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The Stand-In

By Jason Zencka Short Story

1 C AROLINE WAS PADDING, distracted and shoeless, through the weekday stillness of the empty church when she came upon Desmond’s wife standing on the other side of the back entrance. Framed by the double glass doors, Kim looked uncharacteristically small in an out-of-season winter jacket. Caroline offered up pastoral smile no. 6: Ironic Appreciation…

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Love Letters

By Lee Isaac Chung Essay

The Forgotten War MY MOTHER INHERITED her father’s war letters before immigrating to America, and by the time she passed them on to me, after my daughter was born, much of the text was illegible, a language lost to a fragile medium, pencil marks on paper the weight of ash. The disintegration had begun at…

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Three Colors: Blue

By Erin Parish Essay

Krzysztof Kieślowski (1993) DO YOU FEEL ABLE TO TALK? is the first full line in Three Colors: Blue, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s masterpiece of a meditation on grief and liberation. “Were you conscious during the….” is the next. The doctor is unable to finish the question he poses to a woman who has just lost her husband…

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Glossolalia

By Natasha Oladokun Poetry

The Piano, Jane Campion (1993) May it be as it was in our rhapsodies. Tethered to you, oneiric assemblage of sea salt ivory: you playing me as I imagine the gods have, cavorting on their mountain of stone. Forgive me. This our default condition: each of us versions of the other’s own making. Call me…

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Fat Tuesday

By Dante Di Stefano Poetry

Out of exceeding gloom and out of God, I break a prayer from a growl and sing a hymn more ordinary than tap water. I pray that I might be more than my skin, this dance of atoms, this ritual of ash, this tribe of twilight and rattled angels, this pattern of epiphanies rejected. I…

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Domestic

By Dana Littlepage Smith Poetry

The knife was held like night— quiet in her husband’s hand. In silence, the umbilicus was snipped. The moon went on shining. A mare leapt astride a stallion. Jerusalem was drowning. A match dropped. Hay fired. Kings slunk away. The world hung heavy on her breast. —Love’s foundling. A curtain twitched: unholy neighbors. A nosey…

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Needle

By Ricardo Pau-Llosa Poetry

A lost man might pour his jug onto the sand to feel one with the desert, and for that moment he is cleansed of heat and thirst. But freedom is not a moment’s craft. Pinned by memory, he will regret the gesture and the surrender. The sullen break of journey onto knees will not console…

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To My Son Yacine

By Abdellatif Laâbi Poetry

My beloved son, I received your letter where you spoke to me like an adult told me all about how hard you studied at school and where I saw that your passion for learning chased all the darkness and ugliness away as you delved into the secrets of the big book of life You’re confident…

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Perfume Poured Out

By Allison Grace Myers Essay

One of the real tests of writers is how well they write about smells. If they can’t describe the scent of sanctity in a church, can you trust them to describe the suburbs of the heart? _____________________________________ ___________ —Diane Ackerman For your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;…

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