Genre: Poetry

What Love Is

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

                              Can’t define it? Who can. Love gets mixed up with              everything else: sex, money, social status, friends                           and relatives, what church you go to, which teams you cheer for. Let’s try this: think of the things you love                           that aren’t people. My neighbor was              in Berlin years ago, and he says some older …

Military Grade

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

    Over dinner, my wife says she wants to buy a bullet proof vest. They make them not so heavy now. Good ones sold online. She tells me she’ll wear it to work, when she goes to the store, or wherever— like if she happens to be outside. I don’t know if I’m supposed …

Attendance

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

    Purple hair. Nostrilized silver balls. Eastern calligraphy writ on wrist. Jeans riding low, skirts rising barely within the confines of the dress code: These days, I must attend to the others, the properly groomed and dressed. Hands folded, they sit in perfect rows, patient with buffering PowerPoints and videos. Their No. 2 pencils, …

Referred Pain

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

    I refer my pain to my mother across our wide geographical divide She unfolds the map of my body, thumbs its hilly terrains, smooths the prairies. The anatomy of a red-ant sting is tight-lipped and radioactive. Visceral afferents kiss the same neurons in the spinal cord that receive nociception from the skin. That …

When I Only Knew Your Name

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

    after Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, Oil on canvas   Fascinating, the woman behind the image next to Olympia, the one who portrayed a prostitute’s maid, nameless over a century. Why shouldn’t I go exploring in the dark to find more of what made you? Why shouldn’t I think about your dressmaker or if …

Wine Country

Issue 12 | Summer 2024 |

    I have flown here for the sweet of summer air as lush as sunlicked fruit, vine shadow snakes in loam. These are the songs the vineyards sing— Malbec, Marsanne, Black Muscat; the slow swish of steps through the fields Syrah, Syrah. We are the currency of oceans carried by currents lashing Greece and …