Spring 2017

Dumb Blonde

Rachel Hartley-Smith


“A blonde walks into a library—” The man starts then stops.

He is a man with a big belly in a dark, baggy sweatsuit, only slightly taller than me, and he has parked his half-sized cart in my path. Surrounded by a rainbow of grocery-store produce, we stand in a band of green, between bunches of cut asparagus upright in stagnant water and mounds of round …

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The Contact Imperative

Wendy Oleson

She emerges wearing a welder’s mask (I try
not to stare) because the blood will splatter
under her electric drill—a Black &
Decker used to filter flesh and bone from
infection, keening into the body, uninvited.

She is a dyke, short and mean. Tuesdays,
I file records until nine. She stays late without
ever looking at me. Leaning over the charts,
pen in sinister hand, she scrawls T-cell counts,
viral loads, whether Edwin or …

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4 Poems

Ali Beemsterboer

The kind of thing I see in movies/memories

when there are dark basements involved. He sat on the small of her back, cupped her chin with one palm, her forehead with the other, forced her to watch the video. Consider the narrative of flatness. To be flat is to be walked on. Pillows covered half-sized windows. Whether she tried to close her eyes or not, he …

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Jonaki Ray

for Reshma Qureshi


Mustard flowers stipple the olive and emerald fields

as dusty buffalos wallow in shrinking mud pools.

Women wash pink dupattas and fading purple kurtas

and children hop and chase stone bits

on crisscrossed baked-brick courtyards.

The evening sky blazes tangerine as sister and I walk home

My brother (by law) and his three friends fence us off

on the lone …

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