He says I have striking eyes and he’s staying in a condo behind the Gillette building. I have normal eyes. Of medium size and average color. The shade of slush. So he lacks imagination. That’s fine.Read More
Your lips were blue she said
I lipped the plastic rim
of the peak flow with my teeth
She looked at the soapy water and up and there was the bear, walking along the row of arborvitaes at the edge of their yard. He took a moment to register as a bear and by then was through the trees, like walking through a wall. That was all—a few seconds of his ambling. If she’d been scrubbing a dish, he wouldn’t exist.Read More
Everything out here is circular
and even death for a split second is sated. So we eat
drugs like peppermints while the marble oceans
of our skin become a litany you can memorize
with two fingers and an open-jawed religion. We raze
a dog’s routine by going on permanent vacation.
When Met Life executives
invited future social workers
from the Seven Sisters colleges
to their observation tower,
the tallest at the time, “to see
the tenements and the task ahead,”
they had other ideas in mind.
A woman left a note on the front door of my house with wording pretty similar to what I use in the story. I found it so strange and creepy and I knew I wanted to do something with it but I couldn’t find my way in. I had several stops and starts and the document just hibernated in my drafts for about a year.Read More
There aren’t many examples in the family archives. We have that famous photo of Great Aunt BoDean, circa 1867, seated behind a wooden shack with ranch hands lined up on the other side, holding empty round plates. They’re missing their pie, for which she was famous. Her face is hard to read in the blurry photo. We’re just guessing it was a case of seclusion.Read More
I wield a shovel with the proper weight to it.
I slice the snowy thoughts out of mind.
Love is adoring children so much that you decide not to have them on account of your shit genes, race, and gun-nut country. After all, addiction is an enemy cavalry in, like, half of your chromosomes—along with refined abuse.Read More
After the eighth foul, the crowd cheers both men’s refusal to yield. After the sixteenth, fans turn in their seats, marveling in joy and wonder with complete strangers—who’da thunk it?! After the nineteenth, a cloud in the shape of the future floats by, unnoticed; by morning it resembles a love song.Read More
I am staring in to the tiny picture inside a phone
inside a tent, my children
in a tent beside me: cloud-bullets,
river and connected flower, blur-faces.
To stop the children,
sconce them in their down.
I keep a copy of my work in the trunk,
a copy in the bedroom in my muscle and fat.
I’m the dark priest, the shaman
grafted in and out of the body’s end
One day late in life, Alice acquired a husband. Our Alice…or so we’d assumed.
He was a small, dark presence in her house. Measly. Scrawny. Slope-shouldered. A husband, we were told, but in our view more like an ill-matched suitor. A timid if persistent petitioner. We could have easily ignored him except for the shock of his showing up in the first place.Read More
You, reckless hope of a town.
And my mother’s dinner whistle
and the shirt I stained mulberry
with me bloodied in it
at the bottom of a tree.
The word “secret” is alluring, particularly in Official DC, and catches a woman’s ear, but beyond that, he’s truly convinced that these anonymous walks carry him into an unfathomable, private space, peeling through exoskeleton, de-layering to a forgotten scrap of soul, where he imagines himself capable of surprise and what he would call “intimacy.”Read More
Oh, cover letters. After 10 years and 22 issues, TSR has accumulated a mountain of them. They fall into distinct groups: the useful (name, contact info, simultaneous submission, word count, etc.) and the awesome. The latter is bursting with sub-categories, a few of which we showcase here. We hope you enjoy these excerpts from some of the numerous cover letters we’ve received throughout the years as much as we do.Read More