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Prayer with Rotohammer

By Joshua Robbins Poetry

Retrofitting Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Let my worship be this work and the force of each bit-strike on masonry. Forswear my doubtful tongue. Let my past words be what they are: failed elegies to the living word. Let praise be pain rejoicing. What rose like dust now falls and it is beautiful and meaningless and…

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The Spirit of Promise

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

Amazing how the prayers come back, ———the cues to stand and kneel and sit, the hymns rising after so many years into the air of this small old church. ———We lean together in summer sunlight as the priest wafts past in an incense cloud and the small choir ———sings off-key in corner light. Yesterday you…

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My Nineveh

By Moira Linehan Poetry

Reel rolling from the spliced-together lot of my past, this time around: senior year of high school, singsong voiceover of girls bowing to whatever she said, Yes, Sister/ No, Sister as still shots are superimposed on our faces: lone crow on a fencepost, cow silhouetted against late afternoon. Byron, Keats, Shelley—lining up to wander line…

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The Name of God

By Anya Silver Poetry

Like a baker, swaddling the juice and heft of apples in pastry, I want my mouth to cradle the delicious name of God. Kissing the Torah, I breathe the dust that has lain on the name of God, imagine ink on my indrawn breath. I will dream myself into the body of a bee. I…

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The Burned Butterfly

By Anya Silver Poetry

Thus this restless little butterfly of the memory has its wings burned now and cannot fly. —Teresa of Avila Char my wings. Lord, singe these cells of forewing, hindwing. Blacken memory’s sky blue shimmer, its thousands of cells— each startling pigment, each dorsal and ventral venation— the coppered glint of flight, oh Lord. If prayer…

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I Tell My Mother Lies

By Daniel Taylor Essay

I TELL MY mother lies. Sometimes three or four times a day. I lie mostly about money. That I’ve sent it or that I’m just about to send it. Or that surely I will send it tomorrow. My mother waits for money like the bums waited for Godot. One day she called seventeen times. So…

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The Fire Tower

By Carrie Jerrell Poetry

Eight, mouthy, and proud, you didn’t want his help, so while you watched the stairs revolve below your feet with every gust, your father watched you climb the last three flights dizzy, on your hands and knees, before your brother, crouched by the door, jumped out to scare you, and you missed the step. Which…

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Scottie

By Elizabeth Smither Short Story

THERE WAS a great blackened pan being eased out of the greasy oven by a tiny old woman in padded oven gloves. No one in the crowded kitchen—yellow walls, hideous mess, marijuana smoke and incense—came forward to help her. But someone, a joker, called out “What is it this time, Scottie? One of your concoctions?”…

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Oriana Fallaci in New York

By Davide Rondoni Poetry

So little was the warrior, how she held out her slimmed down arms to the flowers I carried and to all that which crumbled in such a theatrical New York evening she was lovely and bright, drinking the last of the champagne to avoid that burning in her throat— And she raised her clear eyes…

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They Went On and On…

By Svetlana Bodrunova Poetry

They went on and on, singing “In Memory Forever,” Though it seemed, rather, that what there was to remember Was only things falling apart, ice under the eaves, And the singing itself. On and on they went as they counted, recalling How many of them earth’s ice-mold had covered, While here and there hysterical women…

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