Pacifica Issue 9 Cover Art Preview

ORDER NOW
Issue 01

Issue 09

CONTENTS
Prose

Ahsan Butt

Majid Uncle

Gen del Raye

A Shark is an Animal That Blushes When You Touch Its Face

Paula Delgado-Kling

A Kidnapping

Rachel Linn

Anchor

Poetry

Jake Bauer

A Wedding

Bill Carty

Experiments with Solids, Mutual Fish

Caylin Capra-Thomas

Riverine

Mackenzie Cole

No Longer

Sarah B. Puschmann

Dear Maraschino Cherry

Maya Jewell Zeller

Black Plastic Night, Self-Portrait With Nudity and False Awakening

2017 Poetry Contest Winners

Alex Bleecker

Today is a 5.

Trinity Tibe

Resemblance

Art

Jean Wolff

Cover Art

Ryan Diaz

The Photographer

by

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 . . .

Mar-03-2017

Medusa in Paradise

by

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.

Feb-28-2017

Someday

by

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.

Feb-21-2017