The Necessity of Lying

When they were small, I’d line them up before we’d go into the grocery store, spit on a tissue and wipe their faces, straighten their hair, inspect. They say now I was marking them. I’ve watched how ravens raise theirs. By fall, big enough to fly for an hour, the parents lead the grown ones away from the nest up …

Bulletproof

After my father’s third wife left him, he tacked up a paper target onto the center of the cathode ray credenza and pegged a picture of my latest step-mother over it. He towed the fridge into the sitting room, packed with Pabst. Beside it was a cinder block-sized container of BB pellets for his pump action rifle. From an inflatable …

Listing: Areas of my Dwelling

I. Blacksmiths re-arrange silken threads Tailors forge horseshoes Where do you form, irony, to then become formless? What whistles these are, from disintegrated yokes afar? Fourteenth century subjugation, still prepared for trade A hankering globe feeds on soluble and insoluble fibre, O prodigal atoms of billowy attestation.   II. An undulant weather is characteristic of rectified revisions Continents and natural …

The Nest

Since you left, this apartment got smaller. Like you packed away the space you existed in, and carried it off with you. A whole world by your side, in a purse. What you left are echoes of questions drifting in a fog, hoping you’ll return to rescue them. Just like me. I don’t feel like a mother bird, after her baby …

The Interrogations

After Margot Canaday’s The Straight State   1   At Ellis Island they found the immigrant’s body indeterminate.   Protuberant breasts; also a small, atrophied penis, testicle undescended.   “Now,” the interrogators asked, “back home, “did you sleep in the room with your brothers or the room with your sisters?”   I always slept alone.     2   The …

Opening Day in Denver

Dissolving through the throngs on LoDo streets. Beer soaked smiles and purple clothed melee. Bars brimming full with possibility. First Rockies home game only minutes away.   The golden bubbly flowing from the taps. Anticipation in the on deck circle. Optimism cheering from the stands. At the plate the hopes of all the people.   And on the mound our …

Barbara Siegel Carlson

A Parable   A big wave was coming. My car rose, then filled with water. O God, this can’t be happening! I looked up, my car could fly! It rocked up over the trees, skimmed the tops. Through the clear bottom I spotted my childhood home. I lowered my car and it hovered over the pool in the yard. Then …

Running

My eyes fold on the past – a frozen wasteland warming   These may be false hopes, but they heal the wounds we savor   Insecure stains of the distant slowly crawling closer   I hear their drums pounding on a heartbeat further   A forged bellow creeps somewhere between stomach and mouth, loosely fitting its skin to match the …

John Kristofco

Bottomless Lake   they all said it was “bottomless,” that lake past all the farms, a couple hours’ drive; they said boats went down and never left a trace, vanished as if swallowed whole by time, no simple sand and rock there to receive them, no sound, no scrape, no muffled thump like everything that falls (and everything does fall); …

Secret Admirer

You’ve fallen a little in love with your oncologist. The wisdom in the creased skin around his eyes, the sureness of the neat part in his silver hair. The way he holds the chart with steady hands, his intense look as he scans the results. How he turns to you, and only you, with his knowing smile. “Tell me how …

A Paper of Breathings

A boy of birdpoems and monstrous stories   a painter of numbered rocks frozen from their histories   a swinger of vines a creek leaper   a loam digger and salamander nabber   a boy of graveyards and grave making   a boy of bramble wanders scraping a new way   a boy of blush faces and hidden dreads   …

Taylor Boughnou

Reminiscent   To-day, I thought of you.  Who I’m kidding?  Not a day that memories of you, of us—how we were together, slips past.  How long it’s been now: a year, many years or was it in another time and place, an entirely different lifetime?  I try some times purposely, pretending not to remember those times or you.  But it …