Gettysburg Review
Gettysburg College | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Essays

“Body Worlds”

by Kerry Reilly

You met a guy online. You have had four or five dates, and you haven’t so much as held hands. He is artistic. His expensive button-down shirts are decorated with bold, colorful patterns. He has two tickets to the Body Worlds Exhibition in Denver. A traveling display of human bodies and body parts that have been preserved using a process called plastination.

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“Night Watch”

by Jeffrey Hammond

When I was a child in the late 1950s, the streetlights ended two blocks before our neighborhood on the edge of our small Ohio town. Given the midwestern custom of early dinners, my friends and I often played outside afterward. On dark, moonless nights in late fall and winter, familiar yards were transformed into mysterious black voids relieved only by trash burning here and there in an oil drum.

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“The Final Day in Rome”

by John H. Culver

The waiting room in the ER at Rome’s Policlinico was a vast rectangle with four banks of chairs set facing each other in a much smaller rectangle. One group of chairs was missing a front stabilizer, which meant that any time someone sat down or stood up, the rest of the chairs moved in unison.

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“Crossing the Divide”

by Elizabeth Arnold

Somewhere in Pennsylvania a girl is saying good-bye to a man who doesn’t want her to leave. But don’t feel bad for her; she wants to go.

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“Elvis Presley Has Been Avenged”

by Sam Butler

We found the emu gutted and blind in the southeast pasture, just past the gate with wild oat growing at its posts. The bird made short, harsh croaking noises until we got too close, when it lurched atop its wobbly legs and tried to run.

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“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.”

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“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.

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“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?

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“Blue Rain”

by Daniel Doen Silberberg

During the day, I taught English to junkie kids at Morris High, deep in the East Bronx. At night, I wrote and played music at a Soho recording studio way downtown in Manhattan. After that I would stay up late drinking cheap Scotch from sea-green bottles and watching old movies. I liked the Marx Brothers’ free-floating insanity and W. C. Fields’s misanthropic grace. It was both entertainment and avoidance.

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“Power Play”

by Cynthia Dockrell

Dad is still next to the phone, looking at the place where Mom was just standing. Normally he would follow her into the other room and say something like, “Now wait just a goddamn minute,” but nothing has been normal lately. Instead he turns to me—I have been setting the table with the good silver and linen—and raises his eyebrows. I almost feel sorry for him. . . .

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