Spring 2024

Spring 2024



I went down to an inner hymn,
high wrenching and reddened.
The southwest. If not for this:
    My own skin.
A comma in a thousand towns of sin.
How endless the regretted.

By Kathleen Boyle


There, one loses years of life as summers pile on with birthdays. The fury of May and June empties you until the monsoon arrives. The blazing tar on the roads will peel skin on contact, the fire that is air numbs the mind and desiccates ideas from human vessels. One passes cities with no green in sight. Forests have been denuded for industry, vultures made extinct, crows’ numbers oppressed, house sparrows expelled. Just this summer, I asked my dad about strange birdsong in the veranda. We could hear an almost barking bird new to him and me. Nature has been mauled. 

From "Cleaved" by Navneet Bhullar


There was a fire next door. The neighbors sat around it and I could just hear them through the kitchen window. A woman and a man or perhaps two women and one man or two men and a woman. Some combination intimated by the pitch and depth of voices getting more and more excited as the night grows longer and colder. It was 3:22 and then 3:59. Had I slept. Hard to tell. Had I dreamt. My eyes would open and then close. A restless mind produces a restless body. I knew when I was to wake, or fully rise, the baby’d be gone. I laid in bed thinking about it. Would she have encountered the people around the fire as she left in the middle of the night. Would they have conspired with her to spirit them both away. And yet I laid there perfectly still, refusing to confirm my suspicions. Stillness, my mother told me, reminded her of death. Get up, she’d say, go do something. But I preferred to not do anything. I wanted to just sit there staring, trying to imagine what the world would be like without me in it. Not as if I wanted to remove myself, but see it from its ultimate vantage, as a god might. 

From "Danielle" by Bryan D. Price


Cover art: "Toward Nightfall" by JC Alfier 
Spring 2024