Can I buy a cigarette from you?
I just wanted coffee.
The weekend commute had been particularly suburban.
She looked like she was going to a pool party
only it was 31st between 7th and somewhere.
Something in the way she took that first drag and held it
made me ask why.
She said she doesn’t smoke, but ..
And took another desperate drag.
She told me she told her boyfriend …
darling. beloved. come closer.
I hold history’s hand in mine, an old friend
we walk together along the paved zanja madre
a river of dirt and water. small tribes of seagulls
nest in the shifting sediment
come, beloved. walk with me.
I am as determined as clover
plant the self where you find hope. fly
land. root. you don’t need permission to exist
I take out my ancestor’s artifacts
and strap them to my …
Ahwahnee means deep grassy valley & I’d heard
that, just over one hundred years before this one,
miners had pushed the Miwok down into the tall
reeds. Today, the meadow (that swallowed feet
& hands) has stilled itself near a row of dry riparian
arrows aimed up
from that once green bed that eroded the edge
of the baseball diamond & rusted legs of monkey bars.
I drive past what …
Amy Katherine Cannon is a writer and writing teacher living in Los Angeles. She is the author of the mini-chapbook to make a desert (Platypus Press, 2016) and her work can be found in Juked, BOAAT, and LIT, among other places.
He lived in a city that doesn’t exist. Substantive trash—tractor tires, the skeleton of a yesteryear truck—was planted in the frontyards, and he liked it. The sci-fi-green plastic cups that came free with the copyrighted 1,000-calorie alcoholic drink enjoyed by visiting conference-goers and bachelor party attendees traced arcs on pavement 20 miles from place of sale. A subtle bar buzzed at the end of every …
Although not for whatever lay dead in the adjacent meadow,
for us the moment was perfect—the sky, sky blue, the sun
burnishing the fresh-washed foliage, the dog, sticks retrieved,
content to lie within reach of a scratch, and the narrative permitting
us a bench and a view of what lay before us: the light green nap
of grass like a billiard table’s baize cloth, turkey vultures cruising
on the thermals in …
don’t leave me to
paginate the Ozarks
alone with a grid
that cramps my
give me your hammer
so i can stake my
tent hard into these
Nathan Spoon’s publications include Oxford Poetry, Mantis, Reflections (Yale Divinity School) and the anthology What Have You Lost? (HarperCollins). He is associate editor of X-Peri and a 2017 faculty member for the Modernist Social Network seminar series at the University …
Kathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C. pursuing her MFA through Western Washington University. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Natural Bridge, Prairie Schooner, and Sugar House Review, among others.
Now things are getting complicated. The roots that connect my stories to the inside, the fleshy roots
at the underside of the stories, topography of land and sea and love sending sound and body from
the underside, the roots reaching to the inside
are winding and thinning as they enter, towards a center
trying to foul things up; where the threads meet is thrashing:
Minotaur again, shapeshifting or some shit.
just after sunrise at the Radcliffe CoMart lunch counter,
the day’s work already done.
Been beyond a rough season.
Emerald ash borers come up in the orchards,
gutted plums and cherries.
Acres of dent corn so stem-cankered
every granary in the state is less than half-full.
Old timers calling it an omen,
proof of half-assed faith in earthwork,
saying a field is like a woman—you have to praise her
electric grit if you …