Issue #10, 2007
Table of Contents
C.R. Manley, First Night on Juniper Mountain (excerpt)
Lana Hechtman Ayers, Blue
Alison Ruch, We Runners
Rachel Mehl, I Could Have Gone to Boston
Larry Crist, Raining in L.A.
Loren Sundlee, Dry (excerpt)
C.R. Manley, Inauspicious
Priscilla Long, Queen of the Cut
dan raphael, Autumn Jade
Jed Myers, Seeing It
David Lunde, Drifting
Matthew James Babcock, Saturday Bike Ride (Unity of Self)
James Bertolino, Our Last Supper
Rachel Mehl, Epilepsy
Jean Esteve, Incidence of Motion
Jeffrey Gerhardstein, Liquidation
Judith Skillman, A Subtle Guillotine
Lana Hechtman Ayers, I Loved Lucy
Joannie Kervran Stangeland, From the Margin
Wendy A. Austen, The Superhero's Girlfriend
Caleb Barber, Machined Parts to Monroe
Bink Owen, Death of a Truck Driver
Mather Schneider, Partner
John Walker, Ain't It Pretty
Jeffrey Gerhardstein, Reclamation
Judith Skillman, They Are Pouring into the House
Richard Bentley, A Mistake
Rosaleen Bertolino, Safa and the Fly
C.R. Manley, Monkeys!
Carol Carpenter, Under the Microscope
Paul Piper, Instructions to Save You from Drowning
Marc Harshman, Our Island Home
David Lunde, Sea-Wrack
Sankar Roy, My Could-be Father
Richard Bently, At the Aquarium
Carol Carpenter, The Recovery Room Nurse
Steve Newman, The Kinosian Affair
C.R. Manley, Two Months After Your Death
Lana Hechtman Ayers, Waiting
Steve Cleveland, Chunk
First Night on Juniper Mountain
Clothes hang on aspens: toes clenched
on a slab of rock. Dust from my arms and feet
clouds the water. The water cold
only when I wet my hair.
The wind is warm, and the last of the sun
gets through the trees so I dry without a towel.
With sun this low, the juniper trunks
are bright red sticks inside green.
The curly dock and dry grasses and my skin
are tinted pink over brown and tan and pale.
Empty sky with a haze of red cloud to the east.
A few flies buzz, and a chickadee sings, far away.
The water is clear and noisy with water striders.
A scent of spearmint so faint it disappears
and then returns, unexpected. For this hour
I could believe my body is beautiful.
Si Sivertson sat on the brown grass in the shade of the pump house watching the drill rig pull up lengths of twenty-foot pipe. He wouldn't watch long. This was the third time in ten years that he had seen this, and he didn't suppose he would learn anything new. The well that once had plenty of water at 120 feet now couldn't find any at 200. After a few minutes he decided that he had seen enough and scrambled to his feet and headed towards the house. The dog, Daisy, trotted after him across the wilting lawn to the back door, where the man stopped briefly to feel the cool shade of the maple tree. The house sat on a rise, and he could see over the tops of his orchard where a series of houses rose instead of his former neighbor's trees. He had been sadder before and would be again, but for now this was enough.
He poured himself a glass of lemonade from the pitcher in the fridge and checked the light on the answering machine for calls. It blinked once. It was the voice he wanted to hear – or a close second. His son Keith in Portland wanted to know about the well. Sivertson considered calling him right away, even before the worst of the news was in, but decided that he'd wait awhile and try to cheer up. Keith was laboring through graduate school, had a serious girlfriend and not enough money to enjoy either situation. He would graduate next spring with a bin full of debts and probably marry into poverty. Sivertson used to tell him it was his own fault for being the son of a farmer, but that joke had worn thin pretty quickly. Whatever else his education might not earn him, Keith would not have to make his living off the land.