hermeneutics

by kathleen hellen Only Mark and Luke had bothered to commit to gospel “he will add,” in Hebrew, his job a load beam, hoisting baby Jesus on the scapular, holding up the mystery of incarnation sans the carnal.  Patron saint of impotence. Frail, graying icon, whose staff sprouted lilies limp and feeble. A relic fathering […]

Read More hermeneutics

DEEP INSIDE THE ROAR

by JOHN B. RILEY Deep inside the well there is a roar. Standing at the well’s concrete rim, beneath the overhang of the rotting well-house, the black hole roars like angry lions. It was a noise designed by nature to take his measure, to size him up. He didn’t flinch in the face of it, […]

Read More DEEP INSIDE THE ROAR

GREETINGS

by DAN CRAWLEY He enters the break room while she leaves. It’s time to screw up your courage, he tells himself. “Hey,” he says. “Wheat,” she says and walks on. “Hey,” he says again. “Wheat,” she says again over her shoulder. She smirks before ducking into her cubicle. What just happened? He can’t help but […]

Read More GREETINGS

postcards

by kathleen hellen I asked my husband once—are we there? Two boyfriends twice—anticipating tractor pulls and demolitions, duck calling—with luck, sugar spun to gossamer. Funnel cakes and beer in paper cups, spilling over. Me and you—being something other than we are, though the ride is always longer to than from. . KATHLEEN HELLEN’S collection meet me […]

Read More postcards

the memory of surgical perfume

by LINDSEY ROYCE No longer anguished about where you’re stationed or if you’re alright, I believe I hear your whistling bloom across our bedroom’s heavens like the colorful snapdragons you’d sometimes bring home. Your diffuse presence marks this hour with a clock whose arm sways like heatwaves. We are the lullaby texted through a phone […]

Read More the memory of surgical perfume

DEAR MARY, MOTHER OF JOHN

by LINDSEY ROYCE Dear Mary, mother of John, who if miracles are bread for the soul, you were that flaxseed bread when John was dying. It should have been me, you thought, mourning in your patient way. How you prayed he’d survive The Gulf War infantry only now to bury him. I’m looking at my […]

Read More DEAR MARY, MOTHER OF JOHN

DIET COKE

by ADAM SHAW When I was a kid, Dad would come home from work sweat-soaked at the neck and armpits, his skin a glistening leather punctuated by smears of grime. In his left hand was a fountain pop, sixteen ounces on a good day, thirty-two on a rough one, which he sipped after sinking into […]

Read More DIET COKE