Spring 2016


At eighty-one, she bends bottom to sky, a full forward fold. The heavens fall around us, rain rolls to the river. We adorn each grave—husband, son— with a pine wreath, a red bow, and a dollar store flashlight to glow on Christmas Eve. I watch, my mother prays, and my…

Old Orchard

I learned how to coil a hose below the zoo’s monkey house in the eighties, wound it into wheel upon wheel. The industrial-grade rubber, sage green, the rapids spray out otter enclosure, guinea fowl, elephant, red-ruffed lemur.

The Last Manifesto

A red-tail hawk clings in the wind to a road sign twenty-nine miles from Knoxville A bur oak stand in an empty pasture like a character from some half-forgotten alphabet a sign trying to call our attention back to the thing itself

The Rope Swing (Corcoran)

Jonathan Corcoran. The Rope Swing: Stories. Morgantown, W. Va.: Vandalia Press, 2016. 144 pages. Softcover. $16.99. To the Outsider reader—the person who isn’t quite sure how to pronounce “Appalachia” and perhaps can’t locate its reaches on a map—the characters in Jonathan Corcoran’s short story collection The Rope Swing will stand…

Who Gets Kissed

Is a new organic, open-pollinated sweet corn variety. Also a game played at husking bees—shuck and shuck the green papyrus off the pale yellow facets, search out the red kernels to earn a kiss. The rules do not say how many players, they do not say if the winner chooses…