All posts tagged: Issues

Safety Advice for Staying Indoors

By MARY O’DONOGHUE 

 

The farmer’s daughter began her fifth period, more excavating, more mortal than the previous. The toilet under the stairs flushed half-heartedly, returning red-brown effluent. Go down, go away, be off to the underworld! She pumped a second time, jangled the handle to make her point. But there would be more. Dark clumps and entrails, another six days of the end of the world.

Safety Advice for Staying Indoors
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My Body as the George Washington Bridge All Lit Up at Midnight

By ALEXANDRA WATSON

434 wires unlock the land
double-decked suspension
hot for incandescence
a 14 lane corridor
top exposed
stiffening truss
to come over


limbs sling across the chasm
100 million self propelled cells
carbon hardening soft iron
opens all 29 tolls
bottom enclosed
can’t afford
unanchored 

My Body as the George Washington Bridge All Lit Up at Midnight
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Family of Origin Rewrite: 1982

By K. IVER

 

My father teaches ethics at a university. 
My mother teaches ethics at a university. 
They save. Their money. Buy 
a large bungalow in Connecticut. 
They continue. Saving. Enough 
to support the San Francisco AIDS
Foundation and their baby.
They read the news and wish kindness
into our laws. One of them will say
Sweden hasn’t been to war since 1812. 
The other says you can start a business
in Sweden and get free healthcare.
They’re excited. About my arrival. 
They remain. Calm. When 
midnight cries wake them. 
My father waits. For my mother to heal. 
Before asking for sex. She’s good. 
At saying no. She throws meditation
and exercise and intense therapy 
at her trauma. Still goes to AA. 
When wrong. She promptly admits it. 
Every night she arrives home from
the university. Her soft. Low voice. 
Builds a replica in my throat. She wears 
minimal. Makeup. Cuts her nails down 
because who needs the fuss. When I walk. 
Into a room. And see my father. 
I continue walking in. When my father
and I leave. The house. Lots of women
introduce themselves. When we get back
he tears. Their numbers over the trash. 
On weekends my father and I dig 
in the dirt. I watch him plant 
lilac bulbs around the spruce. He lets 
my small hand pack the ground. 
Affirms it as help. When my father puts.
me to bed with true stories of him 
sewing clothes for new mothers 
in Ukraine. I fall asleep fast.

Family of Origin Rewrite: 1982
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Appetite

By DAN ALBERGOTTI

Emerging from her cocoon without a mouth,
the luna moth climbs onto a stem to unfurl
and dry her wings. She’ll find a mate tonight.

There will be no kiss. There will be no taste.
There will be no speech or song. After midnight
the still, silent couple will join like drops of rain.

Appetite
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The Streets These Days

By J. KATES 

 

The life-size and realistic bronze has stood on its parklet street corner for so long that no one remembers whom it represented or what it memorializes. The sculptor had done a good job. It looks pleased with itself, proud of its accomplishments in life.
 
Someone’s hat, an ordinary tweed cap, green and brown, not even worth describing, has fallen off, blown away, and come to rest upside down on the pavement underneath the bronze. Slowly the cap is filling up with coins and bills from passers-by. Clearly, they think this is not public art, but a street-artist slathered in metallic paint from head to foot, holding a pose. And the cap must be his.

A man has stopped to look. He is underdressed for the weather and disturbingly unkempt, talking out loud with nobody to listen. In the old days, we would have taken him to be schizophrenic. Nowadays, surely he must be wearing earbuds and conversing with his girlfriend. We do not give him a second glance. He continues exchanging messages with his teeth. 

The bronze figure looks pleased with itself.

We drop a quarter in the cap.

The Streets These Days
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