“Wrapped Up in Skin, Hidden behind Eyes” by Gina Troisi
My stepmother, Brenda, picks out a movie for us to watch: Fatal Attraction. Sitting on the sectional couch with her feet propped up on the coffee table, Brenda says, “Makes you think twice about where to put your dick.”
“The Way of Wood” by Mary Alice Hostetter
It all started with the floor loom. My friend Robin said her mother was downsizing and wanted to sell hers. I had taken a basic weaving class at the local art center the year before, and the place mats I had made for Christmas gifts on a very simple table loom—only a step up from a Playskool toy—had impressed the recipients.
“The Problem of Light” by Susanne Antonetta
The problem of light is, what could it be? A wave? Or a particle? A shimmy, or a stick tracing o’s in the mud?
“The Graceless Age” by Kent Nelson
Anson Hempkin believed in Jesus Christ, and every night, while Faye put the kids to bed, he got down on his knees and prayed to the plastic statue on top of his television set. He prayed his roofing company would prosper, the weather would be good, and Enrique and Pablo would show up for work. He prayed the city council would grant a variance for the megahouse on the bluff, the roof for which he had a contingent contract.
“God of Ducks” by Tina Louise Blevins
When he gets off work, he always smells of butter and chicken stock. The smell lives deep inside his skin where soap doesn’t reach, and sometimes he stands on the bathmat still glistening from his shower and looks in the mirror, grips the pale, soft mounds of fat around his stomach and thinks, I look like a dinner roll. I’m a biscuit with a dick.
“Shooting the Moon” by Charles Antin
Almost a hundred years after the demise of the Jönköping, I sit on the paint-peeling porch of the Montclair Assisted Living Estate, in the decrepit plastic hammock of my wheelchair, and look out, through the topiaried hedges, past the dogwood trees, across the upper-middleclass wasteland of Upper Montclair, to the northeast, toward Sweden, and slowly and methodically eviscerate Jean in two-person hearts . . .
“Swifts” by John Brehm
Early fall, the light thin and brittle, and if
it’s true that deprivation is a gift,
I accept the gift. . . .
“John Cage and the Anechoic Chamber” by Jay Leeming
Arranger of absences, gray-haired composer
of blank, Zen-minded man
who’d given accident a voice . . .