Issue 163

$15.00

 TO CONNECT, AGAIN: in which we go on a pandemic date, dance on our coffin, revisit the relics of our marriage, and discover our mother’s secret as we escape from war 

 FICTION Hilary Ball, Bill Gaston, Carol Hay, Chris Kuriata, Rachel Lachmansingh, Ian Mallov, Lindsay Michiels, Rebecca Păpucaru, Judith Pond, Alana Rigby, Kristine Sahagun, Susan Smith, Carrie Snyder, Katarina Vuckovic, Ronald Zajac ESSAYS Kitty Hoffman, Helen Humphreys, Emily Urquhart POETRY Kirsteen MacLeod, Sharon McCartney, Robert Priest 

 After dinner, Ginny and Carver led me to the backyard, a field mottled with weeds and a wispy vegetable garden. They moved in a way I always imagined twins would: her left foot moved, and so did his. Her elbow bent, and so did his. She looked to the sky when a goose parted through the clouds, and so did he. I’d never lived so plurally before. Mother and I made it a habit to walk as far as possible from each other when we’d scout the trails near our house back in Ontario. 

RACHEL LACHMANSINGH, “SLAUGHTER THE ANIMAL” 

But by now, this simple walking and coffee process works to realign me to my writing practice each and every day. It signals to me that it is time to work, and I usually do work well and hard because of it. The work itself somehow seems less important to me at this point in my life—the projects and pieces of writing blow in and out like weather—and when I think about writing, it is the process itself that I remember, not the outcome. This is perhaps because the process carries the writing on its back, the way a river floats its cargo along on its current. 

HELEN HUMPHREYS “ON PROCESS” 

One day my teacher kept me after class, incensed, said he’d seen me “smoking dope in the sports field with losers,” and that there were things more worthy of my attention, like literature. It seems curious to say I feel saved by art school, by this teacher, and by poetry. Deep inside, I heard. It was a compass adjustment, a turn toward something. The refuge of beauty. 

KIRSTEEN MACLEOD “FUGITIVE MUSIC” 

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