Patina

William Daugherty

“Oh, William, look! How beautiful!” she said;

and, keen to help, I also turned my head
to see the objet d’art that she admired:
a handsome bronze our gallery acquired
from some estate—two lovers rapt in one
another’s gaze, mote-dazzled in the sun.

“Mary liked this stuff. I never did.”
He was tall but stooped. His right hand hid
his trembling left; a silver pompadour
gave him a courtly air. Her pert couture,
her simple pearls, her much too auburn hair
contrasted with her face, long etched by care. [Read more…]

Gadarene

Amanda Griswold

He did not get my soul without a fight,
But foaming, seething, reeling in my brain,
I bowed to darkness and emerged in light.

My mind was scorched by shadows grown too bright.
The demon smoldered and I roared in pain.
He did not get my soul without a fight. [Read more…]

Drowning

John Rieping

Blue water spun about as I stared up
as if the foam and sky did duel that day
only to lose when darkness drank their cup
while in my limbs all fight did drift away.
I did not think of death as I sank down
Instead my thoughts took in this splendid doom
—a noisy blue glass swirl bereft of sound
that dimmed too fast, as beauties often do.
A shadow passed before my mind did fade
and I reached out to waken in the light:
My father’s leg had cast a saving shade
and I—though gone—held it with sleeper’s might.
Years pass, and now I drown in fears.
They captivate, but God is no less near.

John Rieping is a 1999 philosophy graduate from Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, and a journalism alumnus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He currently works as the copy editor of The Madera Tribune daily newspaper in Madera, California.

Saint Catherine’s Wheel

Michael Schorsch

Catherine wheel.
A device used in the Middle Ages for public
execution named after Saint Catherine who famously
was to be tortured on one. The torturers firmly stretched the limbs
of the victim between the spokes of a wagon wheel and then bound
the limbs about with biting cord and then struck
the limbs with a sledgehammer breaking the bones and then braided [Read more…]

Afterlife of a Letter Opener

Gabriel Olearnik

Does metal die?
Do nails kneel in celestial spaces?
Do spoons sing?
Are ferrous souls ushered in
By an angel with a mouth of Sheffield steel
Haloes: haloes like molten fins
Of bronze. Of rhodium. Of tin.

Gabriel Olearnik studied medieval history at University College London. He is currently an attorney and practices corporate law.

Harry Ploughman

Nick Ripatrazone

After Gerard Manley Hopkins

With a fountain’s shining shot furls,

palm and heel of hand flit, muscle-
	skin fraps, fanted speed;
	erumpent swing, and here
	arm falcated;
	eolian;
	feet-base edaphic, each bend
	a camber: wait, carmine 
	and cerise: wait, what breath
	of body becomes chaff, skin,
	abraded toward soil-on-bone.

Through Any Fissure

Paul Stilwell

Sanctuary in the open, silent
ripple of sails in that flower
the morning glory: tissue-thin
wind-reversed white parasol,

flesh of which ebbs with air beside
the blue dumpster hard against
the concrete base below
the wooden telephone pole. [Read more…]

Hephaestus

Gabriel Olearnik

Because I was ugly
Because I had clubfoot
(No, a twisted face)
Because the sound of my toys annoyed him
(No, he was drunk)
There was no thought in it
Because there was nothing else to do
And every other possibility in every possible world
Was spent
My father threw me [Read more…]