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The Doubt that Breathes Beside You

By Stina Kielsmeier-Cook Essay

1. We are late to church and sneak along the outer edge of the sanctuary, the pine floors creaking under our careful steps. I slide into the pew next to my husband. My leg brushes against him, this man I love, a man who recently lost faith in God. I scan the bulletin and try…

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The Trick

By Mark Wagenaar Poetry

I’ve always loved that scene in The Seventh Seal where Jof, poor broke Jof the juggler, rushes back to tell his wife Mia that he’s just seen the virgin & child, so close to me that I could have touched her, but Mia is skeptical, wants to know what they’ll eat this winter, wants to…

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Merton Recites a Mantra

By Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska Poetry

Resurrection is the layout of keys on which I tap. Quite abstruse, this keyboard of thoughts. But I repeat it so often I almost have them beat. From one layer of the mind to the next to the furthest words leap, strands of idea return again as if a sink has clogged. Still by some…

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Walking to Emmaus

By Gerard Smyth Poetry

The man I imagine walking to Emmaus is the one I saw in Caravaggio’s flesh-and-bone depiction of Christ beckoning the taxman to his side, steady arm outstretched, pointing a finger at the table of cardsharps. It’s a gesture that’s the same in every language and seems to say there’s no time to wait for those…

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Hymn

By Bruce Bond Poetry

A child sees inside the stained-glass window the pride of the garden that came before the hand that raised this smoke, this corpse, this rose. His mother signals him to pray with those who come to kneel beneath the candle fire. The child sees inside their stained-glass window the petals of the wound that cannot…

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The Lord Spoke to the Fish

By Diane Glancy Poetry

Jonah 2:10 I knew a whale in California who said it was a descendant of the great fish God prepared for Jonah. On the darkest nights when everyone felt alone, it told great stories of the great fish. Often, it would chuckle as it spoke of its ancestor. The young whales would honor it by…

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Boy in a Blue Sweatshirt

By Jessie Van Eerden Essay

I RECALL THE FACE OF A BOY wearing a blue sweatshirt, and I want to tell him that I’ve fallen in love and that I saw a fox midday like a flare, that I saw a black bear in the laurel just this evening and that the roar of life is in me. And I…

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A Conversation with Thomas Lynch

By Gregory Wolfe Interview

Thomas Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Skating with Heather Grace (Knopf), Grimalkin & Other Poems (Jonathan Cape), and Still Life in Milford (Jonathan Cape and W.W. Norton). His essay collection The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (Norton) won the Heartland Prize for nonfiction and the American Book Award, was…

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According to Lazarus

By William Coleman Poetry

The light said stand, the cave said sleep. The cave said look, here are the eyes that mocked you, the hands that cast you out, said sleep, your sisters need their grief. The light said rise, step out of your sorrows, let them follow only if you choose. The light said choose. Because the light…

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Dead and Alive

By Elinor Benedict Poetry

When they heard from his friend, the woman, that he’d escaped the cave, they’d already forgotten how Lazarus once had come out at his command, although they protested, fearing he’d bear some unholy perfume that would make fools of all who saw the miracle. That dead man, sweet as clean laundry, even ate some dinner,…

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