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Corrections

Vol. 39 Corrections

 


 

A Question I Keep Asking by Abigail Moore

 

Wouldn’t it be better to fold the last year, two

years, etc., up and stitch it into the hidden seams

of my clothes, press it between the pages

of my books (echoes of it in what I’ve underlined),

then tuck it in wafer-thin bits under the tongue,

letting it plaque the heart, until it’s seeped

into every invisible thing, too much and too

hidden to scrub any of it clean because

there’s good, enough in the world to fill

my head and heart for the rest of my lifetime,

for lifetimes, so wouldn’t it be better?

 


 

buttercups. by Jessica Hardell

 

misty eyed, unlikely twins move. side by side

there is a limit to how much we can breathe,

beaten down by the whiplash sun

we coach ourselves ‘cross this country mile.

golden nuggets peak out of lush green earth

wet like us

like royalty itself came down on them

like they were made of our sweat and tears

but the drip from the day before made it our friend

as those butter yellow gems came to greet us; children

battered by heat we called to its

beauty for the faith we did not have,

arms outreaching for their golden yellow crowns

untouchable behind the serene silver gates

bodies crying from every pore.

and with each fingertip-sized cup of hope—

a harmony of soft sounds turned harsh leapt past our

lips, they slowed us down, reaching in for escaped

lungfuls that could barely sustain one of us,

as halos set behind our ears

the sting of the lash lifted upon each call. as

each toe struck ground and pushed the

chest where the neck and eyes decided was

the end.  the glow between us.

 


 

The House is Sick by Abigail Moore

 

I am searching for keys,

every house has its hidden things,

I begin clearing out, throwing

objects– they litter across

my lawn, they are shipped back

in cardboard boxes crossed with ink

and stamp and postmarked by God,

the house has its own center of gravity.

I stack them spaces clutter with the

growth of a catacomb. There–

there’s a scratching somewhere

(like wind across the dust plains

wind against the panes

wind whistling) unceasing–

a mouse in a box (I tell myself)

nothing but a mouse ni-ni-nibbling

away they are there and not there and

I think of breaking

a window and crawling

out slicing open my body

spilling freely over the carpet

I am wearing the carpet away under my feet

dripping on it staining what I touch–

muddying and dimming the colors in the house,

mud is the evidence of many nights passed here,

together they follow the same bends and overlaps

together in my mind into something continuous–

blue and orange melting into mud, violet and yellow

into mud, green and red into mud again, mud again.

I am staining what I touch.

The doors are locked from

the outside, they rattle in the wind

I am searching for keys

I am thinking of breaking a window

the floor is wearing under my tread

the boxes are postmarked by God

sent back special delivery, for some reason

and there are nibbling noises from everywhere.

 


 

9:12 by Linda Wiratan

 

If you board a train in a world where time flows in a loop,

you might pass your destination a couple thousand times

before realizing that you should’ve gotten off

 

The train is too fast, or too slow—

you can’t tell

It has been in transit for a day, or a decade—

you can’t tell

 

But what you do know

is the twist of each fiber in your tablecloth,

the number of grass blades on that long mountain range,

every color of every pixel in the breakfast menu

 

And you can count them all

And you can name them all

You do name them all to the waiter taking your breakfast order;

he doesn’t respond

 

Instead, he asks in his infinitely alto-toned, genial voice,

“Blueberry pancakes?”

Of course you say yes; that’s what you’ve always done

Memory fading about the taste of other foods

 

Instinctively, you turn your head to the sixty-four-year-old woman

sitting in a nearby booth, knowing she’ll ask the waiter for the time

“9:12 AM, Miss. We’ll be at our next stop in about ten minutes.”

Yet again you set your watch timer for ten minutes

 

It won’t count down, it only counts up—

but you set it anyway

You don’t want to, you resist the habit—

but you set it anyway

 

That destination is coming up again

The train is not slowing, it never will

You grab your metal umbrella for the hundredth time, aiming it

out the window at the junction ahead in the tracks

 

It’s the perfect angle, it’s the perfect time

Because the hardest parts about riding a train

are the boarding and the getting off

 


 

girl steps light on white crisp snow by Tess McRae

 

another withered way

you learn to word

your Empty, but your best

 

footprints nonetheless.

and you tell yourself this,

as you breathe your disbelief into the carpet

and the carpet breathes right back

all bright and cold and glimmering.

and you tell yourself you have finally coaxed it out

from underneath you, traded

your wait for a seven-word

whisper and the ice at your feet.

and this isn’t how

you thought to find

the answer,

 

but you think it’s how you wrestle with a poem,

how you start to groom seven months of

mats from the fur of your

street-stray psyche, how you know it

still trusts you even though you

let it loose because it wasn’t really dead,

only sleeping. how it Loved you

all this time, and never truly left. how

when it dreamed,

it dreamed of hope,

and so did you.

 

so you call its name

again, and this is what it answers —

 

“girl

steps

light

on

crisp

white

snow” —

 

and this time,

you mean it.

 


 

Huehuetenango  by Jonathan Acuna-Lopez

 

Una bestia que sueña con un país,                                           A beast that dreams of a country,

Donde la gente cosecha maíz.                                                  where the people harvest corn.

Bestia que canta, bestia que llora,                                            Beast who sings, beast who cries,

Haces oración a Nuestra Señora.                                             You pray to Our Lady,

¿Pero qué haces aquí?                                                             But what are you doing here?

 

Tu piel morada y herida,                                                            Your bruised and wounded skin,

No comes suficiente comida.                                                     You don’t eat enough food.

En este país tú vas trabajar,                                                       In this country you are going to work,

En este lugar no vas descansar.                                                In this place you will not rest.

¿Pero qué haces aquí?                                                              But what are you doing here?

 

Soledad que te hace pelear y gritar,                                          Loneliness that makes you fight and shout,

Las palabras de ellos te hacen pensar                                     Their words make you think:

Ellos son de la sociedad—                                                        They are from society—

Tú eres de la suciedad.                                                             You are from the filth.

Dicen las cosas como son,                                                        They tell it like it is,

Y me parte el corazón.                                                               And it breaks my heart.

 

Bestia del nuevo mundo,                                                            Beast of the New World,

Un dolor eterno y profundo.                                                        A deep and eternal pain.

Lloras por un país que no conoces,                                            You cry for a country you do not know,

Pero todavía escuchas esas voces.                                            But you still hear those voices.

Ellos se mueren de sed,                                                              They die of thirst,

Esperan mucho de usted.                                                           They expect a lot from you.

Tu ser partido en dos,                                                                  Your soul split in two,

Yo escucho tu voz.                                                                       I hear your voice.

Un llanto que nunca termina,                                                       A cry that never ends,

Mi alma en una colina.                                                                 My soul on a hill.

 


 

The section winner for the 2019 Art section was reported incorrectly. The section winner for Art was Eliska Merchant-Dest’s “Nonduality”, not “Vividity”.