Carolyn Blount Brodersen
-- On the Bus
-- The Diver
-- Allow Me to Introduce My Bad Side
-- When He Knocks
Janet I. Buck
-- A Letter to My Sister
-- Voices Soft as Morning Fog
-- The Aspen
-- The Gift
-- I, Tiresias
Jenny Yang Cropp
-- stealing kimchi
-- Jenn Habel
The counselor I made him see
made him remember the black garbage
bags in which he packed his things
to visit the father he’d made himself forget.
He can't argue when I say it wasn't fair,
nor can I when he says that was a long time ago.
Most nights it's like this: The wounded's
ability to forgive? The problem of evil?
The likelihood of our getting out of debt?
I turn over cards from my deck marked Truth
and he counters with those of his named Hope
while on our plates the remaining sauce congeals.
Tonight, though, we're putting all that aside
to make sushi; we've got it all planned out:
I'll mix vinegar into the hot rice with my paddle
as he fans it to room temperature from above.
According to the instructions we've read,
it's almost impossible to achieve the desired
consistency without a helper.
Allow Me to Introduce My
-- Jenn Habel
Don't tell me about the stars,
about how on a black clear night
you go out to the field and lie
under them, the riotous sounds
of crickets and bullfrogs as you
take in those bright pricks of light
meaning to you peace. Don't say
how the memory of them lingers,
a boarding pass you keep nestled
in your shirt's pocket for a train
that once bore you, that you believe
will bear you again, to those stops
called Perspective and Renewal.
Nor do I want to hear any more
about that other place you call
The Present, sweet and simple as
a single bell's note, where you say
we can go and where it does not
matter what our fathers did and
we can forget how we stopped being
willing to give ourselves to them
in order to feel hate each time
they stake their claims. And please,
I beg you, keep to yourself what
you persist in knowing about us
at our cores, that despite the thick
stench we’ve made--some of us,
you’ll remind me--and breathe,
we are, at root, most of us, Good.
There are boys asleep on benches
with their backs gashed open,
girls more beautiful than you or I
ever were who will spend their
todays releasing thirty men's
semen. I drank too much wine
again last night. Soon I'll bury
my parents. I am getting old.