The Soul, The Catholic Theologian Argues [essay] by Susanne Antonetta Paola

The soul, the Catholic theologian argues, enters the body fourteen days after conception, because at that time the possibility of the child twinning has passed. The soul cannot split apart. It is not the atom, not fissionable; so anything you do to the little cell cluster that is the promise of a new human during …

Polymorphous [story] by Joyce Hinnefeld

By the time she was 20, with a little baby and a household to run, Joan had already started to seem like some sort of local exotic to her friends from high school, home from college on their breaks. All because she canned her own vegetables and sewed her own clothes and breastfed her son, …

Inception [poem] by Lynne Shapiro

In heaven, there is no dust the furniture is always polished the period rooms ordered the first room, naptime: Ozone Park, Queens, sun streams in from the alleyway. I stand in my crib let down the side slats take leave of the afternoon plan pull myself onto a chair sneak open the top drawer I’m …

A Fatal Mistake [poem] by Laurie Kolp

I hugged the wrong mother, her waist small enough for my fingertips to touch. She smelled the same— like cigarettes and minty gum with perfume overdone, another unsuccessful cover-up. The only thing different is that mine’s dead. [Refer: This poem refers to Sara Michas-Martin’s “To Know it Again.”]  Laurie Kolp is an award-winning poet with …

Mazargues [essay] by Philip Kobylarz

A district. A neighborhood. A place. A certain intersection of streets. An architectural relic left standing like a lonely buttress or a stranded support of an old bridge surrounded by the river it once straddled. An island for lost pigeons. There are these blocks strung together south and west of the city, yet within the …

Exit and Bleach [story] by Danny Judge

I went to the pines—there were two. The floor was littered with dead nettles and cones but not ensconced, not lost. I found shade there. Sanctuary. There was little to see with my liar’s eyes; I kept my own council within the pallor of the trees—breathed adrift a calligraphic yet rhapsodic mosaic of refugee notions …

Narrative for an Ex [poem] by David Breeden

Fact is, there’s no fact (of the matter or otherwise), only whatever happened retold whichever way the threads tumble. There we are, walking in a parking lot, cool in the morning air, talking about a future. One of us is lying, or at best confused. That’s the fact: there is no fact. Only a narrative …

Eclipse [poem] by Elizabeth Catanese

Of all of the possible supernovas, X-ray stars, nebulae, planets, and zodiacal lights to the zenith, I have chosen you, my massive star, my collapsed dark matter. I look into your body, my lips gently touching your open core. And I see myself as I have always been, a tongue of light sinking into your …

Jumping the L [essay] by David Raney

The things I’m afraid my son will do are legion. He’s only eleven and already I’m scared he’ll ride a motorcycle without a helmet, fall asleep smoking, piss off the wrong guy in the bar, snorkel to an underwater cave and swim in. The last one doesn’t quite fit—sounds kind of fun—which is what makes …

Yard Sale [story] by Ellen Collins

On that winter afternoon she came home to find that the driveway was covered with small ceramic dishes, framed photos, leather prayer books, lengths of hand-tatted lace. Everything sat on bath towels and sheets of newspaper, and the cardboard cartons they had been in were collapsed in a soggy heap next to the trash can. …

Vestige [poem] by Susan E. Sage

Mother, gone almost a year yet I pull a hair from my mouth and I know it’s yours—so fine and white It could be no one else’s but yours After peeling it from my tongue I plan to examine closer, but a warm June breeze carries it—where? The spirit realm? Will there next be a …

Live Your Way into the Answer [poem] by Sue Swartz

Because against this, that Because the angels of our better nature And the angle of days to come Because as we said goodbye        As we say goodbye Because this is the book of bursting through And the book of coming undone Because bricks without straw     Because bruise without respite And the compulsion to be …

Mercury [story] by Anne Burt

Jack hates the casseroles. “No one died,” he says, “but still they come pick at the carcass.” “These are our friends,” I say. Also, Sharon Fink is an excellent cook and the pan she left is big. “Just you wait,” says Jack. “See if they’re our friends in a month when I still don’t have …

Insecure Poem [poem] by Lynne Shapiro

For D. L. Did the brilliant & beautiful poet in whose workshop I drafted a poem about heaven and Shaker furniture Even under this ungodly light blemishes do not show, there are none, nor do individual flourishes which would cause attention unintended, lead the eye astray refer to my work when she signed for me …

Mutable Cloud [poem] by Sue Swartz

Who among us hasn’t played the game of naming that which we cannot touch of supposing fibrous wisp to be torso / tiger / palace shifting across pure palette of sky / loneliness or love or pride called out in thin disguise? Who among us hasn’t held their atlas close / bounded map of comings …

To See You Fly [poem] by Laurie Kolp

An appliqué luminous, the white I see a wish for independence amid your heavy lids. Unfettered breath, patience gleaned from me, a yearning stitched with feathers of a swan. I pray you escape on smocking wings the drifts of muck that bind dusk to dawn. Come with me.     [Refer: This poem refers to …

Self-Awareness Is [essay] by Susanne Antonetta Paola

Self-awareness is, I realize, beyond the reach of newborns. At birth I had or possessed, and could partly see (a concept that itself hadn’t been conceivable in the dark waters of before) a certain something that I figured out quickly had a different relationship to me than anything else in the world. Preverbal, I could …

When the Wind Blows [story] by Elizabeth Rosen

When the wind blows, I leave my body and go walking. Sometimes I head toward the moons of Jupiter, crossing the empty, black parsecs of space with the deliberate long strides of a missionary carrying the word. I let the rings of the Galilean satellites carry me along in their slow turns. When I tire …

Mary Quant Memories [poem] by Lynne Shapiro

The deliriously frothy elegantly pleated white dotted-swiss lilac mini-dress that moved when I moved and sprang clockwise and counterclockwise when I stopped with a twist, the one with the white pussycat bow that tied at my nape and travelled down to the small of my back—meow!—with which I wore white fishnets & dark purple patent …

After Flayed Rabbit [poem] by Elizabeth Catanese

In the basement, my grandfather hung raw sausage over folding chairs, cut hunks of roast beef thin for Sunday dinner. The flesh steamed the kitchen windows, stained the Lenox plates. Before his death, I imagined his terminal ulcer expanding, his skin disappearing until he looked like Soutine’s Flayed Rabbit. I saw every beautiful organ that …

I’m Using You [essay] by Judith Sara Gelt

So bump into me. Cram onto Denver’s Light Rail press your down-stuffed torso against my faux-fur chest and ease that blue-jeaned thigh into my hip. Squash my suede-covered pointy toes with rugged Merrill climbers so calluses on the balls of my feet moan (again) about wearing heels to teach college seniors how we think. Jostle …

Tracks [story] by Theodora Ziolkowski

You okay? He had wanted to ask her then. His proposal to Darla, four years ago, when they were brave and foolish and on the cusps of turning in their respective theses at Middlebury: Nic had been on his knee, his khakis slightly up his crotch, but the offering nevertheless sparkling from its presented box, …

The Lake [poem] by Laurie Kolp

across the way is murky and overgrown with weeds along the shore, but my son likes to escape there anyway. He seats himself wherever, starts to draw the clouds, the trees, the rocks, the ground surrounding cloudy water he calls mystic like the disappearance of his father last year, the last day they spent together …

Deuteronomy [poem] by Sue Swartz

Moses spoke to the Israelites regarding all that God had commanded—   This is the book of sayings and things, what is made real by our telling. In it: our story is the story. In it: allusion we cannot grasp. And this is the book of incidents & accidents, where God came in person to …