Issue 161

$10.00

CONSTANT DISRUPTION OF PATTERNS: in which we still make sourdough bread, seek meaning in that strange beam of light, walk miles in our own home, and take up indoor farming.

FICTION Michele Alba, Katherine Barrett, Lauren Carter, Preeti Kaur Dhaliwal, Stephen Finucan, Bruce Geddes, Steven Heighton, Haneen J. Iqbal, Kari Lund-Teigen, Emira Tufo NON-FICTION David Huebert, Mandy Bao-Phuong Lam, Rachel Laverdiere, Jacob Letkemann POETRY Richard Brait, Yuan Changming, Sarah Feldman, Brian Henderson, Grace Lau, Rose Maloukis, Karen Massey, Sharon McCartney, Peter Norman, Suzanne Nussey, David Pratt, Susan Sinclair, Ricardo Sternberg 

 

 The bibis were only ten to fifteen years older than the women she’d just had lunch with but had aged more obviously, their skin more wrinkled and extra hairs unplucked, always wearing dull floral print suits. Some of their tops were tight across their chests but only by consequence of weight gained and not wanting to pay a tailor to let the seams loose. Yet even with their chunnis over their heads rather than their shoulders, they complained about the same things: money and men. 

PREETI KAUR DHALIWAL, “A PICNIC WITH AUNTIES”

Roula’s in the pool, too. Up to her thighs in the same water that will soon receive their first-born child. It’s been twenty-two—make that twenty-three—years but Gary remembers when Tony arrived and he knows that when the time comes, the kid won’t be the only thing Francy pushes out her belly. He wonders if Roula, in her white tank and shorts, knows about the mess, if anyone in the birthing pool scene thought to warn her. 

 BRUCE GEDDES, “THE BIRTHING POOL” 

I lie bare-loined in a hoodie, sock feet crinkling on crepe paper. The doctor is bland and blond and affable. He is middle-aged, middle-height, middle-build, perfect toothed, white as Red Mill, as me. This morning I shaved my scrotum for the first time, thought of it as a “scrotum” for the first time. The doctor asks me to uncross my ankles, begins to scrub with sterile pads, readies the syringe. The surgical light descends, a humming UFO. I glance at the analogue clock, the popcorn ceiling, my mind all needle. The pain is thin and distant, fierce and dull. 

DAVID HUEBERT, “FLESH MADE BURN” 

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