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Issue 01

Issue 06

CONTENTS
Prose

Priscilla Long

The Color Orange

Jay McAleer

Panic

Ryan Napier

Stomach and Heart

Poetry

Kayla Rae Candrilli

Ghost Story

Nathan Wade Carter

Lake But Not Lake

Dennis Caswell

My Spirit Animal

Dan Haney

Ars Poetica

David Hargreaves

What We All Wanted

J.W. Marshall

In A Bowl

Julia Anna Morrison

Owl

Elisabeth Murawski

Bonsai Lovers

Noelle O’Reilly

Honey Lumper

Catherine Pond

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

Captain’s Desk

Look and Leap Contest Winners

Barbara Harroun

Death’s Fabulous Remains

Kevin McLellan

Branching

Photography

Andrew Imanaka

Release

by

Talia Cohen

The thirty burros were the last straw. I already couldn’t sleep because the road kept unspooling in front of me whenever I closed my eyes, and Thomas’s macaroni-bean special added its own sour notes to my internal chaos. I launched myself up off the narrow little cot and banged my shin on something before I found the light switch.

Those animals. They’d made the whole scene even queasier when I first arrived this afternoon and spotted them. They were huddled together in a too-small paddock behind the house, enclosed by assorted hunks of metal roofing and up-ended pallets arranged against four dead trucks, all on bare dirt. Thomas and Petra had only recently acquired them–I learned the story at dinner from a guy named Sico, who somehow came as a package deal with the burros and now slept in a trailer at the edge of Thomas’s property. Sico rescued the beasts from some sort of lethal repossession and then apparently he had needed rescuing right along with them. Out of misery or orneriness–I didn’t know–the whole thirty of them filled the night with a creaking, mooing yammer like the soundtrack to hell. When I jumped out of bed I half-believed I’d go outside and release them. They deserved to be let loose, and I deserved a decent sleep.

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Jul-13-2015

Like Birds, We Will Fly Away

by

Amy Foster Myer

My grandson called in the middle of the night, incoherent. Before I had the phone to my ear, he was already talking like we were in the middle of a conversation, his voice one jumbled note, long and low.

I couldn’t remember when I’d talked to him last.

“So about our deal,” he said. “I’m ready. Let’s go through with it.”

My heart swelled and clammered. My years of praying and begging were about to payoff, he was ready to go. Before I could answer, Harlan said, “Tyrone, are you there? I’m trying to tell you, man, I’m saying let’s do it.”

“Harlan?”

“Grammie Jane?” His voice turned hollow, deflated.

“Harlan?” But he had already taken the phone away from his ear. From a distance I heard him say, “oh shit,” and then he hung up.

I spent the entire next day trying to reach him but his phone just rang and rang. I sat in my aviary and hit redial, redial until my thumb was sore.

Harlan’s cockatoo H-dog sat on my shoulder to look for strands of loose hair which he draped over the limbs of the potted plants like silver tinsel on a Christmas tree.

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Jul-08-2015

Deployment

by

Asha Dore

At the dock, which is really a concrete platform edging into the Atlantic, hard blue waves whip up sending a pale mist across naked ankles or nude hose or the hems of stark white pants. Some of the other families have hired photographers to catch the spouses standing beside their sailors. They curl around each other, creating the scene we all know: off to war, last kiss, and then-

You and your daughter do not match these scenes.

It’s 6:15 in the morning. You’re both wearing shorts and tank tops, your hair still messy from sleep. Your husband takes off his sunglasses, hands them to you. Drop them in your purse. Watch your husband squint while his eyes adjust to your face under the sun. Watch him pick up your daughter. Hug him with her body between you. He kisses her hair. He hands you your daughter and turns away. Carry her in the other direction. Fold her into her car seat. Drive her home. Your husband’s boat drives him out to sea.

Traffic is heavy on the way home, the interstate filled with military spouses, all of you sliding into your independence, your bodies vibrating, trying to contain the space between this minute and the minute the sailors should return home in eight months.

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Jul-02-2015