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Perfect For The Small Family

One egg. Two cups flour. One cup sugar. One cup shortening. I trace my finger down the ingredient list, hoping that I have everything already. Vanilla. Baking soda. Salt. This recipe promises a cake that is “light, moist, delicious anytime.” It is baked in a nine-by-nine-inch cake pan. It is …

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On the Garden Pond, in Boston

In Boston, two looping swans together on the Garden pond crawling with bush rats. The pond lazy with birds and Emerson students smoking weed by the pond and Tufts students hustling weed by the pond and lovers holding hands and taking selfies by the pond. Does anyone notice the swans …

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The Night Watch

Big flakes swirl around outside while she drinks black coffee. Flannel shirt, wool hat, fingerless gloves. The thrum of the ship is steady, familiar now that she’s been out on the ice for a few weeks. Night watch on the Research Vessel Ātarangi. ‘The shadow.’ An escape and an adventure. …

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Sixteen

Throwing stones at street lamps for a laugh you cover my mouth & I scream when the glass shatters, night smell of tobacco on your fingers. At the bar you turn your back & I lose my place forget the rules, me behind you, elbows in the ashtray making promises …

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What the trees see to

We bring whatever it is we live inside Pto be looked over by the mechanics Mine is crisp chevy-blue with hot yellow seats PUchock-full of animals PUT_CHAsome are memories of animals PUT_CHAcompanions I hold into the night   PUIt takes me from here to there holds everything I subsist on …

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Blackbird

His right forearm has a tattoo of a grackle, the louder, more annoying cousin to the crow and not much of a fan favorite, as far as birds go. Its long spindly legs stand straight up, running alongside the tendons and veins in his arm. Its body blooms, puffing up …

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Broken Pool Noodle

I’m leaving my fourth and final IVF appointment. We have no more chances. Well, more accurately, we have no more money. And even though I would never tell my husband, I’m a little relieved. My abdomen feels foreign to me. It’s become a bruise factory over the last two years, …

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Pastoral With Seven Kinds of No

Red flags on the lifeguard chairs: swim at your own risk; bacteria levels high today. Lili and I unpack our bags. We have takeout. We think out loud, fall silent. We laze. We’ve left our families at home. A crew of geese eyes us, moving down the empty beach with …

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The Anatomy of Loss

                                                     Yet there is no return: rolling up out of chaos, a nine month’s wonder, the city the man, an identity—it can’t be otherwise—an interpenetration, both ways.                            -W.C. Williams, Paterson I. I was in Spain when I …

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