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What Boys Think About Dreams/ The Wisdom of Photons/ The Fireflies

I wake up in the middle of the night. A single star winks at me. Photons fired out thousands, maybe millions of years ago, skimming space, slipping solar systems, sneaking past planets—one true beam sometimes bent by the gulp of gravity,mbut always adhering to its lucky destination.

bholman

I made a new email to be professional—obviously I couldn’t go around applying for jobs as , and my cousin wasn’t going to keep paying for that domain name anyway. So I picked something regular. I tried my first initial + last name as my username, but bholman was taken. So then I put my first two initials, and presto, I became blholman, employable person. […]

The Sky / Weightless Treasure / A Neon Body / If I Die

The plunging water, the plunging light: replenished, stupefied and serene. It is so wide-open that what looks and feels like endless light shines through, then a glinting truth that looks like madness, the bald white hemorrhage of a gravity moving through the moon. . .

Egg, Paper, Arson

The salon burned down just before they moved in, and Shimmery would always associate the stench of burning plastic with the summer they lived on that hill. Her mom said it was arson, but Shimmery didn’t know who Arson was or what he had against manicures and perms.

After His Passing

After her husband dies, and the children have helped reshuffle the house, moved out his worn cardigans, his weathered golf bag, his collection of bird skulls, she feels acutely alone. Mornings now, she reads thrillers in the shade of an elm as light dapples the grass. Sometimes his ghost putters around the yard, bending slowly, tracing the ground for signs of tulips. The ghost is a marginal gardener, perhaps something in the afterlife impairs your spatial reasoning.

The Bone Essay, Prayer Before the Decorative Fireplace

The rain sets its liquid feet down on the pavement ahead of me as I waver my way down the block
with one crutch tucked into me like a loved one.[…]

Post-Covid Wedding Planning / Inauguration 2021 / In the Beginning

I’m imagining a celebration of love of course, but also of the return to being able to love with our arms, our lips, our bodies close and unmasked.

Taxidermied Jesus

Pastor says we’re all dead inside. That death is akin to riding a seatless bike. That death is the sound of rain and falling. It is the peculiar way mobile Jesus smiles at me from his particle-board cross. It is how my father died drunk and alone
in Hank’s used car lot.

GRAVIDA 0, PARA 0

Once I told my doctor if only I was not estranged from my mother, I’d know what to expect from menopause. “That’s ridiculous,” the doctor said. “Your mother had children. You’ve never even been pregnant. Her experience would have no bearing on yours. Feel badly about the estrangement if you like, but not because of this.”

I run from myself and my body aches / To Those That Came / How to Make a Man

Before me, I see dandelions displayed like jewelry. Each atop a hand carved wooden stand. I blow into each in turn. Some make declarations, some scream or roar, some converse and others lecture, others say nothings in the ear.

Live Without / I Need Your Love, Too

This year the number I call the most now is the pharmacy. I have to wonder who you were when I was born because I feel you in both root and stem but I’ll never be sorry to have eaten the sky.

The Whistle

The whistle had filled Yara’s dreams for a long time now—ever since she first heard it in the form of an incoming bullet that lodged itself in her best friend’s ribcage. More than anything she saw or heard that day, it was the whistle that most haunted her. It was the first time she understood that the promise of imminent chaos was always somehow worse than the actual chaos itself.[…]

Wed

Posed beside her husband, is this what my great-grandmother feared, bleached hand pressed gently against cherry oak skin?

Litdish: On the Ways We Access Beauty and Love: An Interview with Jeri Frederickson

People need to be seen and heard. There needs to be space where survivors can decide what healing looks and feels like for them. Awakenings is one of those places. That solidarity component is vital. Even if their experiences look different, we must get to the core of what it means to be human.

An Afternoon of Erasure / An Anthology of Endlessness

I split the pockets of stillness left hovering on a naked afternoon. Halves drop like discarded agreements—one half in the floundering arms of the sea, another in the blanks of this book I’ve beenmpretending to read, if at all.

Litdish: Some Kind of Beauty in the World: 6 Questions for Anna Scotti

In fiction, we take things from our own lives and things we hear, and we fictionalize them, and we make them up, and we appropriate them for our own, but somehow I think there’s this feeling with poets sometimes that that’s dishonest when done in a poem, and I don’t think it is.

Another Story About My Dead Mom

The snake rears its head, its thick green body gleaming in the light. A stripe of yellow runs along its stomach. We are transfixed, frozen, burning feet forgotten. I want to touch the snake, feel the cool curve of its muscle wrap across my legs and pull me to the ground.

Peacock, Egg Harbor City, New Jersey / Catastrophic Sonnet

I see you’ve renounced your birthplace, which is of course your right. You will dream of male sunbirds feeding on nectar mid-air. When they come for you, they will ask about your love’s name, her contours, her address.

Litdish: Forge a Nontraditional Path to Success: 10 Questions with Alex Temblador

Writing a book is no more of a craft challenge than writing an article—they both involve skills that come with practice. In approaching different mediums, novel writing requires more personal reflection.

Litdish: An Interview with Audiobook Producer Elishia Merricks

The big hitters in the audiobook world have found a beautiful balance between a performance and a conversation with a friend. The people who are most successful acknowledge that this performance is different from acting on the stage or on film, even though many of them have that background.

Spotlight Arts: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Sasha Louis Bush’s ongoing series Rock, Paper, Scissors, uses elementary school classrooms in New York City as a shared creative space, serving both children and adults.[…]

Treason

Disability as entertainment. For entertainment purposes only. For compelling narratives. We give to telethons and walkathons and passionate speechification to keep all disease away… like throwing virgins or dogs—sometimes entire cities—into or under volcanoes to appease the gods.[…]

Discomfort Makes Us Better: 10 Questions with Julie Fain

I certainly see an awakening of sorts right now. In this moment in particular I see it on the part of people of color in publishing, who I think have been marginalized for a very long time and are gaining confidence to speak up and are seeing openings for that. Maybe this moment will open up some doors, but I think it’s going to be painful for some people to address those realities. I welcome it.[…]

City and Its Underground Worker / Blue Boy Smuggling Birds’ Nests up the Trees

Yan An’s poems are highly experimental, unconventional, and unique according to the standards and traditions of Chinese culture, considering their aesthetic value, contents, philosophical denotations, and meanings. As a pioneer in modern westernized Chinese poetry, Yan An has completely transformed Chinese readers’ concepts and understanding of poetry through his unique views about the universe, life, society, and people.[…]

A Truth Before Truth

History is a border mining town where the immigrant citizen workers were loaded and deported on trains across the line and none of the high school history teachers know about the Bisbee Deportation. None of the history teachers teach the Bisbee Deportation names crushed into dark shafts banished on ghost trains. History knows about systemic indifference and the looting of voices.

My Mama Gives Birth

This is not surgery, but delicate massage, feeling the flour fall into thickening milk, caving into the mix from the sides, birthing like a glacier into that fabulous muck hole, oozing between her fingers as she delicately mixes a quicksand of sorts, widening its territory until the feel is just right. Not too much, not too little.

When My First Cousin’s Husky Puppy Licks My Face / They Say Men Are Always About Looks

but I fell in love over the phone in 1989, his name two low notes shoved out my throat, repeated like a gulf smacking shore rocks in starlight, our letters tucked between issues of Uncanny X-Men because I did not want a willow switch across my back

The Night Before the Snow Day

The hijab had made her feel blessed when she had first been allowed to put it on. She thought she was praising Allah. She knew she was pleasing her father. He had looked at her in a different way that day.[…]

Family Prayers

This was different. This was x-rays, exams, and endless procedures. Like everything in this god-forsaken land, her body seemed to be drying up beneath the unrelenting sun.[…]

Baldilocks

The women from my mother’s generation would have held their hands to their cheeks in shock and dismay. They would have cursed me for acting like a widow when I was fortunate to have a husband, alive and well! They would have whispered darkly about me, the irresponsible married woman who wore the symbol of widowhood so blithely![…]