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Fat Tuesday

By Dante Di Stefano Poetry

Out of exceeding gloom and out of God, I break a prayer from a growl and sing a hymn more ordinary than tap water. I pray that I might be more than my skin, this dance of atoms, this ritual of ash, this tribe of twilight and rattled angels, this pattern of epiphanies rejected. I…

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Lazarus

By Ricardo Pau-Llosa Poetry

What but poverty earned him your respect that when our fates were turned he is called to act as cruelly as I did then? Lot’s wife turned back in shock, in pity perhaps, and for this she was robbed of flesh and name. Why plant in us the startle and curious glance to countermand that…

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The Trick

By Mark Wagenaar Poetry

I’ve always loved that scene in The Seventh Seal where Jof, poor broke Jof the juggler, rushes back to tell his wife Mia that he’s just seen the virgin & child, so close to me that I could have touched her, but Mia is skeptical, wants to know what they’ll eat this winter, wants to…

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Waiting

By Sarah Klassen Poetry

On the hospital bed, a body: long, straight, and still breathing, though the eyes don’t open and the ears can’t hear. No sound escapes the body’s vocal cords to slip across its lips. Two women on straight-backed chairs watch and wait. The woman who is the mother naturally insists on hoping. Says she sees eyelashes…

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The Raising of the Bells

By Bruce Bond Poetry

Not only were the largest of the church bells cast in pits, there, beneath the thrusting of the tower, at times the earthly founding of a bell came first, when walls rose above the mold, above the flower of bronze they sexed with a clapper, then block-and-tackled from the ground into some hymn or other,…

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Tongue Is the Pen

By Brett Foster Poetry

Isaiah 43 I am making all things new! Or am trying to, being so surprised to be one of those guys who may be dying early. This is yet one more earthen declaration, uttered through a better prophet’s more durable mouth, with heart astir. It’s not oath-taking that I’m concerned with here, for what that’s…

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Prayer with Rotohammer

By Joshua Robbins Poetry

Retrofitting Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Let my worship be this work and the force of each bit-strike on masonry. Forswear my doubtful tongue. Let my past words be what they are: failed elegies to the living word. Let praise be pain rejoicing. What rose like dust now falls and it is beautiful and meaningless and…

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A Prayer for Home

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

This November, the pears are as hard as wood but taste like the honeysuckle I used to pick from the chain-link fence in the alley, nipping the end and drawing the stamen out, slowly, until that one sweet drop beaded at the bottom—one of the houses is wild with honeysuckle. When I came to You…

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Creed in the Santa Ana Winds

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

You believe He’s stronger than the desert wind butting against the fence, wind that ignites sagebrush, tears through the hills and strips the houses to ash. Despite your lips that crack till blood comes, skin that grows rough between your fingers, you believe He will be solid to your touch the way the bay is…

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The Hippocratic Oath

By Elizabeth Smither Short Story

YES, APPLY the Hippocratic Oath,” Paula Morriset said, so softly she doubted the young house surgeon, head bent over the consent form, indicating with his superior pen where she should sign, heard her. Then she took the thick silver pen and signed fluently, a good sign. Her mother, Lorna, now successfully sedated, her broken hip…

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