by Aileen Gray Fresh off a plane, having been awake for more than twenty-four hours, excited, exhausted – it did not register as odd when the first question my Irish cab driver asked was whether I was voting for Obama or Romney in the upcoming […]
Issue: December 2013
by Obella Obbo
At any given moment,
an Elephant carries 60 pounds
beneath his breast, 60 in his soul,
& has been known to wither away
at the reality of his loneliness.
Did you know a documentary crew
can’t disturb the habitat they observe?
An Elephant gets turned around
in the wave of a sandstorm
and they have to watch him lose his way.
Which one is being tortured?
Did we pick this path to absolve us
of the guilt of watching him wander,
or because we really couldn’t bare it:
witnessing someone waste away to dust,
when they are capable of such grandeur?
Will we keep our patience, doctor? Will we
remain helpful navigating our own
sandstorms and carrying someone else’s
compass? Are we any better
than the documenters or do we label them
horrid to protect our own values?
tell me I’m gifted. That I’m capable
of this grandeur too. Don’t diagnose
my sickness as my concern. Give me
what I need and stomp my anxiety
with feet as mighty as the Elephant.
by Emma Way Africa time – a generalized look at Africa as a slow-paced lifestyle, which is exemplified with consistent late arrivals and ruthless interruptions. As a timid and short-term volunteer in Tanzania, even when I finally got to teach, other superior administration would arrogantly […]
by Kimberly Uslin
You were always the strong one.
When Lent rolled around with its funeral march of
no nothing for forty days and forty nights
and those goddamn depressing tales of Pontius Pilate
with his untouched hands, awash in
the politics of blood and our Lord Jesus Christ,
you didn’t crumble like the temple
or break like the bread –
You were strong.
So when you told me that you had a business trip
that just so happened to be in New Orleans –
just so happened to be over Mardi Gras –
I didn’t worry about your pilgrim’s fingers
entwining in some bitch’s cheap weave
or the lone feather, sodden with sweat
that you’d peel from your shoulder the morning after.
No, I was more worried that I wouldn’t be strong enough.
It was dessert this year –
My sacrifice to God meant
no pudding pie
no crème brulee
for forty days and forty nights
and without you there, I didn’t know if I could do it.
But boy, were you doing it without me.
Buttering her up with beignets,
juleps, and jambalaya in dimly lit corners,
sputtering long-forgotten conjugations
in the fabulous French Quarter,
and wooing her with your doo-wop-dee-do
lies, lips buzzing in a trumpet’s impression.
Just because you played horn in high school
it doesn’t make you Dizzy –
But maybe you made her dizzy.
Swirling compliments with pheromones
and swapping Eucharist
for a different kind of communion:
the big band’s carnival of
call and response
call and réponse –
a farewell to flesh and when I called,
you didn’t respond.
So I’ll think of her as I deny first myself, after dinner,
then you, in the holy night.
And I hope you’ll think of me
when the saints go marching in
and you’re nursing a headache.
Put down the highball, lonesome:
Drink a bottle of water, and
set your alarm.
We have Mass in the morning.
An Essay on the Consumption of Living Organisims, Including But Not Limited to Miso, Deer, and Mine Own Dignity
by Reilly Cox By the great peculiarity that is existence, life endures in numerous and varied ways, and the distinction between a mountain and a mountain goat is but a superficial one. For as stated in Atomic Theory, what makes a field mouse so, […]