Issue 158

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 WHAT LIES AHEAD: in which we search for a missing pinball machine, reconcile with an errant son, rescue a shark in Florida, and escape (another) pandemic. 

FICTION Georgina Beaty, Alison Braid, Tamas Dobozy, Carmella Gray-Cosgrove, Cait Lachman, J. P. Letkemann, Kate O’Gorman, Brent van Staalduinen, Joshua Wales, Phoebe Wang ESSAYS Doley Henderson, Linda Light, Rosie Long Decter, Lisa Martin, Yohani Mendis, Claire Montgomery, Susan Olding, Donna Seto, Lilita Tannis POETRY Susan Braley, Zachery Cooper, Melinda Price Wiltshire, Richard Sanger, James Swafford 

 

It’s Friday and Bailey will be spending the evening at Ruby-Lynn’s house. Joy is going out. Her long brown hair is still wet from the bath and she’s sitting in front of her vanity in nylons and a bra. That soft bit of flesh between the two spills over the elastic waistband. Bailey thinks her mom is the most beautiful person she has ever seen, sliding lipstick over her soft lips, the corners of her mouth pulled back so they are firm against her teeth. The shade is called Crimson Kiss. 

CARMELLA GRAY-COSGROVE “ALMOST TOUCHING” 

Apart from the faint light reflected from the city, the night is lit up with fireflies that weave about our chairs. This evening reminds me of evenings past, before moving to Canada, when I lived under my parents’ roof. Like now, we regrouped on the veranda, legs folded or knees pressed to chests, swapping stories of the day’s events. Unlike then, we are not the same forthcoming storytellers. Migration creates rifts that go beyond mere continents—it creates rifts in families, losing all that time and space and knowing. 

YOHANI MENDIS, “2020: A FAMILY ODYSSEY” 

The Auschwitz Museum had sent out a tweet reminding its visitors to be respectful. It seems that their younger visitors have forgotten where they are, the past is not their present. They are there, it seems, for themselves; they are there to take a good selfie. Balancing themselves along the railroad tracks, striking yoga poses where they can, they model designer bags and big sunglasses, and they appear to be happy and carefree. Where they are seems to matter less, if it even matters at all. 

CLAIRE MONTGOMERY, “SELFIES @ AUSCHWITZ” 

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