Pieces of our Father

Joe Bongiorno

To his surprise, the room was empty. He examined it: paper shredder full of documents sealing the company’s fate; furniture transformed into coasters for half sipped bourbons; cigar butts botched on the carpet like little islands surrounded by ash waves; smoking chair cushions gutted and turned on their sides, and the window opened wide inviting the harsh January draft.

Recycling Day

I climbed the stairs and placed the green bin on the landing. I unlocked the door and leaned down to pick up the bin. There were a few papers in it, probably thrown in by passers-by after the recycling had already been picked up. Flyers, an electricity bill. One sheet caught my eye. It had been crumpled up, but I could still make out the handwriting.

Ana, Close Up Far Away

Alma Talbot

Ana rolls onto her side, peels the comforter off of her torso, and lies there waiting to feel November fall into her skin. She lies there half exposed beneath the mound of blankets until she is certain that this is what cold feels like, before she begins to move about her room, carefully pulling on sweatpants and socks over the sensitive terrain of her body. She passes the two closed doors on her way to the bathroom.

Pockets

He was sitting in a cage at a table in the corner of the room. Two women were at his side. People gawked at him. One woman yelled “don’t stick your fingers in!” to a kid from Thinktank. The kid had a yellow notepad with ART MUTTERS on the cover and was writing all the valuable things that fell out of the woman’s mouth. Pam stared at Pockets as he scratched his white beard. She turned red and thought about doing something terrible to Karen. Pam looked at a few more paintings above the food table where a tureen of red punch glistened, tapping a pen on her palm. She poured some punch into a glass and almost drank it before she noticed shit or hay was floating in it.

The Art of Translation

Alli marini batts

The tears I cry in trying to fit this first key
into the door to a cavern of someone else’s language
are like so many rocks, impeding my path.
I complain about the words, yet add more of them,
babbling at Babel, cursed never to understand this tongue.

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