I’ve lost count of scars. Some I don’t notice until years later. Pink indentations across my hands, my back, my shoulders, my legs, my ribs, where the skin seems to creep and join together over the knife blade ravines, over deep splinters that become integrated into my body, over sutures and staples, the meat filling in beneath I suppose. I’ve missed seconds, minutes, hours, days and months of work to heal each one, waiting impatiently to stand, walk, see, grip a hammer and wake up without a worry in regards to my body.... [more]
Robert Earle | bio
After his stroke, Creighton could only get out of his wheelchair for short hops around the flat. He had no awareness of the left side of his face and left it untouched with his electric razor. He suffered from tachycardia and angina. He had complex relations with several doctors and two hospitals. Understandably, he wanted to talk Matt’s ear off when they saw each other, talk business, the Yankees, politics, things he had seen on the TV. Anything except broader discussions of the future. He definitely wouldn’t consider moving simply because Matt was taking a job in Europe.... [more]
Carol Scott-Conner | bio
Lying-in-road deaths happen like this. A man—it is almost always a man—has been out drinking, and as he stumbles home it seems a good idea to lie down on the road, where the blacktop still holds the warmth of the sun. Another man, who has usually also been drinking, but who has a pickup truck or maybe an old Chevy, runs right over him—lump, lump—front tires, back tires—and never feels it. These sorts of accidents happen with sufficient frequency, particularly in the rural South, that there are papers in the medical literature about it. I myself have never seen a case.... [more]
David Thacker | bio
This new issue has a special place in my heart. It’s not just that I’m excited about the writing we’ve compiled on the theme of “labor,” but because the entire time I’ve been working on this issue I’ve been experiencing false labor pains. My second child is due in a few weeks, and while I’ve been editing and contacting contributors and making final changes to the pages, my laptop has been jostled about by contractions. (So if you find a typo, just blame it on Mr. Braxton Hicks.) ... [more]
C.L. Bledsoe | bio
The rain let up long enough for us to sneak
through waist-high weeds, stamping down
sticker bushes to clamber over rotted fence posts.
We interrupted two Indian Paint mares, too old
to ride anymore, foraging .... [more]
Anthony Frame | bio
I return to the boy in the green bedroom,
his name scribbled on the door above a series
of inches and dates, a timeline
of growth, of sprouting toward sky.... [more]
Peter Kahn | bio
the weather, the waving
sun, the clouds parking
blue with exhaust.
Blame the Rainbo
Club, the Silver Cloud,
the Star Bar—still open,
standing still like a snap
Not the sooty sludge of snot
that blew from my nose each night
when I drilled equations into my head.
Not the smirking crooked-armed clock
stunning time like a thick truncheon,
clubbing each minute to sleep.
Not even “come to Jesus” coercions
resurrected each $3.35 an hour day
tattooing my ten minute breaks.... [more]
Suzanne Richardson | bio
After it was done, I put a shirt on,
a fungus grows in the spine.
Valley Fever. Father is dying;
I took a sip, asked him what he did
some story here—
a funeral home,
a flesh eating disease, and
a mask just in case.... [more]
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