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Converted

By Morgan Meis Essay

MY WIFE AND I were living in Sri Lanka when I suddenly found myself baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. I don’t regret it one bit, mind you. But it was surprising at the time. In retrospect, there were signs. My father was sent to Jesuit boarding school as a youth, and though he later left…

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Quantum Theory

By Victoria Kelly Poetry

Fifty years ago, in Catholic school, a nun gave my mother a ribbon said to have been touched by a saint. This was when her brother was still alive, and masses were still read in Latin, and people still wandered across the street to other people’s houses in the evening. Now the school is coming…

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Altricial

By Amy McCann Poetry

What offers a skeletal peep. Feather-smear, mostly gullet—agape for the secondhand upchuck grub, bolus crammed iridescent with carapace and wing. A holiness, this helplessness, the mother’s tireless, kenotic reconnaissance ending every time with her head bent to her nest of tidbit beggars, X-ray translucent, the tinder of their bones radiant beneath. All hollow. The aerate…

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A Girl I Really Knew

By Bryce Taylor Short Story

MY SUMMER WITH SYLVIA was like sighting deer in the woods. You hold your breath, try hard not to spoil it. Suddenly you have nowhere to be, nothing to do. You’re a kid again. It’s hide-and-seek—you’re hiding. Later, if somebody asks how your walk was, what can you say? “I saw a deer,” you say.…

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Cloud of Unknowing: Twenty-Five Years of Image

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

…when you first begin to undertake [contemplation], all that you find is a darkness, a sort of cloud of unknowing…. This darkness and cloud is always between you and your God, no matter what you do, and it prevents you from seeing him clearly by the light of understanding in your reason and from experiencing…

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Where Are You?

By Ryan Flanagan Essay

HOME, I SAY. I’m on the road, I say. I’m in class. No, it’s okay. What’s the matter? It was always the first question. Where I was would determine whether I could help. Where are you?—during those early months when I would pick up. He was locked out, he was stuck in the mud, etc.…

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Christmas Morning in a Hotel Room

By Carrie Fountain Poetry

Out the window, the parking lot and beyond that, the highway. No doubt something important began or ended precisely there, or there, in that spot where the ice-white rental car is idling neatly, clouds of exhaust billowing up like hope, like the hope of the Christ child, silent in his mother’s arms, finally silent after…

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June

By Carrie Fountain Poetry

The black cat is always scratching behind his ears, always slinking off to piss in some hidden corner of the guest room. It is both unkind and self-congratulatory of me to feel sympathy for people who don’t possess a sense of humor. Where the hell do I get off, anyway? Admitting something hardly ever makes…

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And I Will Look for You in Fields of Poppies

By Katy Didden Poetry

Paul Shaw breeds insomniac flies. He tilts test tubes at unstable angles, then watches wide-eyed as the flies inside go haywire. Thousands of flies fly inside Paul’s hypotheses; thousands of flies defy them. As fast as he identifies a pattern, the field of sleep expands. Paul celebrated tenure in October, and all the Shaws flew…

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Middle Distance, Morning

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

One by one leaves spindle in the wind, the clock runs down, the cricket’s chirr continues. Each year I try to catch the moment the chirring ceases and silence takes on its winter timbre. Each year I miss. Doing nothing, poised for a flash from the Absolute, awaiting rest from unrest, I’m blessed by uncertainty,…

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