Rappahannock Review | Timothy Shea
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FICTION

The Permanent Ache by Gary J. Garrison
“Last week we put out cigarettes on our wrists…”

A Woman Should Have Legs by Robyn Goodwin
“The problem with Nancy’s suicide attempts was that nobody knew about them…”

Mostroferrato, Ancient Stronghold of the Briscoletti Family by Sam Martone
“Go south to a town with a tower towering beside it…”

Accidents by Ian Riggins
“Simple wooden things, painted white, with the usual assortment of bouquets and wreaths—the crosses stared up at me…”

Her Last Friday by Lucas Southworth
“Three months ago, the girl had three months to live…”

To the Wall by Holly M. Wendt
“The inside of her car bakes…”

 

NONFICTION

Justice by Alyce Miller
“On a cold snowy Sunday afternoon, two days after Christmas in 2009…”

The Pine Tree by Joy Weitzel
“Pollen from the male pine cone will drift with the wind, hoping to reach a female pine cone…”

 

POETRY

Mix-tape (#4) With the One I Still Haven’t Learned the Lyrics to by Mark Jay Brewin Jr.
“I couldn’t tell you how early I learned and lost the words…”

Jack Listens to the Language People Use by Kevin Brown
“When Wendy told us she had lost her…”

French Carousel by Susana H. Case
“Midnight in Paris, the party scene at the …”

Let there be spaces in your togetherness by Susana H. Case
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness…”

Imaginary Waltz with a Woman Wearing a Dress of Virga by Christopher Petruccelli
“Her silhouette is caught between windows and hanging …”

The Heron Rookery by Timothy Shea
“Now that the storm clouds have settled like sleeping dogs above the pasture…”

The Haircut by Timothy Shea
“While I know this road is not my river…”

Feature Issue:

The Suburbs

 

NONFICTION

Death Row Report by Dale M. Brumfield
“In 1992, my father toured Richmond, Virginia’s old Spring Street Penitentiary…”

Invalids. Girlfriends. Beer. by Brenna Horrocks
“I needed a change of tempo…”

Lights by Matthew Zanoni Mṻller
“On Saint Martin’s Day in Germany the children would go into the dark woods…”

Bret Hart & the Finished Dungeons of My Youth by Brian Oliu
“Legends are born here: of sweat soaked vinyl & broken bones…”

 

POETRY

Bloom by Kate Bolton Bonnici
“I stepped on a dead squirrel…”

Afternoon Heat Wave, Northern California: Lament for the Gulf Coast by Kate Bolton Bonnici
“Here, heat steals in—no air conditioning…”

The Heron Rookery

Now that the storm clouds have settled like sleeping dogs above the pasture
and the water spilling from the leaf-full gutters pours onto the grass like hot glass
          to be molded,
and now that the only bottomland road into town sleeps on the floor of a small
          lake
and the steam rises thick as gauze from the earth, I step outside into bone-chill
          December,
and though my breath is visible, I am twenty-two again, three weeks hired,
leading a group of spring birdwatchers to a place I have never been.
The lone strand of hair in a brush, we snaked miles through thorned forest to
          the rookery.
Cypress knees. Dead sycamores.
We arranged ourselves in a crescent moon around the beaver-dammed swamp and
          saw nothing.
I felt I had failed them, and it seemed no hand-swipe or air stream would cut the
          fog that morning,
so I crawled off and compiled my list of excuses: early in season, herons are
          most active at dusk;
a crowd as large as ours, with increases in the use of scented deodorants and
          body sprays,
will frequently repel wildlife; I have no idea where we are.

                                                                                                    There is a myth in
which people are drawn to an element of themselves in fog—hint of
          buoyancy,
wakening night, maybe a spirit pinned to an oak’s low trunk meant to settle our
          restless lives.
As a boy, I thought I could run a series of wide-arcing circles through a storm
          without one raindrop
touching my skin, as if I could outrun the clouds, or more importantly,
that there was something in them to be outrun, something giant that spoke of
          sequence.
Curly-haired, bird-chested, I’d return from every gallop with a shirt for wringing,
          feeling pulled
toward the rain—how a beam of sunlight knifing a billow of dark clouds could be
          the cane
an old man had propped in his front-room corner and wandered off again,
          without.
He’d make it across town before coming-to or forgetting everything on a park
          bench—
an old man in rainfall, lonely as I was in that thick of water trees wreathed in mist,
the herons’ S-curved necks and trailing feet veiled from fifteen pairs of eyes
fixed
          on me, whispering:
God of wetlands, God of the upturned glance, bless the Trade Winds, endow them
          with the strength to push or pull,
to lift or sink this front from our eyes and return this mating ground to the
          splendor of your name.

Upon my mumbling, nothing happened. We ate lunch. I apologized.
And as we turned to crouch and wriggle our way back,
the vapor engulfing our vision whirled and rose as if escaping a flue.
Cedars and pines, wind through their limbs, played the thin wooden music above
          which
this great blue colony held like a closet of wire hangers, like one hundred
          boomerangs
turning back toward release, like motionless buoys anchored in the gale, signaling
          the flight channel home.

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