant costumes, mother pouring cognac, a lush amber river, in a snifter of crystal she smiles at the girls in their reverie of singing overhead a snarling … Continue reading SESTINA: SNOW ANGEL by Saramanda Swigart
Podcast: A passing train, snapshots of life. A short story performed by Joe Guay. Read the story online: Calico Cat by William Cass Follow us!
Corsets of snow belly-bust traffic in Chicago, mercifully blurring the blocky derangements of Mies van der Rohe’s window arrangements. You look from Floor 23 down at Michigan Avenue, wax maudlin for a platter of deep-fried kudzu. We are not meant for such a graceless place, its buildings faceless, its rapacious bland spaces, its huge inhabitants, its malignant tenements, its grim aborted experiments with Southside facelifts. We were invented for the Redneck Riviera, the eternal Virginia Reel with Miz Scarlett O’Hara ravishing her radish from the ruined ramparts of Tara. The fantasy of Atticus Finch has … Continue reading A Rebel Yell on Michigan Avenue by Pamela Sumners
There’s a scuba certification center in the middle of the desert, promising a deep heated pool. There’s a billboard with a picture of an elderly couple smiling for the camera, the woman wrapping her arms around the man’s shoulders from behind, with bold white text declaring, “E.D.? Keep the love going!” There’s a prison complex that’s all dirt and barbed wire, directly across from a shopping center advertising multiple designer brands and large stores with mission-style architecture. I stare from the window of a bus as they pass. I’ve driven this highway—which connects my college … Continue reading On Arizona Highways by Jennifer Cummings
“The world is charged with the guilt of god & country,” that from the hanging judge is a quote that skulks into mind with startling regularity. In a moment freed of time, in that moment, how dark must the sky be, how subdued the distant buildings, or real the wall? Oil on a ninety-eight-plus-square-foot canvas stretched over two centuries —carbon dating of the leftmost still bleeding corpse confirms this— At sixty-eight Goya paints the belated evening news: “Last night in response to local insurrection the soldiers of the Emperor Napoleon in swift and brutal … Continue reading GOYA, THE EXECUTION OF THE THIRD OF MAY by Michael O’Mara
The dog had gotten out, slipped out, wriggled out, sneaked out. Too smart for her own good—clever at door latches, willing to bide her time when the mood was on her to go solo. You’d think it was too cold to want to walk the wild side—somewhere near zero. Kit would go call her in a minute, stand in the pool of light at the kitchen door call Lillie, Lillie. Too late, too dark, too cold to let the dog just return—as she always did—in a few hours. Kit pulled on her jacket, stepped into … Continue reading Trespass by Stephanie Coyne DeGhett
Teachers said I’d be okay, if I follow the rules. No turnstile jumping. No jaywalking. Perfect change for bus fares. No hoodies. No song. No fights for my name, nor my girl’s. Walk straight. Down the corridor. No crossed lines. Life. A color by number book, with no directions. My life. In scribbles. Teachers said I’d be okay, if I stay in line. Use their sharpened #2’s, Ballpoint BICs, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green Crayola. My box. Full of chips of cracked colored wax. Unfamiliar hues. Burnt orange. Brick red. Deadwood brown. No rules. No straight … Continue reading Color by Number by Jennifer Schneider
If you’re standing on a pink sand beach in the Caribbean, the sun burning your back and monstrous thunder speaking to you across the salt water, you should probably listen. I should’ve listened. The sky roared at least half a dozen times, but I mentally shoved cotton into my ears. Bliss and a light day misguided my judgement, the storm rolling in quickly. My husband bleeding on the beach. Carl and I spent the day in the town of St. George on the northern part of Bermuda. We went in and out of the shops, … Continue reading Storms by Emily Walling