by George August Meier
When it comes to pets, there are two types of people: those who love dogs, and those who prefer cats. I don’t think there’s any middle ground. I, for instance, am a dog lover, as was my 75-year-old next-door neighbor, Charlie. So when he asked me for a favor involving a dog named Bookner, I knew there was going to be a problem. Especially because my wife, Laura, preferred cats, or a third option, no pet at all. She always said cats are self-sufficient and dogs require a lot of work. Continue reading
by Lauren Davis
When I was young, my white-faced cockatiel’s eyes shone black.
He communicated with his erectile crest and cocked head.
I could not read him well. I offered little water, fewer seeds. Once,
I stepped on his tail, tearing it off onto the carpet. I wept a long time.
After, he couldn’t fly right. He kept going off to the side. Continue reading
by Billy O’Callaghan
After the dreams have come, the mornings feel like glass around me. Everything looks too bright, too well-preserved. My way of coping is to sit in the kitchen in silence and try to wait it out. I don’t close my eyes because the faces hang there, in that darkness, ready to loom, faces that will make me smile to see again but which will also bring deep sadness, knowing that they’ve been lost, that I have let them go. The house is always still then, silent apart from the acceptable sounds, the clicking of pipes in the walls, water running at a murmur, the paper-weight of my own breath and Barbara’s as she idles about small chores, maybe rain against the glass or the crack of snow shifting its weight on the roof. While the coffee percolates, I sit and try not to move or even think, knowing too well the traps and pitfalls that lie in those directions. Continue reading
by Mary Morris
We discover the saint in the reliquary
is also the patron saint of epilepsy.
Beheaded after assisting persecuted martyrs,
often painted with red roses and a rooster, Continue reading
by Robert Evory
like stepping on a dormouse –
brown leather dried and cracked like eczema;
years of stretch and pivot: dirt,
salt, and rain. Downstairs, neighbors
hear him return home, walk to the kitchen, Continue reading