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The 20th Century

Michael Martone

SAFE Employees make a SAFE railroad. With SAFE employees, a railroad devoid of any mechanical safety devices CAN and WILL be operated safely.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction   

2 Poems

Paúl Puma, transl. by Jonathan Simkins

You return, at last. / At the edge no longer./ At the margin’s curve no longer. / Circular no longer. / In the embers of unfading foam. / The sputum of inscrutable lava.

3 Poems

Shamala Gallagher

Elsewhere, some later year, I’ll try to be good. Today I don’t care.

Bra Fitting

Kasey Payette

It’s not the contraption itself that I love—this pair of shells of steel and lace—but the woman who measures me and tests my straps as if armoring me for battle.

The Trophy

Siamak Vossoughi

I'd never felt so sad engraving a trophy before, like I wanted to throw it away when I was done with it.

From the Archives

COMPARTMENTALIZATION, OR, SOME THOUGHTS ON BOXES

Katie Bellamy Mitchell

Two sides of what used to be one wooden box hang on the walls of the Smart Gallery in Chicago. At first glance they are unremarkable: vaguely Italian-looking landscapes populated by two vaguely Italian-looking lovers, all flowing hair and slit silk. In the panel on the left, a woman lies improbably across some rocky ground—perhaps sleeping or dead—while a man leans on his staff and peers over her with a neutral expression. In the panel on the right, in front of a section of silvery sea, the same woman stands apart from the man who reaches toward her. His mouth is open. Her hands cross upwards into two woody stems and blossom into the unmistakable broccoli-floret silhouette of a tree: Daphne, turning into a laurel to escape the god Apollo.

Against Blinders

Jonathan Moody

I see Justice in the form of Dr. Attisha; through her horn-rimmed glasses, I see the blood lead levels doubling inside of toddlers.

Moriah

Paige Cooper

In 1828 certain men of this village climbed to the peak of Mount Isaac to eat the yolk of the great roc's egg. Yet the savage bird came upon them...

Death of a Dog

Buthaina Al-Nasiri, translated by Gretchen McCullough, reviewed by Mohamed Metwalli

His skin was peeled in so many places, you can’t recognize the color of his hair, but when you view the rest of the tufts on his forehead, one could say it was just normal brown…He was ancient, and had spent his years in one of the alleys: skirmishing with other neighborhood dogs, tricking the butcher in order to snatch a bone from between his legs, and in the short, pleasurable moments, pursuing the traces of females or besieging a cat by a certain wall when…

From the Blog

A Microinterview with Dorianne Laux

I think of poetry as musical language, close to every day speech but of a higher order, with a system of notation.

Experiments with White Heat

That exalted moment when, out of nowhere, you are obliterated—completely, blissfully destroyed—by a voluptuous euphoria. A lightning flash of inspiration.…