August/September 2015

Skin Check

by Megan McGinley Simpson At 0830, the salty, old sailor creaks as he eases into the exam chair. His gnarled knees crack, knotted knuckles clutch his driftwood cane. Under the scrolling gold of U.S.S. Ari...

The Drunkard Tries to Fight

by Ken Poyner Hands that could palm a basketball. A chest you could smash rock against. Arms thick as bridge cables. Legs Like the trees grandfather remembers As bigger in his youth then ever They could...

The Body

by Victoria Korth I miss being able to touch strangers without strict permission, ask them to cough, turn over, take a deep breath, press the liver’s rim with sensing fingers, feel warmth above kidney an...

Pain Birds V

by Ashley Warren I hold her by the elbow, her small feet shuffling, angst and fear all over her. She grips my hand tight and I see her fingers have turned a new shade of purple. Her fingernails are sti...

Orange

by Victoria Korth So crimped skin over a breast lump looks to the poet in me, wood-burning done by an eleven year old in a heated basement playroom, tattooed orange peel, acid in the eye. We learn to desc...

New Terms

by Tom Donolon informal lump detection, lumpectomy pseudolumps, calcifications dense breasts, nipple discharge inverted nipples, aspirate chronic subareolar abscess intraductal papilloma atypical lobul...

Cascade

by Steven Gordon You murmur my name vibrating my drums and little bones stimulating my brain with a soft sigh as the fall of snow kissing the ground in nearly silent whiteness...

General Anesthesia

by Andrew Merton You feel a pinch and away you go, a small boy again, whirling through that corridor you’ve read about, all the way down to a joint called Heaven, a worn ballroom on Seventh Avenue, wher...

Chemo

by Andrew Merton in memory of Jane Pufky Nesbitt In ‘65 David drove her east, this secretary from Syracuse, to meet his college buddies. David in a Red Sox cap, unveiling Jane like next year’s...

Biopsy

by Andrew Merton The surgeon carves a slice from my tongue, the bit, as it happens, containing the letter L. In a week, he says, it will give us an answer. Meanwhile, lust disappears, la...