Jess Lacher

Three months after our house burned down, I bought Morgan a grocery store cake that said WELCOME HOME in green frosting. A candle was taped in the box lid and…

On Roy Kesey’s Pacazo

Christian TeBordo

Dzanc Books: Westland, MI, 2011. 530 pages. $22.00. If you’ve spent significant time outside of your home country, you know it changes you—not just the way you talk, but the…

Tuesday Night Rehearsal

Anne Kaier

I’m sitting in a metal chair, getting ready to sing Joseph Haydn’s lovely Saint Nicholas Mass with my community choir on the night the DC sniper is scheduled to die…

weekend-readsThe Merchandise Mart

Inara Cedrins

I. Returning to Chicago after fourteen years, I sleep on the concrete floor of the studio at the Merchandise Mart with my sketch pad under me, drawings of yucca and…


Christa Romanosky

Pyramids don’t share their mew, and no more
bridges can get me to you. Lost

without National Geographic, cubes of azaleas
set up shop, assassins drop by for iced coffee and read

daily horoscopes. We all complain too much
about the mist. What we’ve wanted, we’ve taken

Blind, in the Museum

Kathy Torma West

There was an accident in the photo lab behind the art studio and Livy went blind. The voice she heard when she woke up to the dark was Eli’s, the…


Colette Sartor

Every Sunday during Mass, Grace stared at little Noreen Baransky—at her swollen joints and wasted limbs, her bulging, watery eyes, the discolored fingernails. Grace wondered what was wrong with her.…


Judy Labensohn

House A. My upstairs neighbor heard voices in the walls. The voices called her at night, but she didn’t get their language. A light fixture fell in the hallway. She…

Warrior’s Day

Connor Wroe Southard

Thin Lips wore the deathly charcoal green uniform of the People’s Army of Korea, and he boasted the vein-blood dark epaulets of an officer. If this were Seoul or Chicago,…

weekend-readsStreet Scene

Sejal Shah

Parisians call this neighborhood mixed. Mixed is code; it means immigrants. Think Brooklyn, Caitlin says. We are in the 20th Arrondissement, near Père Lachaise. I am here to see the…

weekend-readsThe Wheel of History

Phong Nguyen

The wheel of history will run you over. —Khmer Rouge slogan Map History begins at 2:10 p.m. The chairs are attached to their desks, arranged in jagged rows from a…


Kevin McLellan

The fire. It is a matter
of time. I belong

to the knives. And I

must have already.
My body will need

to surrender. Like spills…

Two Lungs

David Kutz-Marks

Outside the mine, I met a superb lyrebird.
He was bound to a slave and his song was the chain,

wind and glasses clinking in the dark.

Then a Russian girl from the Rathmines
came up and whispered her name, which I have forgotten,

long black hair locking hands with the tail of the bird.…

A Sestina for a Cannibal

Jeffrey Greene

How do you teach a cannibal
to speak when he has no tongue?
Draw a picture first—a house or a ship—
and then guide his fingers
to form the letters
and slowly pronounce the word.…

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