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  • Elegy UnearthedBy Marie Ungar
    My city, hardly a city, still swimming like a newborn— two winters into this dream the streets feel pale and distant. I made my room so clean last night I thought I might disappear, folding laundry until the space looked smaller like something out of a children’s book. Or like Meg’s window in the corner of the television. Or like an engine in reverse but heard through playback. Last night in the dark something seemed to give, so I scraped the salt-licked brick for the heat beneath. In the newer version of this dream everything is still red and distant and August finds bodies pressed to the street like too many petals collapsing. Each husk unearthed, unfolded in my two steady hands. My city, I am trying to write my way back to you, but out here I remember only echo or ghost. Or these hands shaking, all through the night. Even in the body each story ends outside of the body, and here in snowy Boston something is left buried. Easily, like broken glass. Like light bouncing off the sidewalk.
  • LAOCOONBy Thayer Anderson
    What I need is a simple algorithm for hearing myself. I must learn to talk as the birds talk amongst themselves. I sit beside you facing the sea. Hold the shell. Press it to your ear. Beyond, a field: dry grass, the yellow suggests green. Directionless action, thought pouring out from your body. Take the shell. This is just sound. Just memory — circled twice by cords, your face contorted, your crying for your children, the recognition of another, finally, after all this time, at once with such force, silence then the abrupt departure of silence. Cloud-cover, soaking rain. Soaking wet. The sea washes, then eddies, spray caught in spray. Coming home, I walk out back and study the far side of my house. The wall deflects light, and light springs back from the wall in rhythm. How can it be turned so much, mid-flight, in the last glittering moment? Nothing is a circuit in the way we try to believe — as if the whole wheel turns at once. What hunts us from the past rises toward us, demanding the thing bargained for. We cannot both make it out. Sometimes, I wish it weren’t me. I still remember your face. The wind taps on my home. The rays dissolve in my eye, dissolve in a flurry of color, and everything is birds, your pink mouth is just birds.
  • Of NazarethBy Owen Torrey
    Land lies, not for use of self. Very slowly do things vary. In some sense, rock breaks from rock to become other. In another sense, black knowns are always moving to the unknown. Or skin. There are some places in this world that are loved. And still other loves that are placed. There is this place and there is this love. Here. Under the olive branch. Except for now, you have not yet pulled roadside in our descent. I passed the silence by eating dates, sucking slow pits to spit each seed out lowered window and last pressing lone walnuts into defaced soft. This is not you pausing to pull self from self to relieve. This is me in the car seeing you pool off and down. Dare me to speak of what lies, below. Of Mary coming to the well, only to see her guards, as well as her angel. Each night, I remember every part of my body has been touched except the inside. And I am inside. I am letting myself happen. As crows above turn quickening berserk, taking flight over sky rising poppy petal. Now. You were there. Above. You were there. Nazareth is waiting. Nazareth waits for no-one. I am still miles behind us, full of wonder, at what palm each pit might become.