049 “Yours” by Mary Robison

Yours by Mary Robison Allison struggled away from her white Renault, limping with the weight of the last of the pumpkins. She found Clark in the twilight on the twig-and-leaf-littered porch behind the house. He wore a wool shawl. He was moving up and back in a padded...

042 “Unmailed Letter” by Joy Harjo

Unmailed Letter by Joy Harjo It’s noon. I can hardly stand it. If anything touches me, I am ashes. Your laugh, and I considered myself resurrected, but then made the correction for time and space and it still added to an irrational number. It’s elementary. You can’t...

041 “Map” by Bruce Snider

Map by Bruce Snider There ought to be a fire somewhere in Indiana, not this night across the fields in Indiana. And God said let there be light, and there was light. And God said let there be corn, and there was Indiana. I kiss my love, taking his hand near the deer...

038 “Ambition” by Gary Soto

Ambition by Gary Soto For years our ambition was to eat Chicken. To sit in the back yard, In an aftershock of heat When the sun was out of the way. This happened. Drunk under a tree We became sophisticates of the lawn chair And beer bottles—trumpets we raised All...

037 “Lightening” by A. Molotkov

Lightening by A. Molotkov I wrap my mother’s body in a small blanket. She is light in my arms. Sprawled by a fig tree, my father asks, Are thoughts made of our own flesh? I hesitate. Our flesh is a ship stripped of sails. We listen to the sound of the oars. A fig...

035 “Animals” by Frank O’Hara

Animals by Frank O’Hara Have you forgotten what we were like then when we were still first rate and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth it’s no use worrying about Time but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves and turned some sharp corners the...

028 “Litany” by Rebecca Lindenberg

Litany by Rebecca Lindenberg O you gods, you long-limbed animals, you astride the sea and you unhammocked in the cypress grove and you with your hair full of horses, please. My thoughts have turned from the savor of plums to the merits of pity—touch and interrupt me,...

024 “[ode]” by D.A. Powell

[ode] by D.A. Powell where have you gone blue middle of a decade?       the gates creak.       a sigh so vastly different the diary is pure spine.       in the most gingerly way each leaf opened reveals the less of you 83, 84, 85:    your relics in a converse...

021 “Visitation” by Mark Doty

Visitation by Mark Doty When I heard he had entered the harbor, and circled the wharf for days, I expected the worst: shallow water, confusion, some accident to bring the young humpback to grief. Don’t they depend on a compass lodged in the salt-flooded folds of...

015 “Drift” by Brenda Shaughnessy

Drift by Brenda Shaughnessy   I’ll go anywhere to leave you but come with me. All the cities are like you anyway. Windows darken when I get close enough to see. Any place we want to stay’s polluted, the good spots taken already by those who ruin them. And restaurants...

014 “Door” by Dana Levin

Door by Dana Levin   And then an uprush of air— And then the cellar doors banging back, the strong dusk light falling in like a stanchion, a gold nail hammered through the blackened trees— Can you see it? You, psyche, burden, friend? This is the first time I can...

012 “Departure” by Ocean Vuong

Departure by Ocean Vuong Dawn cracks: a lightning bolt carving slowly through the clouds. All night I listened to your breath. Even tasted your lips when the moon turned you pale as a corpse. I haven’t killed a thing since the morning we followed gunshots into a field...

002 “Thirst” by Tracy K. Smith

Thirst by Tracy K. Smith The old man they called Bagre Who welcomed us with food And rice-paper cigarettes At the table outside his cabin Was the one who told the soldiers To sit down. They were drunk. They’d seen the plates on our car From the road and came to...