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IT WOULD BE GORGEOUS, NONETHELESS: in which we test the water in Cuba, escape the flood in high ground, catalogue the abuses of our partner, and honour the artistic temperament of our sister.
FICTION Jeremy Colangelo, Mark Foss, Veronica Fredericks, Lucia Gagliese, Elliot Gish, Rishi Midha, jp rodrigues ESSAYS Tammy Armstrong, Jannie Edwards, Amy Kaler, Alex Merrill, Mariam Pirbhai, Nedda Sarshar, Suzanne Stewart POETRY John Barton, Moni Brar, Frances Boyle, Terry Burns, Kayla Czaga, Maureen Hynes, Kate Jenks Landry, Kerry Ryan, Allan Serafino, Kristen Smith, Tom Wayman, Susan Wismer, Patricia Young
Before George and Lyons, I’d never lived in a place so prone to sparking, where heat got into you and stayed. I came from a province of sudden fogs and glacial till, where krummholz woods—salt-stunted and skewed— sometimes lifted from their root plates during storms but kept their balance like empty wine glasses on a wind-blown tablecloth. Up in the bluffs of Lyons, the hot wind failed to cool anything. You get used to it, a neighbour had said a week earlier at the coffee shop.
TAMMY ARMSTRONG, “SAINT VRAIN”
By your reckoning, fifty-two percent of Miranda is wonderful. She fills your hefty travel mug with coffee before you leave for work, knowing that you hate to waste money in cafes. She comes up behind you while you brush your teeth and squeezes you tightly around the waist, murmuring sweet things into the hair at the nape of your neck. She stops you on the way out the door, demanding one more kiss, one more hug, one more “I love you” in a way that makes you melt. It is this percentage of Miranda that you cling to.
ELLIOTT GISH, “CATALOGUE”
Hubert limped inside, carrying two great white cauliflower heads that he had picked, their florets drizzled with water like the morning dew. He had lost his left foot while he’d been a war correspondent for the Times, where he’d put his skill as a writer to some use. A grenade went off one day and a piece of shrapnel went straight through his ankle. Ghastly wound. He had been wearing a white ascot, as was his custom at the time, and Vanessa had torn it off his neck to stop the bleeding. Now he typically wore a red ascot, as a kind of joke between them.
JEREMY COLANGELO, “HEARTH”
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