Scoundrel Time

Four Poems by Denise Duhamel

MY MOTHER’S COVER-UP I bought one for her at Walgreens—teal blue with sparkles. She was so hunched over and short by then, it flowed almost to her ankles. I kept it here in Florida so that when she visited it...

Protagonist Syndrome

my girlfriend’s best friend is convinced she has covid. I’ve heard all her stories – I admit, there’s a good chance she has. but last week, when her housemate was sick with a fever, she had...

from The Lisa Sequence

from The Lisa Sequence Smile The obedient child will smile for any picture, will wait for the camera in the school’s cafeteria on that singular day, lined up with the rest, steadying herself, brushed that...

ON THE WAY TO PARADISE

Jessie O’Neal is touring again. The Tribune printed another clever Jessie story. I’m sure she called the reporter. She knows them all by now. Maybe she needed to sell more tickets. The lady knows how to create...

from The Hyakunin Isshu: A Hundred Poems by A Hundred Poets

42. Chigiriki na Katami no sode wo Shibori tsutsu Sue-no-matsu yama Nami kosaiji to wa —Kiyowara no Motosuke   We promised— Holding onto each other; While twisting each other’s sleeves, Waves would never...

Ultima Multis

The polishing rag folded inside a bespoke vest I purchased on impulse has a name sewn on by hand: Ultima Multis. And when I’m shining my mouth harps after a solitary session of practice, I ask the piece of flag if she...

The Desert

Translated from Kurdish by Basir Borhani Hashoush’s younger sister rushed inside and spat out briskly, “Mom…! Mom, the Kurds will be moved again tomorrow.” At that moment, Hashoush and I were sitting opposite each...

Real Names in Real Clothing

Translated from Farsi by S. Ganjbakhsh 1 In 1850, during a religious civil conflict, a sixteen-year-old girl called Zaynab who was skilled in martial arts had to cut her hair and fight in men’s clothing. She was even...

Volcanology

By Rosie Garland and Meg Pokrass There is fire beneath our pavements, beneath our houses. There is fire in my brother’s eyes, inside my brother’s hair. There is a family in our cupboards, a scentless lukewarm one...

The Escape

Evin Prison, 9:10 p.m. Local time. October 15, 2022 She wanted to run…but she could only take one long step to every corner of the cell and: wall…wall…wall… she pulled up her chin on the rusty sill around a small...

Dead End

Our street ends at a guardrail, but there’s a right turn that puts you on a different street, for one block, before another right turn puts you on another street, parallel to our street. The shape is a U, a horseshoe...

The Host

Each day’s episode gets titled according to that day of war. You discover it on the 11th Day of the Invasion and it’s the host that hooks you to this streaming Ukrainian English-speaking news show. Not because you’re...

Three Letters of Recommendation

I will grant you anything you want, the Genie of the Lamp said. Three wishes…but first you must provide three letters of recommendation. The villa in Italy where they serve you bonbons hourly, while you gaze at the...

It’s Hard to Be Housed

I’m at Meth Park on a balmy day, and all the homeless meth users are spread out on blankets like it’s a picnic.  Behind us, I see mothers with toddlers on the way to the playground.  They cast resentful glares toward...