Issue 2.1 John Casteen

Forked Roads by John Francis Istel
“How many candles do you see? Mother? How many? Can you see how many? Sit up.

Waking by Karin C. Davidson
“‘Sleep, sleep, sleep,’ my mother says. But I cannot help thinking about waking the next morning.”

The Box by Greg Bottoms
“Danny Glover—a fourteen-year-old white kid from Smithfield, Virginia, not the actor from…”

Form-Fall by Marco Wilkinson
“A tree evaporates into the universe and falls back to earth: timber to paper to coffee cup to compost to dirt.”

Swept by Emily Vizzo
“Startling, this body-bump of asterisks finding its way…

Sea Lion by Emily Vizzo
“The stink of him came to me first, a salty hit of kelp…

Mario’s Grocery Has No Cameras by Chris Mink
“In lane twelve a young mother wearing…

During the Tornado, I’m Thinking of Stars by Sara Henning
“They’re calling them sisters, funnels grafted…

The Dead Wait on the Living to Go on Living by Kim Garcia
“The chairs wide-mouthed and silent in each others’ presence…

Mountain Aubade by Kim Garcia
“Inside a blue-cupped palm, yellow tipped mountain, wild dogwood, pine…

Mending by Ruth Foley
“For once, I am not thinking of a place…”

Doubt is the angel of our time by Ruth Foley
“Of any time, I’d wager—any movement…

Cleansing Flights by Ruth Foley
“The temporary unfurling of the rhododendron…

Pitcher by Will Cordeiro
“I’m such a flirt…

Wild Horse / Wild Deer by John Casteen
“Deep beneath the night, its lidded vault of stars…”

Figure by John Casteen
“As in, cuts an elegant…”

I Saw You by JC Bouchard
“I saw you on the roundabout…”

John Casteen

Wild Horse / Wild Deer


Deep beneath the night, its lidded vault of stars,

awakened by the wind uncombing the hay: keenly,


your body situates itself within my own. The day arrives

as from an arduous journey. Finches burst from the grape arbor

like they just won a prize.

A man tips his head to one side, noticing

some passing detail, watching nothing happen.


I am the man. Two dreamlike horses stand in love,

neck to shoulder to chin, chin to shoulder

to neck, their secrets commingled, so nearly touching.

What hunger rises in their loins, the swole-necked buck deer

pausing at the pasture’s margin,

the estrus-addled mare, her face blank with need?

For example: to say what is true. The creased fetlock of the roan who stands

indifferently near the fence line. The crisp light

as evening descends. The frame your hands make, scene within a scene.

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