Issues

Waiting on Forty-Five (A Ghazal)

By MIRA ROSENTHAL

 

and then I remember the faint aching hiss of nitrous leaking from the tip of the siphon into the open mouth of me

a hit off the pressurized cream of me

in the darkened storage room round back of the restaurant of me

at twenty-one, the different sounds that rustled in me

freezer hum and thudding voices, conversation concentrate inside of me

who I used to be, was then and then and then: still me

Waiting on Forty-Five (A Ghazal)
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I Remember Stopping on a Little Bridge in 1972

By JAMES RICHARDSON

 

                                   It is so late 
it is early, and there, once again, 
is that thrilling and disturbing bird 
of dawn, its four notes,  
one two THREE, four climbing 
a little way up into the future 
and back down, and once again 
everything thats mine is in a rental truck 
or in the future.  

I Remember Stopping on a Little Bridge in 1972
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The Dam

By JAMAL ALDIN ALI ALHAJ 
Translated by JONATHAN WRIGHT

 

It was early in the night, and the village was shrouded in darkness. The uneasy calm heightened the darkness, and he could hear the throbbing of the water pumps all the more clearly as they drew up the Nile water in concert with the moon, which kept out of sight on the grounds that the weather was poor. In this gloomy weather, which presaged an imminent storm, Humayda was battling the laws of nature all on his own.  

He shook the reins and raised his whip to bring it down on his donkey’s back whenever he felt it wasn’t pulling the cart hard enough. The poor donkey looked as if it was pondering how it could ever pull the damned cart and where it would have to pull it to. Being away from home so long, beyond its usual working hours, also made the donkey somewhat confused. It began to twist and turn on itself. Its back leg held its body firm, like a stake stuck in the ground, while the donkey raised one front leg, anticipating digging it into the path to move forward. 

The Dam
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Weeds and Flowers

By BINA SHAH

Shazmina’s best friend, Gul Noor, died on a Monday, pinned down under the wheels of a speeding bus on the long road that stretched all the way down to the beach. Or maybe it happened on a Tuesday or a Saturday. Shazmina was never sure about the names for the days of the week. Monday-Thursday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Saturday melted, one into the other, like the trickles of oily water the buses left in their wake.

Weeds and Flowers
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Letter from American Airspace

By ELIZABETH A. I. POWELL

 

The end of romance was what the teenage girl
was telling you about on a bench in the Jardin
in San Miguel de Allende, giving you T.M.I.,
but you realized she might need a Father who is not in heaven.
She gasps: Tinder is even sleazier in Mexico, how could it be
nostalgic? You listened, like your poems do when you write
them down in the cafes of Kerouac’s time here. You are Angelico
Americano with Instagram—troubled children of your own back home.

Letter from American Airspace
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The Way Cacti Quiver

By SARA ELKAMEL

 

I am beginning to think about the middle,
and how we should behave in it.

When I say you held me closer than clouds hold birds
you tell me it was coincidence we slept at all.

Of course I want it to stop. I dream every night of a man
with the head of a man and the body of a scary sea creature. 

I dream the man is lost so I carry him home. Of course
I mistake water for home and home for water but at least, I try. 

The Way Cacti Quiver
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Brother Love

By TANYA COKE

I.

Scrawny was my first thought. I’d babysat enough by then to place his age at just shy of a year. As my father handed him to me, the baby arched his back in protest, his chicken butt threatening to escape his diaper completely. I could tell that a man had fastened it, because the tape on the sides was all askew.

“Come, say hello to your brother,” Daddy said, smiling. 

Brother Love
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Operation Tamar

By OMER FRIEDLANDER

 

Jerusalem, 1967 

Aba sent us around the neighborhood to cut down sabra, using a knife taped to the handle of a broomstick. We severed the fruit heads, rolled them a few times on the grass to get rid of their thorns, and dropped them into a bucketTamar sat on Eran’s shoulders, her small dancer’s body leaning forward to reach the cactus with the bucket. I handled the broomstick, severing the purplish-orange prickly pear from the body of the cactus. When we were done, Tamar took the fruit to her momso she could make it into jam. Once it was ready, we stored it in the bomb shelter, along with the rest of the emergency supplies. The shelter was in the basement of our building, and we shared it with three other families. Tamar arranged the supplies carefully, as if she were handling explosives. Jars of blueberry and raspberry jam, white bread, dark bread, apples, peaches, and tin cans stacked one on top of the other filled the corner of the room. She wore a turquoise skirt and matching top. Eran grabbed Tamar’s hips from behind, making her jump. 

Operation Tamar
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