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Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme

By Carol Ann Davis Poetry

Today it’s like water in the ear, a slow bleed in the brain, thinking of your bones and the marrow inside them. Last night, half-awake, I leaned into the siren as it passed and thought of Coltrane writing his liner-note prayer —it all has to do with it— and listened for the drumbeat of another…

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Unless a Kernel of Wheat Falls

By Ryan Masters Essay

I. EVERY FACE IN THE NEONATAL intensive care unit looked apologetic and scared, like old, lonely men do on their deathbeds. A nurse told my wife Georgie how lonely she had been ever since her husband died. An intern cried alone in the far corner of the room and sent her condolences later via email. One…

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Question for My Father

By William Wenthe Poetry

When I look up, into the needles of the cypress tree, brown in November, I see cinnamon—I see wood of violins, breast feathers of the sedge wren, a setter’s fur, toasted grain…. I see the cypress glowing within a cloudless noon, pale blue at horizon as background of a Botticelli annunciation, that turns unpaintably, achingly…

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I Used to Light Candles for You

By Joanna Solfrian Poetry

for E.J.K. I used to light candles for you (after your death had been catalogued in the secret book) in every cathedral I passed, most in small public squares. Cold stone, incense, the tall silence, the hush and seal of the door at the threshold. Though not a Catholic, I made the sign of the…

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A Man Gone to Time, A Woman Crucified

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

Brother, at your grave, we stood gathered under Thanksgiving trees bare with wind. When the words had been said, I expected silence to resume. But your pale fiancée placed an incongruous stereo on your new earth, pressed the red button and the brief world opened to song. I stood amazed as music broke forward. Stunned,…

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We Shall Not All Sleep

By Shane Seely Poetry

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. —I Corinthians 15:51 After the smell of lilies filled the tiny country church; after we drove down valleys and across mountains through winter rain and fog and dissipating snow; after the funeral director took our coats and intoned…

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Prayer

By Eric Pankey Poetry

The death of one god is the death of all. —Wallace Stevens When you left it was as if a glacier retreated, As if the ice tonnage, which rasped, scraped, and scoured for ages, Diminished in a moon’s single phase to a trickle of meltwater. I live in the aftermath—till, eskers, erratics, cirques, exposed bedrock.…

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A Conversation with Gregory Orr

By Aaron Baker Interview

Gregory Orr is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Concerning the Book that Is the Body of the Beloved and How Beautiful the Beloved (both from Copper Canyon). Long known for his condensed and crafted style, in his recent work, Orr demonstrates a shift toward the personal lyric at its most stripped-down,…

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Ashes

By Elizabeth Tarver Short Story

CHARLOTTE HAD NO NOTION of blasting the top off Major Tidwell’s tall and elaborate Woodmen of the World monument. It was shaped like a tree with its limbs sawn off and, as anyone could see, it was an easy mark. Under normal circumstances, she would never have dreamed of it. The only reason she did…

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After

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

My corkscrew willow’s the last each autumn to loose its slender fingers of dried gold; first each spring to clutch my heart with, overnight, a thousand fisted buds. Today, the last thing I would wish is another emblem of grit and continuance; still, my willow models a fierce, therapeutic rage, lashing the glass in a…

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