by Robert Coker Johnson
I remember the smell of cigarettes, my mother’s hands cool against my face, and I would come back to the room, the rough sheets, the other children bleating in the ward. I lived on shots. They fed me through the nose. Sometimes a nurse brought a bottle of distilled water with an aluminum shaker top like my mother used when she ironed clothes. The water was room temperature, but when the nurse peeled the gauze from my legs—I was always on my stomach—and sprinkled water on my wounds, it burned like ice, as though I were still on fire.
by Albert Goldbarth
If the past will be seen to validate a current national image
of grandiosity, then the state will subsidize scholarly
archeological expeditions, historical research, manuscript
codecracking. And if not, then not. This is the earliest
formulation of how the state and the softer sciences
interrelate. . . .
by Nancy Willard
Night has fallen in Gethsemane so fast
it bruises the lilies of the field.
Over the altar, the angel
in tailored moss and russet wings
hovers above the acolyte . . .
by Dorothy Barresi
If a daughter bent on pleasing
turns her knives
inward, then the salad plate goes
to the left of the glassware, . . .
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