Barbara Presnell – Planting the Garden

Planting the Garden Last fall, four boys stood on the back porch like snipers, steadied b.b. guns on the rail, and fired at G.I. Joes propped on fence posts. Now body parts of dead soldiers lie fallow in dirt like volunteer radishes and I don’t know what I am raising. These are boys whose skin […]

Kerrin Sharpe – after my father

after my father after my father the Kommandant read Hansel & Gretel he never left me in the forest or anywhere near his busy factory chimneys he was a true father who obeyed his boss a loving father who kept German Shepherd dogs behind high wire fences some nights he counted stars once when there […]

Diane Marshall – Rotation

Rotation When you’re short, when your DEROS is thirteen and a wake-up, you can’t stop dreaming. You dream of hopping on a Freedom Bird to CONUS, leaving behind bouncing Bettys for round-eyed Bridget Bardots; leaving behind beans-and-motherfuckers in the rain for a T-bone, taking your last ride on a fucking red bird. A fucking red […]

Laurie Klein – K.I.A.

K.I.A. Only tempered thorns can bear beauty’s weight—like birthstones, cupped in the prongs of their mothers’ rings, each a glint. One flash, and shrapnel unlocks the ivory columns of vertebrae, those sacral knobs, the spurs, and hollows. Each of us is diminished: something central caves in, our lungs bereft of even emptiness. We see those […]

Mark Kessinger – Joe in Repair

Joe in Repair looking down where the leg used to be there is only hardware. Something issued. The curved blade flexes like a foot that was once there, bone shaft is now composite, part some of this, some of that, like a ghost bone made from other wounded. What has improved as much as the […]