Issue 45 Excerpts

From the 45th Issue:

Claire Marie Stancek | This living and

Opening her jaws to its jaws the animal ate one more animal.
Strange kiss, devouring. A crash brought two strangers
together for the length of one car was crunched, a flowering
of metal. The uncontrollable shaking began as a handshake,
but that hand, so warm and capable, wouldn’t let me go, and
now I carry it and its seething seizing wherever I walk and
dream. Capped waves capped by a bottom, a bottomless
hunger. The way your brother cried as if four babies were
crying at once. The way your baby drank from your body as
if you had the answer. A voice hears you but doesn’t speak,
although the runes moulder, although you need that voice.
When the moon waxes, three of us remember. In the old
times, these bodies knew the motions and the motions were
voices in the swollen moon. All the time the animals knew
exactly what you did to them. Her mind was eventually
overcome by a sour madness. The feeling of that hand crowds
and clamours with the other feelings—with the feeling of
cold, and of blue, and the feeling of and—and sometimes
squeezes out all but the sensation of fingertips rasping and
asking and asking the alien skins, the calfskins cracked and
thumbed dry, thrummed tuneless. Querying in the chambers
and the galleries, where the ghost limbs still hover and vaguely
ache, reaching perpetually from those dead words.

Jessica Murray | Field Journal

and inside a strange family’s water-logged photograph—

appropriated, celebrated, then weighted and sunk to become

baby albatross dead from malnutrition, starvation.

But the ear remains open, so I try to dream from that organ:

can be restored. Lucky us.

can fix it. Hope comes in the form

churns with the current. There’s something wrong

                                   Dear Atlantic

if not the church—in like more than is, and love above all,

In Marquez, the drowned man’s body begins the living:

in the Pacific, the soupy gyre, stretched double the size of Texas,

keychain, a plastic magnet

last night, I heard the six-mile call of the nightjars, their dial-up

Living without beauty is a kind of death, the way sleep is our practice.

of a fecal transplant, which means to take feces from one microcosm

On remote Hawaiian coasts, scientists are finding

prairie modems, eeeeeerrrrrrr, eeeeeerrrrrrr, lifted along the railroad tracks,

swollen digestive tracts stuffed like a child’s cigar box

that anoints us. Auden found solace in the liturgy’s cords, the service,

the invisible thread that binds us—

the microbes are all wrong. No juice cleanse or elliptical machine

the umbilical pulse of the soft red anemone. Out of the darkness, it’s the sea

They slit the birds from beak to anus:

to insert it in another’s so that useful populations

toward my loved Atlantic Ocean, its austere cliffs, the cold a precipice—

up over the grain silo. Each night, I try to listen further,

with our insides, too. For many of us, the bacteria in our guts,

with repurposed objects—a bit of toothbrush, a souvenir