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  By Thomas Tulis

Fly Swiss Air
Fly Swiss Air
Wash Day
Wash Day
40 Lashes in Singapore
40 Lashes in Singapore


Dark Morning by Douglas Goetsch
Rose, 1915 by Cecil L. Sayre
Of Your Boyfriend's Attack. . .by Stephanie Dickinson
A Common Occurrence by Kendall Dunkelberg
Limitations by Livio Farallo

Fiction (excerpt)

The Dead Mother by John Richards

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Dark Morning
By Douglas Goetsch

Mom woke me. Power was out.
She handed me a flashlight. Go
in the bathroom and shine it on him.

He stood there, his face lit
by cream. I watched his strokes,
how he fingered his chin, glided the blade
past his jaw, turned the faucet on and off
to rinse it clean and bloodless,
the space between us worldless,
just the chuff-chuffing on his sandy face,
a face I can't ever remember touching,
and the stinging smell of menthol.

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Rose, 1915
By Cecil L. Sayre

Two young girls bouncing
on their parents' bed

up and down
up and down

a rifle in the corner
shaken, falling, firing

the bullet lodged
in rose's brain

the gunshot lodged
in her sister's memory

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Of Your Boyfriend's Attack & St. Vincent's Hospital
By Stephanie Dickinson

You drop an overripe tomato,
splashing seed and juice under his foot
and he who hates stickiness drawing
cockroaches in, swings his fist, fractures
your rib, and punctures your lung
as you scour the tomato up, its pulp
slippery as blood. Once a novice so holy
Our Lady appeared to him, he who wanted
to be a Jesuit priest, cradles you on
the cracked leather seat of the Yellow Cab,
in the smell of fried hamburgers.
On a bed of wheels they straddle you,
smocks billowing as the blade cuts
and a tube hard as a garden hose thrusts,
parting your ribs as you gasp.
For days while oxygen fills your lung
you watch television talk shows.
On the air conditioning vent
your chilled piss sits
next to his long-stemmed roses.

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A Common Occurrence
By Kendall Dunkelberg

The severed carcass of a dog
on the highway. Or a possum;
it's hard to tell, just four
feet, an animal with
intestines, a snout, teeth.

I remember we drove
through the two halves,
blood smeared across our lane.
You were asleep,
no thud to wake you.
I missed it, all but the softer parts,
which were probably smashed already.

I closed my eyes for a second, too.
This was the fifteenth roadkill I had seen in two days.
After driving twenty hours, they start to multiply.

The hawk
that flew within inches of the car
was real. The other eyes
later, and the wings,
the deer leaping at me, these
were signals.

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By Livio Farallo

a metal cabinet
standing pisa-like in the dank
    canned vegetables cake mixes
    dish detergent
    and several crusty-capped
    bottles of liquor
                         which i ignore
except on special occasions
when i take them from the bottom shelf
upstairs into the kitchen
and pour a drink

for someone else
        usually in a big
        on the rocks
which for me

i realized many years ago

        beached and bloating
        in the sun

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The Dead Mother (excerpt)
By John Richards

           He was the cutest blue eyed thing, chewing bubble gum and throwing his ball against my step. I said "Why you throwing that ball on my step when you could just as good throw it on your own step and be home, too?" And he took his ball in his hand and looked up at me with great big end-of-the-world eyes and I said, "You know your mother would rather you throw that ball on your own step, boy. What if you bounce up here and put a dent in my screen and I had to go talk to her." His eyes got big and filled with salt and he said, "You can't talk to my momma," and I said, "Boy, you don't want me to, you better go bounce on your own doorstep," and he said, "My momma is dead," and those words coming from that child's lips was like touching death itself. You tell me how he come up with that. He scared the pants off me.

           You should have seen his crayon pictures in class: A big coffin and next to it, him and his brother and sister, little tiny figures with their hands full of flowers. Another, a nurse with a long IV running out to his mother who was laying in a bed and the blood was dripping down to the floor. Or his mother in heaven driving a long car and waving out the window to him. Jesus and his mother watching television together and kissing each other because, he said that's what his sister said boys and girls were supposed to do when they liked each other. He did a picture of his mother in the ground looking up at him through the grass and she's pushing a big red heart up through the ground to him. I've been teaching for seventeen years and I've never seen anything like it from a third grader. You look at a child's pictures and you can pretty much tell what they're thinking. And this kind of sadness, I've only seen it once or twice so clearly in a child's drawings. It comes when the child has experienced a terrible grief that they can't talk about. Which I didn't understand. Because when I called his house to talk to his father, his mother answered the phone.

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