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ISSUE 5

Spring 2014

New work by Gregory Pardlo, Anna Claire Hodge, Alex McElroy, Wesley Rothman, and more

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ELEGY WITH SHOTGUN by Anna Claire Hodge

Once you warmed the shower wall with water
before pressing me against it. Some nights,
the bed was feverish heat. You, a man

burning, as the sheets twisted into peaks
not from our lovemaking, but nightmares.

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WRONG ABOUT THAT by Paul Beilstein

I thought my sadness was a moron’s elbow.
Thought I could offer it a salve,
or the comfort of a well-worn arm-chair.
I thought I could buy a corduroy shirt
and wash it the exact right number of times.

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TWO POEMS by Jane Wong

BREAKER-OF-TREES

My mother cuts the legs
off a moving crab.

The legs curl in a bucket
washed to garbage

to sea. When I come home,
I tread water on the carpet

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TWO POEMS by Gregory Pardlo

25. Ellison, Tony Samuel, et al. Photograph Album. Twenty-two Albumen Prints: Life in the Louis Armstrong Houses with Views of Marcy Ave. Brooklyn, circa 1986.

A quaint example of urban pastoralism typical of an age when public policy and planning isolated urban poor like so many shepherds on a hill, these images capture a distant and harmless charm.

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THE RABBIT by Sarah Huener

Last night I dreamed you gave me a rabbit.
It is time, you said, then extended your hands,
the rabbit unfolding slowly from your chest,
trembling. The rabbit was white with dark eyes,
which I have never seen in waking life,
and lighter than rabbits I have held before.

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BICYCLING HOME AT DUSK I CLOSED MY EYES & LET GO & SAW THE RABBITS by John Paul Davis

The headwind runs cool fingers
through my hair. The opal

of rain clouds & the treeline
lit up like the eyes of a woman

& I am drunk, pedaling faster
than I am dying. The divorce

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TWO POEMS by Simone Muench

WOLF CENTO

I dream you into being—mongering wolf

who stands outside the self, makes

its way through the transparent world

& its motions, its laughter & quarrels,

its rows of teeth, its tears, its chiming of clocks.

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BATHING WITH FRIDA by Wesley Rothman

With a cigarette between my fingers
and flowers bound up in her hair

dry morning bathes us
in the claw-foot tub. Asphyxiation

by drowning. This dawn welcomes us
to another side. Every bird lies

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HOW TO EAT DRAGONFRUIT by Sarah Sweeney

HOW TO EAT DRAGONFRUIT

Let your lover fish pesos from his pocket
to buy you one bright pitaya—dragonfruit—
pink as your bra strap, with yellow, inedible
nipples. You’ll want to devour it then,
thirsty as you are, dizzied from the heat

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THREE POEMS by Leah Silvieus

HALLA-SAN

Jeju Do [1]

Stone flung to crater: we gather what we can of the dead, but they remember us in our entirety, filling our pockets with bones and pink rhododendron.

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TWO POEMS by Gina Vaynshteyn

NO BODY, NO TOWN

Whiskey, my father said, can live
in an oak barrel for seventy years. As for me,

I shed skin, and every year I am a new
girl. I need no time to marinate.

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