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The Third Day

By Georges Michel, Thiébaut frèresPierre-Yves Beaudouin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It had been three days since her sister had been rolled out the front door. Hiding behind the banister at the top of the stairs, Maia had listened as the body of her sister was taken away. The clicks of cart and wheels were the only ceremonies of sound to signal her sister’s passage from here to there, wherever there was. The days that followed were marked only by light and dark... Read More



List your accomplishments. All graduate school applications want to know this. I made a Word document to catalog them. Five extra curricular organizations, president of two; appointed leader of student ministry; multiple academic and writing awards; winner of full scholarship; impressive amount of volunteering; Honors program; summa cum laude. That was two years ago. Yesterday,... Read More

Words I Couldn’t Say

""Trees,"l," by Isengardt. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I. Breast, n. either of the pair of mammary glands extending from the front of the chest in pubescent and adult human females and some other mammals the seat of emotion and thought[1]   When my breasts started to develop in early puberty, I thought I had cancer. On a family visit to my grandparents’ house, ducked into their low-ceilinged basement shower one midmorning, I... Read More

Poems for My Father


The last time we saw each other, bristles scraped through bleach on porcelain as you tried to teach me how to clean a toilet. I was nine. You said it was the most important thing you could tell me. My school books and backpack leaned against the wood-paneled wall of the living room. I told you I loved you even though I had seen you only twice before. You told me to remember how... Read More

Three Prayers and a Consummation


While her husband tried to explain to their two kids why they had to skip their Little League tournament in order to attend their grandmother’s church (and that, no, they couldn’t wear their uniforms, and not their 4-H T-shirts either, and no, just hurry up and get dressed, it would take too long to explain, that’s just how you do things at church), Shelly went out to the... Read More

Shoshana’s Song


I. Her name was Shoshana, and she was beautiful. Beautiful in the way that women on the way to some place are. The part on the side of her headful of hair, a futile attempt to tame it. Shoshana never looked neat or proper. Even her hair was in transit. She met Michael by accident. (She did many things by accident—her way of moving in the world.) He was standing outside the small... Read More

God Gave Birth


Alone in the darkness God moaned the blues undulating his belly. Although he cried out, there was no one to hear him. No girlfriend, no midwife, no wife, mother. Finally, God’s water broke and formed salty oceans. For seven days, God pushed and pushed matter through water, making mountains, fields, pushed light away from dark, each contraction, a day of labor to create cosmos... Read More



I. Forsythia immemorial, daffodils and primrose seethe unaware contentment at being alive, as if it’s just another spring— but my seasons of loss keep increasing. Wresting myself from the meat hooks, I climb from the depths like Inanna. Cracked open hard ancient ground beneath my feet flies apart. I lay out a path, repurposed mismatched flagstones, uneven, ill-fitting winding... Read More

Naming the Animals


I found the video of the lambing to be a bit gross, with the blood and amniotic fluid gushing onto the hay and dirt. I was OK with the elephant birth as long as the sound was off. Two-year-old Clara couldn’t get enough of either. When I first showed her a video of a human birth—a peaceful home water birth—she watched mesmerized and then cut in, “All done! All done! All done!”... Read More



for John, Katie, and Kelly You do not have to walk miles of shoreline or pick the tide’s fresh crush with foot and eye to find it: a conch shell, pink-lipped and rimed with salt. It has long been inside of you, a whorl waiting to be pressed to an ear. Listen— do you hear the distant murmur of the one who has emptied you? Some days are filled with the whisperers of despair: a... Read More