One fish was slumped at the bottom of the tank, its gill flaps opening and closing, filaments diffusing what little oxygen remained in the sealed enclosure. You have to watch out for those, the desperate ones, Max said...
They hypnotize me, the glow—entrance me to follow them, from the front door to the sidewalk to the end of the block, staying ever so kindly at my height. When one disappears for a moment, it doesn’t fail to reveal itself yet again, letting me capture it—so long as I stay.
This week's excerpt brings us poet Donna Spruijt-Metz and her contemplative and beautiful work, "Women at Shiva" just in time for the change of the natural season.
I crouched low in our field across the road, amid the bristly stems of black-eyed Susans and the busy whine of mosquito wings, and watched as Sue pried board after board from her barn’s sagging frame. She had the look of an elementary school teacher nearing retirement—halo of limp, gray curls; tight-lipped scowl—but she handled a crowbar, hammer, mallets of all sizes, rope, and even a tractor with skill. The clapboard cried when it snapped, a final ghostly wail from trees over a century dead. She piled the broken planks in a dirt pit, blessed them with accelerant, and struck a match.
In "We Eviscerate What We Love" from issue 20, Sarah Kain Gutowski looks unflinchingly at the animal part of ourselves--our potential for harm--that we often refuse to acknowledge.
I feel my healthy, low-risk lungs burning, wishing I’d avoided the vending machine M&M’s amidst my stressful day teaching masked freshmen, and I am thinking of my body’s vehicular nature (and the shit I put in it as fuel) when I notice three men in motorized carts—wheelchairs—parked across the road from the trail, facing the sunlight, their heads hanging like wilted sunflowers ...
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