George Moore’s collections include Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015) and Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FutureCycle 2016). He has published poetry in The Atlantic, Poetry, Arc, North American Review, Stand, and Orion. Nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes, and a finalist for The National Poetry Series, he presently lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia.
My plane descended from the white-hot sky as slowly as the soufflé I had baked for the dinner at which I planned to celebrate my engagement to Ross. He canceled, calling to say we should date other people, and hung up without a goodbye, good luck, or farewell kiss. After several hours, I stopped phoning and texting. I had my pride.
I tried hanging myself, but the heating pipe did not support my weight. My life savings went to my landlord and his thieving plumber and carpenter. Drinking myself to death failed as I passed out before my blood alcohol achieved a fatal level. I turned to jaywalking, first city streets, then Interstates, but survived every crossing. God had chosen me to live long and suffer.
Now, under a white sun, my mouth filled with sucking candies to guarantee an ample supply of saliva, I prepared to spit on the white pine coffin mocking me from the bottom of Ross’s grave. Mourners shunned me as if they knew I was one of the damned. I did not try to hide it.
“I’m Ross’s mom.” A woman, veiled and wreathed in black, offered a gloved hand.
I steeled myself against syrupy reminiscences. She would expect some in return and I had none to offer.
“You must be Tomãs,” she said. “Ross found out the afternoon he called. He did not want to ruin a second life.” She lowered her eyes and returned to the arms of her surviving children.
The heat-sealed my tear ducts and cottoned my mouth. The sun fired my hair. Shame burned away my skin, exposing my soul to the solar wind. I hurled myself onto Ross’s coffin, clinging to it with such ferocity it took all eight pallbearers to break my death grip and wrestle my lifeless body from his grave.
Liss’s first novel was published in July 2020 and second novel will be published in May 2022. He’s a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Prize, the St. Lawrence Book Award, and the Bakeless Prize. He’s published over 55 short stories in, inter alia, The Saturday Evening Post, The South Dakota Review, The South Carolina Review, H.O.W. Literary Journal, Two Bridges Review, Hunger Mountain, The Florida Review, Carve Magazine, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. He earned an MFA from Emerson College, Boston, MA, and leads a fiction workshop at the St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA. Visit his website at www.sfredericliss.com for more information.
Sonograms use sound waves to show an image of the body’s internal worlds, but the possibilities don’t end there. The envelope, the trashcan, the glass jar – these too are bodies, if a body refers to a container of worlds. What then can serve as their sonogram, their mechanism for translating, displaying, opening up those worlds to us (or to themselves, assuming they had the desire)? Sound is neither stagnant nor singular by nature. It happens as a chain of events, from a source, which emits a vibration, to its propagation through solid, liquid or gas, to its reception by our ears and then our brains. For sound to happen, many things must happen; ears alone are not enough. For us to see beyond what is there, many things must happen; eyes alone are not enough. Yet we, and everything around us, produce the invisible, inaudible layered understandings we seek. Birth is legible: It is what it is. Sonograms, meanwhile, elude us: It is what it could be. Tiffany Mi is an emerging image-maker whose work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine and Chitro Magazine. She tweets @mi_tiff.
Issue 103, published July 2022, features works of poetry, flash fiction, short nonfiction, and photography by Laurel Benjamin, Ellen Birrell, Ronda Broatch, Mary Buchinger, Roger Camp, John Cullen, Emily Davis, Lisa Delan, Lauren Endicott, James William Gardner, David Goodrum, Peter Grieco, Greg Hom, Jenny Hubbard, Rachel Laverdiere, Larena Nellies-Ortiz, Dante Novario, Dian Parker, Yasmin Phillip, Michelle Reed, Amanda L. Rioux, Jim Ross, Aaron Sandberg, Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb, Beth Spencer, Jeffrey Thompson, Patricia Walsh, Racine Watson, Richard Weaver, and Hannah Zhang.
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