by Kathryn Starbuck
I had my first migraine when I was twelve. I knew what it was because my mother had taught me. She would moan and wail around the house ten or twelve days each month. She would yell at me to be quiet. “Don’t you know my head is splitting?” “Turn off that light.” “What’s that awful smell?” “Fix me a milkshake.” “My God, I’m dying of pain.”
Well, she had more than migraines, of course, and I felt sorry for her a lot of the time. She was a somewhat functional crazy person.
by Emily Doak
The Hudson Line, express or local, runs out of the belly of Grand Central into the light of a graffitied canyon. Weeds vein the concrete gorge, and a valley floor of train tracks pushes forward. Saplings crack whole chunks of concrete loose. Rise further to Harlem, buildings flat to the tracks. Curtains, gray from soot, are sucked out the windows. In apartments completely abandoned, newspaper pasted to the windows has become translucent over time.
by Carol Was
Teach me your necessity, the labor of that need,
thriving beside spiked lobelia, cactus, ocotillo.
Teach me your tenacity with thick shafts of stem,
your stalwart climb, love’s urgent path, . . .
by Lance Larsen
We hear the wheezing at the same time.
And look up, I from my bench in Hyde Park,
my fourteen-year-old son from his spot
of dirt, feeding pigeons. A woman in training
strides toward us. Correction, glides between
wheezes. She has aluminum ski poles, but no skis.
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