Features

Black Work

She stood at the window and watched me.

How long she had waited for me to wake up

I dared not ask, nor could she have answered, 

her jaws woven shut by the undertaker’s twine,

a trade she knew well,

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White Peaches

The white peaches announce themselves on the kitchen counter, 

quick scent flinting alight the worm-eaten dawn, 

the clean-edged note almost mineral, so unlike 

the vague, pulpy yellow of girlhood:

 

the backyard peach tree bowed down with too much 

sun-bruised

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Secret Information

The other day, for no particular reason I can think of, I mentioned to my middle-aged daughter in conversation that I had been cleared for “secret” when I was in the army. Surprised, she commented, “I never knew you had …

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Chew on This

When we asked Christopher Merrill—a portion of whose prose collaboration with Marvin Bell appears in our Winter 2013 issue—to tell us what he had been reading as of late, he gladly agreed, and then surprised us over the holidays

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Goodness in Mississippi

—After Gwendolyn Brooks’s “We Real Cool,”
    with thanks to Terrance Hayes

 

My friend said I wasn’t fat but she was, and we

would go on that way, back and forth. She was my first real 

 

friend, the kind

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