"Everyone who is alive has a ghost inside them, don't they?" –Kelly Link's New Boyfriend; Jamel Brinkley's Lucky Man; fiction from Kathmandu by Prawin Adhikari; John Haskell remembers George Trow; Julia Cooke participates in the Parable Conference; new fiction by Garth Greenwell and Anna Noyes; poems by Maria d'Arezzo, Caroline Knox, Kevin Prufer, and others; and introducing Andrea Maturana.
No. 22 • Deborah PeaseYou must understand / My simple perception— / You know well you were living / Distant from life—
No. 22 • Kelly LinkShe puts two fingers on his lips. She takes a breath and holds it, like she’s about to jump off a bridge into very deep water. Well, she is.
No. 22 • Andrea MaturanaWhile Villagrán waited on the other side of the curtain for her to get undressed, he began to hope that there was something truly unusual wrong.
No. 22 • Anna Noyes“Doesn’t it feel like I don’t weigh a thing,” I said, and he said, “Feels like I’m holding nothing at all.”
No. 22 • Jamel BrinkleyWith any two people one would get the brunt of it, and time had hit him worse than any beating he'd ever seen in the ring.
No. 22 • John HaskellTheir power is rooted not in their beauty but in the sense of inclusion they offer, a sense of inclusion that, for some people, isn’t as important as truth.
No. 22 • Maria d’ArezzoIt would not surprise me to find I am dead— / as my soul is full of sweet things / I never found in life.
No. 22 • Rae ArmantroutBefore we knew / what pleasure meant / we were multiplying, / going forth / into surrounding space / until all space / was pain.
No. 22 • Caroline KnoxTheir job is to write the placecards, so at the head of the table / they are putting Gilbert Osmond, and honorably on his right / they seat Margot Macomber.
No. 22 • Lisa LubaschA sounding at the ear. And a ringing at the doorstep. Look, she said, a sounding at my hair, and a laughing in the footsteps.
No. 22 • Gëzim HajdariRipped from the earth like weeds / we clutch at our names, / we do not know how / this loneliness has found us.
No. 22 • Sarah CrosslandTonight I stand under the shower’s blue stoplight / for nine hundred years. Tallying the centuries, / each number a chaser, surviving only until the next / pale digit takes its place.
No. 22 • Krzysztof JaworskiPerhaps the songs they sang for us / were not those we’d have wanted to hear, / but who among us can, with a clean conscience, / say of himself that what matters to him / is what others listen to.
No. 22 • William BrewerAn empty all-white room with drapeless windows / as winter spills its math across the sills / where nothing suffers, that’s where / there’s nothing left to misremember / or forget.
No. 22 • Jessica BaranRigor is no longer involved. Peeling back / reveals two discrete compartments, adjoining.
No. 22 • Kimiko HahnI am not gigantic and I don’t keep my head down—like / the now-extinct elephant bird.
No. 22 • Wong MayBecause we were young / our picnic / Was hard-boiled eggs & black coffee in a flask.
No. 22 • Kevin PruferThe half-plastered ladies in tennis whites / at the taped-off perimeter / whispered among themselves, how sad.
No. 22 • Julia CookeTo feel fully seen, period, is powerful; to feel seen by another person in something that calls itself a work of art is ever more so.
No. 22 • Garth GreenwellI remembered the certainty I had had, hours before, of my own competence, the pleasure I had taken in the solace I could give.
No. 22 • Prawin AdhikariWhen someone much weaker than you confronts a brute much stronger than you and fights to the death in defense of an ideal, something gives inside: you become a bit of a coward.
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