Features

Lotioning My Mother’s Back

Because she lives alone and my hands reach

where hers can’t, she asks of me this favor.

 

It is narrow and soft, my mother’s back.

When I massage in small circles, my mother

 

circles her own mother, . . .

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Standard Hole

My truck’s compromised radiator steaming, I pulled off for pepper flakes, expecting nothing more than having to call Triple A if I couldn’t fix the situation. This was in the parking lot of a place called Halfway Barbecue, down on Highway 176. I ’d chosen to take back roads all the way to the South Carolina coast in case something like this happened. . . .

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Flat Earth Dream Soliloquy

I like the innocent parts of Flat Earth, the bits about reinventing knowledge, but I hate the part that’s borders and brutalism. I get the desire for an edge because I also love the feminine tilt and the endless dip of the heliocentric, but Flat Earth feels like a gender homesick for an atlas of endless shale beneath us. . . .

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Is All Writing Environmental Writing?

We are in the midst of the planet’s sixth great extinction, in a time where we are seeing the direct effects of radical global climate change via more frequent and ferocious storms, hotter drier years accompanied by more devastating wildfires, snow where there didn’t used to be snow, and less snow where permafrost used to be a given. . . .

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Afternoon Sun at the End of Summer

 

The children wade naked and thigh-deep

in stone-colored water. They duck under

and come up flinging drops from their hair.

Wind raises gooseflesh on their arms.

Touch is the miracle, wrote Whitman.

Touch is the earth’s language and the children

speak it. . . .

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The Stork and the Fires

No one knew when the stork had arrived. At first, it stood on the pier, its back to the town, looking out at the horizon; it appeared to be consumed or at least distracted by the sea from which it came. The pier itself was covered by kelp and long, . . .

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Hellion

“Y’all put that gator right back where you found him or I’ll pepper your asses with 177s.”

I aimed my Daisy right at Butch, the more chicken-shit of the pair. 

Mitch held Dragon by the jaws while Butch tried to steady his lashing tail. 

“Feeding him Atomic Fireballs again, . . .

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Bosch in the Burning World

At the joining of the Dommel and the Aa in the southern part of the Netherlands, a town was built and called “Bosch” after its forest. It prospered, rivaling Utrecht. In its churches there was music. In town there was money. The two rivers were combined to make a moat for protection. . . .

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