Excerpt: Joy Ladin

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From Impersonation Commitment Issues The soul can’t commit to the body but still hangs around, obsessed with what-ifs: What if the body withers between one kiss and the next? What if they never feel naked together? What if they just don’t fit? What if the body turns out to be nothing but causes and effects … Continue reading

Excerpt: Clifford Thompson

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From Twin of Blackness: a Memoir I have come to think of blackness as my twin. The proof is that we came along at the same time: 1963, the year of my birth, also brought the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I feel toward blackness the way one … Continue reading

Excerpt: Tania Pryputniewicz

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From November Butterfly Veil (Guinevere to Melwas) I run. His boot traps my hem. My gown seam holds, my knees strike ground. Bits of stable hay stick to his soles, my palms damp with dream. No one hears but the servant girl who feigns sleep to save our lives.
 I retreat. Between inner and outer … Continue reading

Excerpt: Luanne Castle

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From Doll God American Girl I am my dream house and convertible. I lie in the wet and dappled grass awaiting pauses breezes and other hesitations. I am the wait. Everyone tests my breast, but I wait only for one. She grips my forehead with intent yanks my head from its roost and puts me … Continue reading

Excerpt: Greg Letellier

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From Paper Heart: Love Stories Summer Fling Jenny and I liked to sit in the darkness. It was the summer, and we liked the beach at night where the only visible light was emitted from the moon, the stars. We especially liked movie theaters, magical venues where we could suspend our disbelief and indulge in … Continue reading

Excerpt: Lynn Pedersen

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From Tiktaalik, Adieu Begin No plans and preparations without first having a vision, like an angel appearing to you in your bedchamber, or thought slipping in as you butter your toast, stir your coffee. And how to know what to pack, especially for a trip to where no one’s ever been? Easier to follow a … Continue reading

Excerpt: Gail Thomas

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From Waving Back All Hallows I feared grandmother’s faded corset draped over the shower bar, laces dangling like naked pink worms. And the way my gentle father morphed to monster when faced with a leaky faucet or faulty lock. On Halloween I did not want to be a princess, though rescue seemed exciting in an … Continue reading

Excerpt: Jessica Goodfellow

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From Mendeleev’s Mandala Self-Portrait, with Vertigo If my range of vision is imagined as a clock face, it’s toward eleven that I cannot tilt my head without my inner ear shaking like a snow globe, setting otoliths awhirl in a blizzard of dizzy. The specialist calmly explained, There’s nothing to be done. From now on, … Continue reading

Excerpt: Ace Boggess

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From The Prisoners “Why Would Anybody Be Bad?” —Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird Grit or bone, it’s all just meat in the mouth. Maybe you have to pick the lock, maybe steal a loaf from the baker’s window (how honeydewed that fresh bread tastes to the nostrils, to the fingertips). Not like you haven’t tried it, sniffed … Continue reading

Excerpt: Tayve Neese

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From Blood to Fruit Coyote 1 Muzzle lifted, what she sniffs out is this broken world—pierces its jugular to see if it still gives pulse. What she knows is trapped in her throat and if she spoke, you would turn into the alder whose branches snapped, unable to bear weight of ice and light. 2 … Continue reading

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