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FIVE STORIES by Karen Brennan

STILL LIFE A man told me there was nothing he would rather keep noticing—and he pointed to the spaces between palm fronds, chinks of turquoise and a few clouds. Just now, into this recollection, wanders an egg on a green dish.   DISTANT NURSE On library card stock I have written either Distant Noise or […]

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BROWNING UP NICELY by S.M. Brodie

The 1970’s were full of firsts for many people. Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from office. Raul Castro became the first Latino to hold the office of Governor in the great State of Arizona. My mother, Anita Ortiz, became the first in her proud, Hispanic family to marry an Anglo. Thomas Gordon, my father, became the first in his Anglo family to marry a divorced, single mother of non-European descent, although they were fond of describing her as “Spanish.”

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THE LUNGFISH by Michelle Gillett

Deep down inside, I am afraid of the lungfish
suspended in its tank in the darkened room
meant to emulate time when desert was ocean
and ocean was all there was before we crept
on our stubs from the watery hem of existence
and  blinked at undiluted light…

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LAMBING by George Kalamaras

Time was too long each winter. Each spring
death clung to our tongue. Just below
it milled failure and success: lambing seasons
that arrived to survive, the job
that finally paid, the art of making love
even when we felt less than whole…

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THREE POEMS by Caroline M. Mar

THE RAY
it lay there, flopping, fish-out-of-water
and my heart trembled on the curb
the usual fisherman’s talesa woman onlooker upset,

that’s animal cruelty
flapping in air, fingers hooked
to its spiracles as its mouth gaped and shut

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TWO POEMS by Brian Tierney

AUTOPSY OF A SHADOW

The letters in the cabinet I carved for a girl who gave me the sea
in bits glass bits frosted white near the vase under shadows that lifted
from the portrait each evening at five sometimes seven by the East-
facing window swaddled baby oil painting one eye peeled white like a blister…

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MORNING ABLUTION by Khaty Xiong

Salt heavy—my oxen skin overrun & ringing
Sunday plum—bodies whetted & sold in the East—
fruits without flowers—the winter prostitute
steel plowed—tender how she glows
as the ocean would have me losing ear & piece—
passage through veil—each tooth in place for feast…

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FIVE POEMS by Rachel Brownson

MARE INCOGNITUM

The slow mineral seep and drip
of groundwater, finding each crevice,
the cold spreading, downward—
the imagined weight of her breast,
spreading to fill my hand…

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JESUS DEVIL CURSE by Lisa Lewis

If there’s one thing nobody wants,
it’s a mare lame in both fronts.
You pinch the fetlock
arteries for the digital pulse.
You pack the shod hooves
with turpentine and sugar
to draw the soreness…

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EXHIBIT by Leah Falk

Israel Museum
The history of glass, the story of coins—
both long tales of fire and trade.
A little girl flickers away from her mother’s
tour group to rub the mummies. Lo 
lichtzot, you can’t cross
back that far.

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LETTING EVENING COME ON by Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Seventeen, in a constant state
of non-emergency. Walking with my dog,
I’d invite neighborhood girls to join me.
During the day we would follow the trail
through the woods. At night, skirt
along the road by the edge of the forest…

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STICK AND POKE TATTOO by Lucian Mattison

He sets a black chess
rook aflame
in a ceramic bowl
stirs ashes with vodka
into homemade tattoo ink…

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