Pacifica Issue 9 Cover Art Preview

Issue 01

Issue 10


Rosie Adams

Planet Ice

M.J. Arlett


T.J. Fuller

Where’d You Go?

Thomas Larson

The Reliably Spiritual Author

Caleb Tankersley

Brasilia, 2003


E Yeon Chang

Wolves & Bears

Edward Derby

Florida Morning Gun Song

Noah Eli Gordon

There’s nothing heavy

Danika Isdahl

A Cave, A Cage, A Cauldron

Kate Lebo

In the Beginning, A Prayer to Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Equal Representation

Zana Previti

My Mother Visits the Hagia Sophia

Devon Wootten

Selections from Gimmie the Pretty: Sonnets


Raychelle Duazo


Erin Halligan


Cover Art

Erin Halligan

The Photographer


Joseph JP Johnson

In the final hours of Michael Smith’s life, family rotated into the hospital room. Most had little to say and spent, on average, three minutes each wishing the man well and promising his full recovery. There was the inheritance to think of. Should Michael survive—as he always survived—it was important to be seen. There might be, like after the heart attack or the shooting in Lebanon or the car wreck in Mali, a revised will. When Michael did not recover, each relative commented how ironic his death was: that in a life lived so dangerously, a bacteria-laced tuna fish sandwich fell the man.

Michael’s granddaughter, Samantha, refused irony as an acceptable explanation of death. She, like her grandfather, was an artist—not a photographer, but a sculptor (a student sculptor). She was also Michael’s favorite living relative.

In her last visit with the-then-conscious Michael, Samantha entered the white-walled room alone. She had only known her grandfather as a virile man, but there he was, unshaven and emaciated. He lay impotent on a hospital bed opposite a cheap print of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. In her final ten minutes with the photographer, Samantha opened the curtains.

“Real light,” said Michael.

“For a little longer.”

“What do you see?”

Samantha pulled a chair close and watched her grandfather’s face. He stared at the ceiling.

“Strength,” she said.

Michael let out a grunt. “Lies.”

“I see the sharp line of a great jaw.”

“The fluorescents are killing me.”

Samantha stood, walked to the door, and flipped the light switch. Shadows, black and precise, appeared on the man’s face. In the areas of the room unclaimed by shadow, color glowed. Everything with yellow in it—the cushion on the chair or the hand soap bottle on the sink—radiated. Samantha’s green coat was vivid as grass after rain.

“The magic hour,” said Michael.

“We’re lucky, Papa.”

“Hurry,” he said. His jaw twitched. Michael’s breathing was interrupted and irregular. He seemed to be steadying it, tightening his neck as if holding back a yawn.

Samantha studied her grandfather’s face. She spoke like a TV coroner: “The cheek has an indent that’s not usually there, like the muscles below it have shrunk away. The lines from the cheek to the eyes are curved and deep, but not as pronounced as they once were, almost as if they were flattened by an iron.”

“Good,” said Michael.

“The color in your eyes is bleached, like they’d been left on a windowsill over summer, and the white has yellowed like old plastic.”

“The nose,” Michael said. He closed his eyes.

“It’s sharp along the ridge. Cartilage and thin skin. But it’s swollen at the nostrils, like you’re a smoker. A drinker. It’s turned down, like the tip wants to point to something.”

“To what?”

“To your chin, I think. Your chin hasn’t changed. It still has its bump like a small ball, an armature, under a tight sheet.”

“Good,” he said.

“Tell me about Andy Warhol, again,” she said.

“Tomorrow,” he said, and then coughed, and a gelatinous mass of moss-colored mucus hung on the hollow beneath his bottom lip.

Continue Reading . . .


Medusa in Paradise


Cade Leebron

Listen, because I’m telling you: snakes abound
around here, kiss you in your sleep. We all eat
a thousand a year without knowing.
We all make noises in our sleep. Snakes listen.
Are you listening? You never look at me,
hand me roses like mirrors, all false reflection.
I’m made of Lace, I’m made of snakes,
or that’s some goddess on TV. I’m following
you with a push-broom, sweeping up your dead
skin-scales. I’m following you on Twitter.
I miss your forked tongue. I miss the way
my toes broke under you, the way you forgot
it in your sleep. I had to tell you. You looked
at the bruises as if they didn’t prove
a thing. As if I couldn’t purple,
as if I’d been stone.




Mia Ayumi Malhotra

You’ll wake to the rattle of porcelain
against rim, turn to unhappy linens:
rumpled pillow, cast-off duvet. Mouth
steeped in bitters, you’ll rise to clear

the bedroom of unhappy linens,
breakfast things: butter pat, tea cozy
steeped in bitters. You’ll rise, clear
the mug with the chipped lip

and other breakfast things. Left
to the cozy tyranny of drying rack,
the mug with the chipped lip
whispers mutiny along its ceramic edge.

The tyranny of the dying wracks
the china saucer, whose cracked
ceramic rim whispers: mutiny.
Silver clamors in the hall cabinet

where china saucers crack and brim
with rumpled silverfish. Their velvet
mouths clamor in the hall cabinet
for your wake, upsetting the porcelain.