An Afterglow Candidate

R. S. Mitchell

“At 03:34:30 UT, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope
(BAT) triggered and located GRB [gamma ray burst]
060218. . . . Swift slewed immediately to the burst. . . .
There is an indication of an afterglow candidate. . . .”

Think of those days of earthly incarnation
as a fixed point in human history
but also a cosmic epiphany,
like a burst of gamma radiation. [Read more…]

Thames

Gabriel Olearnik

The glass upset of London is here
as unnoticed as the tides.

This river of friction
sandpapering your irises
the cuts on a thousand corneas too deep to excise.
Can we re-set jelly? Can aqueous humors run
backward in viscous currents?
No. There will always be a blackness at the centre of your eyes.

[Read more…]

Embers

Michael Miller

The days grow short; the nights are getting colder—
So are the conversations on the phone,
And almost every evening he’s alone.
He shivered when he thought of what he’d told her.

The fire that blazed has now begun to smolder.
A new fire kindled from the earlier one
Is quickly lit and just as shortly done:
To have loved and lost is to be that much older. [Read more…]

Mirror Sonnet: JOB at the Garage Sale

Annabelle Moseley

“ . . . Though he heap up silver like dust and store away mounds of clothing, What he has stored the just man shall wear, and the innocent shall divide the silver.”
—Jb 27:13-17

“Perhaps you’d reconsider what that’s worth.
That is my wedding silver, dim with time.
One polishing will give a shining birth
to what has faded with neglect and grime. [Read more…]

Our Lord Stubs His Toe

David A. Welch

The shock of it
tested my human will
years before my Hour
came

Father
it is a small thing
compared to the immolation
you formed my patience for
and for which my Heart
burns

Grief
and mercy abound
as I contemplate a sinner
dashing his foot upon a
stone and cursing
me

Plenary Indulgence

Sister Maria Frassati Jakupcak, O.P.

And I, too, midway upon my journey
am struck to see so many soles undone,
unlaced, uninhabited, travelers
purged of all unnecessary trappings
prepared to meet the great all-seeing eye,
waiting serpentine, impatient; dreading
the searching hands of a glaring Virgil.

Homebound yet helpless, I suffer my fate
in practiced resignation till—Behold!
A shining Beatrice guides my feet, shod,
unbelieving, through the gate of peace.
Free!
I climb, stunned, into an undeserved
empyrean, praising God for life, health,
and the mercy of TSA pre-check.

The Ship Inside

James Robinson

Somewhere in Atlantic City,
Dorothy Allen is wiping down
the brassy arm of a slot machine
with the sleeve of her nightgown,
then sliding her quarters through
its narrow mouth.
The silver slits of those machines
had already swallowed half her fortune.
She worked in a light bulb factory for 50 years,
from 17 to 67, sticking filaments in glass balloons.
She never broke a single one.
And after work, she sat beside
a busted television set,
sliding miniature ships into empty wine bottles.
She had about a thousand before the fire,
when, as it always seems to happen,
a little flame became a bigger flame,
which coiled up a curtain,
then sprawled across the walls and ceiling,
swallowing her world.
The fire department found her on the curb,
a cigarette in her left hand,
a wine bottle in her right,
wiping her eyes with her nightgown’s sleeve.

“I make them,” she said,
pressing her finger against the bottle,
which turned, now, in the rough glove of a firefighter,
illumined by those howling lights.
“Can’t you see the ship inside?”

Waiting

Brandon Zimmerman

All that is left is the waiting
Not a waiting in the dark,
But a waiting in the light
    that things might be seen clearly
    that hopes might be considered wisely
    that feelings might be felt truly
          without deception
It is a waiting that seems a lot like living
Not living incomplete or unconsoled
But living well, to have an abundance
    to invite her into, to give unto her
    if the dramatis personae should alter
    and chance, and faith, and goodness conceive
          a happy denouement