Political Theory

We track this slow animal in the snow

because it leaves a blood trail


and we think that makes it vulnerable

But then it circles back


breaks the trap and eats the bait

and suddenly disappears


Or comes up behind us

to prove its fangs are real


and at the same time

whispers to us in a soft voice


It lives in artefacts

among monuments and ruins


and at night drinks and carouses

and knocks on doors with its pommel


touting a swashbuckling history

But then finally grows old


and into a child again

was when it was first only a word


delicate as freedom or liberty

dried into a fragile antiquity


subtle as synapses in the brain

or the language of animals


Sing louder they say

and it will leave us alone


and when we dream of flight

it proves to us we have not


the wisdom of birds


George Moore

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.

Under a White-Hot Sky

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.


Frederic Liss

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.

Tiffany Mi

Sonogram 3


Tiffany Mi

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.

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