Issue 1.3

February 2023

In This Issue:
Ghazal at Dawn
Ella Rous
Manufacture
Devon Brock
Witness Protection
Mark J. Mitchell
No Luck This Morning
Matthew Hutchins

Ella Rous
Ghazal at Dawn
Ghazal at Dawn I had to watch your face to see the light coming. A mirror for a horizon that was behind me, a sight coming to touch my mind gently and lift off, a butterfly, delicate, fragile and transitory. I blinked and the beauty ebbed, the white coming over the horizon, so cold and clean as to purify and excruciate. The final wash of terror over our bodies. This isn’t Christ’s coming: the blood in the water, the acid in the rain, the settling of locusts over a field. Only, I am the blood, the acid, the locusts. It’s a blight coming. But I’ll wait for something to harm or wrong, and for something to harm or wrong you. In the meantime, I watch the mites coming and whorling in the strands of sunlight. I avoid your touch and I dream of blades in the dark. You are the right coming, and I am the wrong coming, and I want to avenge you. It is all I know how to do for you. And still I fear the night coming. Call me what you will: glint, molar, luster, baby’s breath, honey, darling. Ellie, E.J., Ella. I won’t see the light coming.
Devon Brock
Manufacture
Manufacture In its original sense: to shape with the hands— how you draw the line of your lover’s jaw from neck to chin; how she leans into your palm as you wipe a tear from the corner of her eye with your fingertip. Remember this when the clay dries, when the glaze cracks.
Adam Haver
The Sower Arepo Holds With Effort the Wheels
The Sower Arepo Holds With Effort the Wheels Each spring the fallow fields await the sower like a savior come to give them purpose, divine if not destined, the mounded rows. Arepo has taxied the fields for so long he knows no other route to take, from seed to harvest he holds the wheel straight until winter’s signs. The seedlings know the land before they grow, their parents having instilled a legacy of what they know of this soil, blessed by Arepo’s hand. And when the sower’s bones mingle with the seeds, he’ll find a sweet familiarity within the ground, as all the fields rejoice at his rooted homecoming.
Mark J. Mitchell
Witness Protection
Witness Protection Around the time her mirror snapped, she wrote names of lapsed gods—their long, dangerous names— on hems of drapes. Her talisman—her hope against plague and fire. She let her pets out. Then she shuffled old cards, spread a long game around time. Her compact snapped. So she wrote small verbs on her palm. She stumbled through days like that—half-dressed in darkness, left without her face for comfort. She waited for blame to wash over with its red tide. Small doubts about time made her mirror snap. She wrote on shards, with long fingers, all those false names they asked to hear before they’d let her out.
Matthew Hutchins
No Luck This Morning
No Luck This Morning Walking with my father, I stumble over his bootprints. Lever-action clumsy in my arms like a teenager holding a baby. He presses the barbed wire of a fence into a V so I can cross. Lowers his orange mask to ask, *No luck this morning?* I do not tell him that I drank two cups of french pressed coffee against a cedar tree. Rifle unloaded—out of reach. I do not speak of the buck that came to me, movement masked by the rings of fog it puffed into the air nor of the minute we spent watching each other as it stomped damp moss. The rifle forgotten until it turned back to the tree line. *No luck this morning*.

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