“Locks” by Rosemary Kitchen

A poem by alum Rosemary Kitchen (poetry, ’13) appears at Tinderbox Poetry:

For tonight, let’s forget those cellophane squares

jammed shamefully between the slats of the rattling air conditioner

sweetening the air with spearmint and horehound—

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“The Quest” by Rebecca Foust

A poem by alum Rebecca Foust (poetry, ’10) appears at Verse Daily:

The quest was a metaphor, of course
—it could mean abroad in a world
where May keeps blooming
right through one’s own fall—but also:
just asking the questions. No longer
not-seeing suffering, not for
the thank-God-it’s-not-me effect of, more

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“This is What an Identity Looks Like” by Faith Holsaert

An essay by alum Faith Holsaert (fiction, ’82) appears at The Courtship of Winds:

Earring holes, chosen by a little white girl in Haiti. Invisible, tonsil scars in her throat. That horse ran away and her father took her to the St. Croix emergency room where a doctor sewed up her knee while the two men talked. And the following week: her first period, but was that a scar? In Santa Fe an Australian Shepherd at the front door frightened the cat in her arms. A jagged scar on her forearm. She was twenty-five, when the first episiotomy, the first cut “down there,” was made, the doctor said to ease her son’s passage. And the male ob-gyn told her husband, the cut would make her tight as a virgin. Bad teeth like her mother’s. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease from a dirty and careless lover. At the end of her thirties, the year after a break-up so visceral that (fill in the blank): gall bladder across her abdomen. Embedded in the bone of her hip, a barbed wire repair. Traction rod hole scars above right shin. Invisible: her tongue almost bitten through in Berkeley the day after her sixty-fifth and her son’s fortieth birthdays, the sting of green soup that evening. Immunocompromised: hepatitis as a consequence of a week in an Albany, GA jail; toxoplasmosis; shingles which still burn at the top of her rib cage. A divot in the flare of her right nostril, skin cancer. Left lens removed for what her sister calls Byronic eyes. A lump taken, leaving a marker like a seamstress’ straight pin in the upper left quadrant of her left breast.

Continue reading part 1 online, and find part 2 here

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“Kissing the Dead” by Marisa Silver

An essay by alum Marisa Silver (fiction, ’96) appears at The New Yorker:

He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.

When I’d first walked into the hospital room and saw him hooked up to all the machines that were doing his living for him, I’d had to resist my urge to yell at him to GET UP! I was sure that this is what he would have done had our roles been reversed; he would have believed that he could somehow argue, cajole, even berate me into recovery, as if my situation were simply the result of laziness or a lack of will. This was a man who, in his younger days (and in more innocent times), would routinely arrive late to the airport, run out on the tarmac and flag down the plane pulling out of the gate, a guy who’d climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at seventy, who’d figured out how to produce films with not much more than a few dollars and a roll of duct tape….

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“Something to Be Desired” by Tommy Hays

A short story by alum Tommy Hays (fiction, ’88) appears at storySouth:

Asa spent what spare time he’d had this past week getting ready for Betsy’s visit—dusting, mopping, scrubbing and putting out enough roach motels to accommodate a convention. It was while putting out the last of the roach motels that he decided he’d have to tell her about the kiss.

Since Betsy wasn’t getting in till late he’d said he’d have dinner ready. She’d often cooked for him when he’d visited in Charleston. Yet when it settled on him what he’d committed to, and counting himself among the cooking impaired, he’d panicked. After a phone consultation with his mother, who talked him down from his culinary ledge, he decided to go for something simple—baked chicken with rice and green beans. For hors d’oeuvres he bought port wine cheese and a box of ak-mak crackers. He splurged on a couple of eight dollar bottles of wine that the clerk had said were even better than Mateus.

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