The Darling Queen

by Ira Sukrungruang


The Brightest Room in the World

Nitaya wonders what her life would be like without her younger brother Martin. What if she was not an orphan, not a refugee, but the natural born child of Roger and Irene Williamson of Glen Ellyn, Illinois? Nitaya imagines herself with pale white skin and freckles. She imagines herself with red hair that undulates down her back, like her mother, instead of her short stray strands that limps over her shoulders. She imagines she can speak rapid fire English and read thick books like her father, who calls her his darling queen. Continue reading

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Volcano with Child

by Mary Kovaleski Byrnes

I climbed in there once, the sleeping mountain
warm from within and exhaling
through invisible fissures under my sandals.
And then the once-buried now-excavated city, Continue reading

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The Takeover

by Shane Pillay

A beautiful baby girl was delivered on a cold late December night. My wife and I were ecstatic. Now there were three. Creation is a wondrous thing.

“The future is ours to command,” said my wife. She was a gorgeous poet.

Several days later in January, I started my new job at EasyBaby. Strange coincidence – it was a startup that made easy-to-fit-and-wear baby clothes. As any parent would know, that’s an idea worth a billion hours. Babies move, babies struggle, babies cry – fitting on a bodysuit or jacket takes more than a fair share of effort. Easy-to-fit-and-wear baby clothes make dressing fun.

“So how is the new job?” asked my wife.
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by Prana Joy Mandoe

dream this dell of trees in earth and air
spirit slip among the light orange leaves
rustle now in quiet sunlit prayer

around this room upon the valley’s lip
where I pause to rest and eat, transceive
this spiral basket awaiting her next layer Continue reading

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To Die On Kilimanjaro

by John Coyne

When I was first at the Blue Marlin Hotel at the edge of the Indian Ocean in the summer of ’63 the hotel was full of Brits. It was the last days before Kenya’s independence. By the late Sixties the Brits had been replaced by German tourists. Today, I’m told, the village, and most of Kenya, suffers from a lack of tourists because of Al-Shabbaab.

My story begins, however, in the early ‘70s when the hotel was full of Germans and where the few English speaking tourists gravitated to one end of the bar. It was there that I met Phillip and his beautiful wife, April, and their two lovely young daughters. They were finishing up dinner and I was dining alone and we started up a conversation, as English speakers strangers will when they are outnumbered. Continue reading

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