A chronological archive of poetry published in Cleaver’s quarterly literary issues from 2013 to present …

PUSHING THINGS by Matthew Mogavero
I threw my sandwich wrapper out in a trash can. On the side of the trash can was the word ...
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DON'T TOUCH by Elisabeth Lloyd Burkhalter
Magnolia to aloe, silver-sheened river, and shallow. We are minor in the composition but figure prominently. Often now I think ...
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Burnt painting in a pile of ash
you know that photo stuck into the side of a frame in the den you know, the photo of Katie ...
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THE UNBORN by  Kika Dorsey
They are cutting down all the trees for Christmas. Pine and spruce lay bundled on warehouse floors, and I drink ...
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WINTER BEFORELIGHT by John Timpane
Winter beforelight. Lamp by lamp the house of night shuts. Dawn enlarges; a father turns off the lights, loves each ...
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WAKING UP IN AN MGM MUSICAL by Roy Bentley
I don’t know whether I’m awake or sleeping, but I know the past is the prison we break into, a ...
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FROST-BITE by Erin McIntosh
mother i have strayed here too long. a winter mist rising at five o’clock and oustide’s dim. outside’s lust. (Mother ...
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MOUNTAIN GUIDE by Amy Miller
She led us knee-deep into mud. Horses squealed and thrashed as the earth dragged them under. Mire sucked at our ...
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EDDIE AND DONALD, a poem by Wendy Marie Vergoz, featured on Life As Activism
Giggling girls have power the radio tells me after the election. An epidemic of contagious laughter spread through a girls’ ...
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WHAT IT IS, an experimental piece by Susan Fedynak, featured on Life As Activism
WHAT IT IS is how I hate my face. is how my face is amnesia. is how i love my ...
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GOD IS MY ALIBI, a poem by Cynthia Atkins, featured on Life As Activism
Abide with me the night shadows caterwauling on the walls—Lava Lamp Red as the squad car pulling up to the ...
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SUPERMOON, NOVEMBER 14, 2016 and AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, WASHINGTON, D.C, two poems by Jackleen Holton Hookway, featured on Life As Activism
The week has been long, one of the longest in my heart's slim record-book. But the moon is at its ...
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FATAL MOUTHS, a Life As Activism poem by Jennifer Martelli
The city guys are stringing Christmas lights on the locust trees. The men are lifted up in buckets. First, any ...
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OUTHOUSE BLUES: Three Poems by Herman Beavers, featured on Life As Activism
OUTHOUSE BLUES Three Poems by Herman Beavers Featured on Life As Activism Outhouse Blues #1 Accounts coming due, enunciated in The ...
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PANHANDLE, GULF by Cady Vishniac
I forget to butter the skillet, so my egg spreads like pond scum, and it’s filmy and stuck, and the ...
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I THINK OF MY GRANDFATHER by Lyn Lifshin
on a cramped ship headed toward Ellis Island. Fog, fog horns for a lullaby. The black pines, a frozen pear ...
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TWO DEATHS by Constance Campana
What should I remember, what release? My mother’s hot hand in mine as she was dying. My dog’s heart stopping ...
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WHAT WAS TOLD by David Ishaya Osu
was triangle & the sayings of an apple full of iodine. what was told before the kiss. has a toad ...
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PARENTHESIS by Saddiq Dzukogi
everyone in the cathedral is a song living as voices in the corridor it takes too much remembrance to see ...
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WAITING FOR THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS by Mohineet Kaur Boparai
When the sun sags into the damp puddle At your paws and The wind in unison sings a last song ...
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CAUSE by Matthew Gellman
CAUSE by Matthew Gellman Nearly 37 million people are living with HIV around the world. The bird has a wet, ...
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TESTIMONY by Meggie Royer
he best way to remember is to be born again completely, slick with red and heat, til the cord is ...
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ILLUMINATI DANCE by Nick Kolakowski
The Illuminati holds its annual recruitment dance In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in that bar with the antique signs, And the program includes ...
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TOP HATS AND PUPPETS by Anita Olivia Koester
A lover explains the definition of kerning, I listen to how the spaces between letters are adjusted for the viewer ...
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MY SHINING DEMON by Jennifer Brown
No, you are not my shining demon— You’re the god Rimbaud wrote of, right? While lambasting the men of his ...
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THE COLOR YELLOW, LOVE, THE FALL OF LEAVES IN AUTUMN by Roy Bentley
Some days in May, a sunrise of redbuds will apron the clouds and light pour across development lawns gold with ...
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¡THAN CALL BRAD FOR HELP! by John Manuel Arias
¡THAN CALL BRAD FOR HELP! by John Manuel Arias to ease the tension Ammit picks her teeth with a quetzal ...
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ANGELS HAVE CORDONED OFF SECTIONS OF MOUNT SINAI by John Harvey
Say nothing of this to the doctors of Geneva, to the folks who rock back and forth on front porches ...
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HOMUNCULUS by Lucian Mattison
HOMUNCULUS by Lucian Mattison In my mouth a heart beats fly wings around my chest, spill fruit juice down my ...
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GRADUATION DAY by Meggie Royer
My grandmother braids her hair with salt, forgives my brother for every broken-legged deer he coaxes out of the brush ...
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INSULAR  by Jon Riccio
Unknown to the stewardess, the stroke victim imagining his fingers in 12-F. Knuckles corralling a pencil, legs to annotate a ...
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ROAD TRIP 1957 by Constance Campana
Your hand brushes the film from the window, believes it can make a place to see through. Your breath changes ...
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HOW TO JUMP FROM A MOVING CAR by Ted Lardner
It’s all about thresholds. When I walked up Shirley Creek trail I knew some of my friends to have done ...
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JUNE FAIRCHILD ISN’T DEAD  by Alexis Rhone Fancher
JUNE FAIRCHILD ISN’T DEAD by Alexis Rhone Fancher she’s planning a comeback. she’s snorting Ajax for the camera. she’s landing ...
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QUASAR by Triin Paja
do not worry about the bruised dreams of the night-cafe. place them into glass jars. look to the coal weeds, ...
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TRIP by Matthew Gellman
The slick silver thread of highway pulls taut over the Keystone State. Nothing is as I imagined it, says Mother ...
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LEE THE BAPTIST by Ushshi Rahman
thanks for putting up with my meat cleaver tendencies - hooligan saviour better pray for your kin, where the black ...
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RIPPLES, 1978 by Kevin Casey
i. From a beach towel radio, a Bee Gees' song resonates along the shore, its echoes pressing on the margins ...
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INHERITANCE by Jessica Morey-Collins
a hall three fourths full of echo (generally, many wrung bells) a denture amid other fruits of maya; several identities ...
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LIGHT POLLUTION  and LETTERS I DON'T SEND #4 by Kenzie Allen
LIGHT POLLUTION Somewhere, cloud missives, buckshot echoes devouring a hillside in knock-kneed devotion. Elder rain a voice, which tells each ...
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[A brother is a cistern and a bucket with a rope] by Harmony Button
A brother is a cistern and a bucket with a rope. The care with which the rope is tied is ...
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A CRICKET IN WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK by John Timpane
It is, it is, it is – it’s you, cool as the night, scraping toothy wing on wing. Yeah, man ...
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AUBADE IN AFTERNOON by Christian Anton Gerard
We should take a shot of cognac, a walk. Some days I believe desire is its own penance. Some days, ...
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RIVER RISING by Robert E. Heald
THE RIVER RISING by Robert Heald The air is glass. Leave the window open wide, and I’ll tell you how ...
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[THERE IS SKIN EVEN THE SKY] and [EXCEPT FOR THE NEW SUIT] by Simon Perchik
* There is skin even the sky seeps through –both arms weighted down though you are flying through dirt and ...
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VASELINE SANDWICHES by Mark Schoenknecht
VASELINE SANDWICHES by Mark Schoenknecht During pregnancy, she said, Her most intense cravings Were for vaseline sandwiches: Soft white bread ...
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HEIRLOOM by Paul Tran
HEIRLOOM by Paul Tran We know how the story goes. A pirate leads her off the boat, onto the shore ...
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MISS DARLENE’S DANCING SCHOOL by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
MISS DARLENE’S DANCING SCHOOL by Lynne Sharon Schwartz Miss Darlene, dark, slender, acne-scarred, married next-door Marvin and came to share ...
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THE GAS STATION by Edward Hopper by Michael Kern
THE GAS STATION by Edward Hopper by Michael Kern The difference is light – the natural settling of shade upon ...
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GETHSEMANE by Aaron Graham
GETHSEMANE by Aaron Graham I’m learning to sweat—learning to swear. When I speak of God, edges of broken- glass words: ...
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SUGAR by Meggie Royer
SUGAR by Meggie Royer When my mother takes us to the sea my father does another line. At night when ...
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AUBADE: A Parallel Poem by Yuan Changming
AUBADE: A Parallel Poem by Yuan Changming You might have stayed up All night, clicking at every link To your ...
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SPRING FLIGHT by Larry Eby
SPRING FLIGHT by Larry Eby We ran through several fields together, the dandelions grasping at the soil as our speed ...
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MAY PROCESSION PRACTICE by Timothy Wenzell
MAY PROCESSION PRACTICE by Tim Wenzell Little I stand by William at the crest of the asphalt hill looking into ...
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PROPHET by Odelia Fried
PROPHET [prof-et] Definition: It’s bloody knuckles and skinned knees, it’s heaven’s fever slicing through the black with open jaws. It’s ...
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COCKCROW by Tyler Kline
COCKCROW by Tyler Kline Moment: a father inks the scythe above his daughter’s breast, a tail of bonfire licking a ...
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POT OF GOLD by Tina Barr
POT OF GOLD by Tina Barr Stings stitching under the skin, bristles, like thoughts that roil, like brambles’ thorns that ...
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THE SCORPION by Erika Dane Kielsgard
THE SCORPION by Erika Dane Kielsgard We tear her limbs to divide our fear. Her mangled segments reflect hell mouths ...
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from THE BEAUTY OF ADMISSION by Joe Nicholas
from THE BEAUTY OF ADMISSION by Joe Nicholas It's seven in the morning & the shower is asking me questions ...
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Notes on POEM FOR MY BROTHER by Eric E. Hyett
Notes on POEM FOR MY BROTHER by Eric E. Hyett I have to be careful— what I mean is it’s ...
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THE AFFAIR by Lyn Lifshin
THE AFFAIR by Lyn Lifshin The Margaritas were blue with paper roses. Later I thought how they were the only ...
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ODE TO THE QUIET ROOM by Niyathi Chakrapani
ODE TO THE QUIET ROOM by Niyathi Chakrapani There is a room inside a paradox—the silence, the calm of grieving ...
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STUDY by Andrew Taw
STUDY by Andrew Taw Almost by accident, they found that the average frequency of a particular synapse firing in all ...
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NEWS DELIVERY by Smriti Verma
NEWS DELIVERY by Smriti Verma Once, my brother set himself on fire, on a cold December morning. We were sitting ...
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ANGEL OF THE MERIDIAN by Samuel Hovda
ANGEL OF THE MERIDIAN by Samuel Hovda Step out of the cave of my mouth. Wear your golden earrings like ...
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EPISTLE TO THE COPS ON A WINTRY NIGHT by Cal Freeman
EPISTLE TO THE COPS ON A WINTRY NIGHT by Cal Freeman Dear historical ambling in that souped-up Ford, dear steel ...
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KENNETT SQUARE by Erin Jones
KENNETT SQUARE by Erin Jones We had forgotten the dank mushroom farms, the deer carcasses peppered across route 1 for ...
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STONE FOOD by Alex Vidiani
STONE FOOD by Alex Vidiani My food was stones from a stone tree spoon-fed to me stones in my mouth ...
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SALLUIT by Sarah Marshall
SALLUIT by Sarah Marshall The snow tongue has no country, and no voice. It only knows the tread of boots ...
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5 a.m. by Carla Drysdale
5 a.m. by Carla Drysdale Inside the dream you wander shoeless in supermarket aisles. Loneliness opens its stone lid, invites ...
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TRICHOTILLOMANIA by Michelle Lin
TRICHOTILLOMANIA by Michelle Lin Here is a girl with a mirror. She is separating her eyelashes with a safety pin ...
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A MIND OF WINTER by Dan Tessitore
A Mind of Winter You knew before you drew the shade (before you shook the dream of flying), the silence ...
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Birds sheltered on tree limb in snow
DOMICILE by Franklin K. R. Cline My fellow Americans: if you listen long enough to anyone, you’ll hear something worth ...
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AND BLOOD ON THE TRACKS IN THE TAPE PLAYER by Roy Bentley
AND BLOOD ON THE TRACKS IN THE TAPE PLAYER by Roy Bentley Recall any moonlit part of an hour by ...
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TO THE HAUGHTY VISUALIST by Teniola Tonade
TO THE HAUGHTY VISUALIST by Teniola Tonade Think terrorism, my appetizer word, and watch the slide-show of interminable woes. For ...
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TAXIDERMY FOR TROUBLED BOYS by Emily Anne Hopkins
TAXIDERMY FOR TROUBLE BOYS by Emily Anne Hopkins We have full run of the parlor. We chatter amongst ourselves about ...
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SHADOWS by Eliza Callard
SHADOWS by Eliza Callard The “y” on my forehead from the radiator. The early cooking accident with the knife. The ...
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THUNDERSNOW by Larry Eby
THUNDERSNOW by Larry Eby A ribcage of snow with a beating heart, a west wind moving the cold front over ...
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POKEWEED by Lynn Levin
POKEWEED by Lynn Levin In my deathwish days when I was young I reaped the bitter from the field and ...
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PINTO LOS FLORES PARA QUE NO MUEREN by Lena Popkin
Pinto los Flores Para Que No Mueren For Frida Kahlo Revolution coincides with your birthday. You open fire, unbound. Born ...
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MODALITIES by Robert Lietz
MODALITIES In Giant Latitudes Another retired year and scrappy light’s chronology, with suppertimes the neighbors ask you in or ask ...
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THE CURRENT WAS WEAK by Michael Kern
THE CURRENT WAS WEAK by Michael Kern I found my sister smashing china in the woods because the color reminded ...
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CAESAR IS DEAD, LONG LIVE CAESAR by Ross Losapio
CAESAR IS DEAD, LONG LIVE CAESAR by Ross Losapio There is no new air in this world. Can you understand? ...
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Eternal-Calm-Simeon-Solomon-Dawn
ETERNAL CALM by Samuel Hovda A mother descends on a meteor. Her kids on a keychain attached to her pants ...
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MY PERSONA by Cynthia Atkins
MY PERSONA by Cynthia Atkins I carried my persona in a brown paper bag. It held shreds of lint and ...
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REV. DR. KING by henry 7. reneau, jr.
REV. DR. KING henry 7. reneau, jr. bury me standing, with the music of my name ringing out into air ...
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SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS STREET by Zoe Stoller
SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS STREET by Zoe Stoller Adam, and how he thought I was 24 and how Erika didn’t ...
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NATURE POEM by Eliza Callard
NATURE POEM by Eliza Callard Worrisomely fat dog--a silken nut brown ale color-- belly swaying near the bouldered trail, with ...
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GET BEHIND ME SATAN by Mica Evans
GET BEHIND ME SATAN by Mica Evans She remembers his daft voice ringing like a death knell: Beer, it’s beer ...
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AN APOLOGY by Simon Mermelstein
AN APOLOGY by Simon Mermelstein The mouth is where toxicity leaves the brain. Spit out the ugly until pure thoughts ...
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NATURAL SELECTION by Alec Hershman
NATURAL SELECTION by Alec Hershman The trees wave desperately to the storm-procession like a pope-cloud has inspired them to send ...
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BIRDSHOT by Michal Leibowitz
BIRDSHOT by Michal Leibowitz After we’ve shot the swallows from the sky I tell you of the coast you’ve forgotten, ...
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ALPHA ∞ OMEGA by Laurin DeChae
ALPHA ∞ OMEGA by Laurin DeChae Unveil, prophet. Write me the end first where you find comfort And tell me ...
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BEAUTY by Gregory Djanikian
BEAUTY by Gregory Djanikian In the eye of the beholder, we say, disregarding what the beautiful might spring from, an ...
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MEDIEVAL PHOTOGRAPHER by Sarah J. Sloat
MEDIEVAL PHOTOGRAPHER by Sarah J. Sloat In a past life I imagine I was a medieval photographer toiling to capture ...
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WHAT I WAS THINKING OF DURING THE FUNERAL SERVICE, DOUGLAS, ARIZONA by Gregory Djanikian
WHAT I WAS THINKING OF DURING THE FUNERAL SERVICE, DOUGLAS, ARIZONA by Gregory Djanikian for Wendy Glenn Of course, death, ...
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PILLS by Eliza Callard
PILLS by Eliza Callard Every day, I consume many colors--white and blue, pink, translucent as a pale winter sun. Some ...
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STAYING ON TRACK by Ori Fienberg
STAYING ON TRACK by Ori Fienberg Like his father, whenever he voiced a new idea a steam-engine-run train emerged from ...
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STEALING THE BOOK by Leonard Kress
STEALING THE BOOK by Leonard Kress What happened to my signed first edition of Auden? Stolen, I suspect, though I ...
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ESTHER FRIEDMAN by Michelle Taransky
ESTHER FRIEDMAN by Michelle Taransky There is always someone Whose job it should be To advise you, even if you ...
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