Tag Archives: Fall 2023

A Map Of Her Mind By Benjamin Roque

Photo of someone getting a facial wrap

Suddenly Emery stopped walking. He just stood there, a still-life in the afternoon, on a busy sidewalk. The crowd parted around him—one businessman swore into his cellphone as he sidestepped past. The sun burned between buildings, a theater and a bank. Broken glass, trodden into pebbles on the concrete sidewalk, reflected brightly. Someone tossed a coin Emery lost in the sunlight. The ring when it hit the ground revealed it to be a bottle cap. Emery touched his mostly gray swirl of beard and sat down on the sidewalk, his back against the brick facade. … Continue reading A Map Of Her Mind By Benjamin Roque

Considering Volcanoes: What Lies Beneath by Mary Alice Hostetter

Black and white photo of large mountain and clouds

Mary Alice Hostetter has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Essay/Memoir Contest   There was no real reason for volcanoes and pandemics to become associated in my imagination, but they did. The only actual link was on the first post-pandemic travel my wife and I did to visit family on the West Coast. While there, we went to the Palace of the Legion of Honor to see the exhibit with the less-than-upbeat title, “Last Supper in Pompeii.” It was a celebration of food and drink, with frescoes and kitchen utensils, crockery and furniture, delicate … Continue reading Considering Volcanoes: What Lies Beneath by Mary Alice Hostetter

Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer

Red-heavy photo of silhouetted figures

In the pulsing heat, in the black cathedral of war, the amber-tinted silver of infra-red illuminates a man. Nimble in the moment between the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of the rifle, he crouches and fires: stalker and stalked at one in the fluttering night. Quickly, the breath still held, a song arises, unbidden and sweet, and the pulsing heat and the heart conspire to draw from the murmuring air an echo, smiling, of a fond face. Drawn on the rim of this well of resonance in the foul, sweltering dark, other forms … Continue reading Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer

Bloodroot in March by Gary Grossman

white bloodroot flower

1. Regardless of the year, it’s the first flower seen on my daily hikes, pushing through every November’s abandoned duvet of tan and umber—a patchwork of ash, oak, maple, and hickory. I pause, eyelids unspooled, like a tired window blind, and inhale the forest’s green anticipation. 2. Willingly, this could be my last breath— absorbing the effortless geometry of these eight ivory petals, rising from leaves mimicking round Japanese fans from the 1840s. 3. How is it that small perfections can both both break, and reassemble us— as if we were Adam or Eve on … Continue reading Bloodroot in March by Gary Grossman

Joshua Number Eight by E. Hume Covey

Photo of old yellow bus

    If you could sit totally still for long enough on the big rock by the sycamore, the catfish would peek out tentatively from the hollow underneath and then would move out, browsing along the bottom. A few minutes later, the ribbon snakes would slither down the honeysuckle, gliding back and forth across the pool with their heads raised barely above the surface. This time a gray watersnake had joined them, below the kingfisher’s perch, half in the water and half in the patch of jewelweed, near where the lone trout lurked  in the … Continue reading Joshua Number Eight by E. Hume Covey

Interview by J Brooke of Hotel Cuba’s author Aaron Hamburger

Photo of and old tape recorder

I first met Aaron Hamburger at a cocktail party during grad school. I was a writing student focusing on nonfiction and poetry and Hamburger was part of the fiction faculty (I don’t mean he was fictitious . . . he existed, but taught that kind of prose where one makes stuff up.) Hamburger had already published two books and had won awards for them. I knew when I saw him that I had to introduce myself for one extremely important and pressing reason: his shoes. Hamburger sported these amazing purple suede Adidas Gazelles, and my … Continue reading Interview by J Brooke of Hotel Cuba’s author Aaron Hamburger

a cricket’s delight by IIma Quereshi

blurred branches with half moon blue light

one tree- with its small hands and another with its star-laced fingers brush against the sky the sky that looks like a sea drained of water offering its long tresses to the milky moon and the coal-black darkness clothes the sky this, however, does not prevent crickets, from shivering with joy i sit here, thinking of the faint line between life and death while their party thickens and blooms crickets do not carry the burden of making sense of life they lick life here, letting out their song here, letting out their cries IIma Quereshi … Continue reading a cricket’s delight by IIma Quereshi

Cockatiel not you by Sean Lause

tree in black and white beyond a wire window

Cockatiel, not you, a yellow and orange assertion. Bright with her own meanings, clatters round the outside of her cage, without fear, flourishing her freedom. Her eyes, seeds of darkness, see all that is not you, see you too, see dual worlds, one on each side, her head a ball turret, tail a trailing spear. feather in her cap. She whistles “Whataru?” won’t wait for an answer, explores the floor, foraging as she goes, mounts the top of an armchair renowned for its emptiness, spreads her wings and sings her triumph, not yours. Outside the … Continue reading Cockatiel not you by Sean Lause

The Hibiscus by Amy Boyes

Close up of bright red hibiscus flower

Amy Boyes has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Essay/Memoir Contest   The hibiscuses arrived in six-inch grower pots. Packed for cold weather in a foil and Styrofoam-lined box, they had journeyed in a transport trailer to my grandmother’s prairie flower shop. “Careful, those are live plants!” Grandma would warn, as if “LIVE PLANTS” emblazed on the cardboard box was an insufficient indication. Deposited on the shop floor, the box remained until a knife or pair of scissors could be fetched. Typically, neither was found and a substitute tool was employed—pruning clippers or even … Continue reading The Hibiscus by Amy Boyes

The Cat Goddess of Apartment 15B by Alex Barr

Photo of figure in hoodie, face obscured, crouched down

The back of Bill’s neck smells for some reason of peach and is delightfully warm to my lips. He murmurs something I don’t catch but sounds like a note of appreciation. I turn my attention to the tangles of his hair, scented with some fairly pleasant chemical with overtones of coconut. He makes no further comment but squeezes back into my embrace, warm inside his thick toweling bathrobe. I’ve caught him on the landing. The sun streams in through the roof light as if the gods are pouring honey. “What time is it?” he asks. … Continue reading The Cat Goddess of Apartment 15B by Alex Barr