Ante Matter ||| Drunken Boat

Pretty good work if you can get it, making paradises in abandoned banks stony exterior, marble interior, the registers like a failed carillon (toneless) striking all hours at all hours. Every noon the ghost attendants ghost-walk up to the kiosk, … Continued

Of Mule and Deer ||| Boston Review

Out of a tin-cold, murmuring black wood Lightly you lope, pale deer, lifting A story from pages of snow Nothing turns in your eye they say Toward the tin-cold and murmuring black wood I bear a display case of blue … Continued

Separate State ||| The Diagram

The family two docks down, their chatter straining over the talk radio blaring, in-laws, who never had kids, warning relative’s kids, “Too close, kids.” Me on my dock thinking No kids, so that’s the reason the kids are too close, but no breaks. The in-laws: “Stop it. Stop horsing around.” “Oh, go ahead, fall … Continued

Cherries ||| Orion Magazine

In the minute it took to fetch the blue bowl from the kitchen to pick the just-ripe cherries, the blackbirds had come. They picked the branches clean, ascending into their own blue bowl. Lacking wings, I look for meaning. We … Continued

There Will Be No More Daughters

No nail to spark the fires, no waists to nip in. There will not be cookery or starguide, no petite or hardiness in lace, hardly an elegance. No celebrities for the TV. No dogeared books on floral arrangement or patched … Continued

“And Then What America, And Then What?”

—MILTON KESSLER What if California wasn’t the end of possibility? Gleaming out past Alcatraz and Coronado— someplace real to reach, if only you could walk across the water.   Forget Manifest Destiny. What is ever manifest? What is destined? Today … Continued

The Lion Tamer Remembers ||| Witness

Translated from French by Andrew S. Nicholson listen up earthen colors too late your laughter eats the sun for rabbits for chameleons grasp my body between two long lines when famine becomes light sleep sleep we feel so heavy blue … Continued

The Mirror

Translated from Spanish by Jesse Lee Kercheval Leave leave me to do it she says and when she leans down when she goes to drown her face gently in the coarse hair in the dark marbled tangle over skin so … Continued

My Father’s Second Wife

Drinking egg creams, eating malt balls, she was solid Swedish stock—an athlete for the ages with a steak in her mouth, iron pills sized for cattle in her pockets. She called herself apprentice to the Protestant work horses, but only … Continued

Terrible Emmanuel, Fugitive

The house doesn’t know of the termite. The body doesn’t know its cancer until too late. The upper part of the shoe doesn’t know that the sole is wearing. The garden isn’t sure why it was planted. The tree doesn’t … Continued