Issue 2.3 Benjamin Gucciardi


Waiting for Flight by
Michael Chin

“Carl Perkins spied his son’s ex, Lucy, in the airport terminal…”

Hunger, Not Tame by Sheila Lamb
“Brutal wind beat against the door of her camper. The cold didn’t bother her—Kate had only ever lived in cold and windy environments—but the sand did…”

Where We Are by Jared Yates Sexton
“The thing that really got her was how I listened to records all hours of the night. She said she didn’t care about my moods, my general nihilism or ill temperament…”

Sim Sala Bim by Gina Williams
“‘Is this all there is?’
The question caught me off guard for a split second, sucked a little bit of air from my gut…”



The Line by Amy Collini
“The week before I leave for freshman orientation at Ohio State, my father offers me a gift: an “in” at the plant where he works…”

What of the Raven, What of the Dove by Randon Billings Noble
“A story was growing inside my neck but I didn’t yet know what it said…”

Misfire by Joe Oestriech
“An hour after load-out, Biggie pulls the Econoline into the parking lot of the Raleigh Fairfield Inn…”



Waterfront Metro Station by Elizabeth Acevedo
“through the speakers
the conductor’s voice scratched
a stop away from mine…”

Everything She Can’t See by Liz Ahl
“The little girl is full of questions
and asks them all, one after another…”

Those Birds by Michael Colonnese
“Lined up on the wire,
each hunched…”

Back Seat Event by Gabrielle Freeman
“I want to kiss you, but
I open the car door, and it is raining…”

Bubble by Jessica Greenbaum
“Walking through the park, I saw a grackle ferrying a
bubble in its beak as it flew to the tree top where…”

Moth in the House by Jessica Greenbaum
“Skimming the wood floor like a bi-plane over the November fields,
might wonder where the breeze went, and all the chorus and lilt of the leaves…”

Futile -the winds- by Benjamin Gucciardi
“My sister once told me
That when it gets hot enough in Arizona—…”

The Bees by Patrick Kindig
“The bees had taken over
the front porch, but I didn’t mind. Covering…”

Introduction by Patrick Kindig
“You draw for me
a map: here the horse’s white…”

Portrait of Enya as Homeless Man Singing by Patrick Kindig
“Sometimes Enya needs
a break from watching over…”

Finding a Way Out by Kelly Nelson
“They chose the same day—
Dillinger waltzing his way…”

Seeing for the First Time His Face by Kelly Nelson
“In black and white, his mug
shot beside the homecoming…”

Quantum Silence by Rebecca Macijeski
“Quiet is not the right word for silence,
for inhabiting your mind so fully…”

Letter to Be Opened Over the Atlantic by Charlotte Mandel
“Soon you take the sky road
to northern generosities of daylight…”

Japanese Studio by Charlotte Mandel
“Talking of stencils: and again he says
‘we know intuitively that…'”

All Fatfalls for You by Mg Roberts
“Things connect by a slowing :: Sometimes people are not meant to remember words :: What I long…”

Futile, – the winds –

For Becca




My sister once told me
That when it gets hot enough in Arizona—
And it always does this time of year—
The wayward pelicans, lost
On their migration North, see steam rising
From the desert road and confuse it with the surface of water.
Seeking refuge from the heat, they plunge
Into the mirage.
The concrete receives them,
Snapping their bones.




When we were children,
My sister placed gifts beneath a stone
On the porch outside our window while I slept.
She left me tattered feathers,
Spines of dry urchins,
Sand dollars;
Sometimes she would crack open the discs,
Arranging the dove-shaped shards
In an arrow pointing towards a pale, unmappable place
Only reached with closed eyes.




Among the rocks below the cliffs,
Between two boulders
Sharp with mussels, clinging,
The corpse of a brown pelican withers.
The keel bone juts through
The slumped flesh,
The hollow skull bows humbly
To the cold feet of the sea.
I kneel, reach out,
And the bill turns to powder in my hand.
I, too, want to die enormous
In a tide pool.
I look up and see an empty space
In the crooked V formation
Of eleven pelicans heading North.




Did she forget the slanted cypress on the bluff?
Where we climbed, lay on branches,
Our small hands almost touching, our skin
Warmed by the eyes behind the curtain
We call sky,
The runs in the old blue fabric
Like so many roads
The birds traverse,
Their flight weaving thin,
Black stitches in the folds,
Like the sutures the doctor sewed
Into her wrists.
How lonely, those branches
Must be, and the crows




Dusk, I stay beside the body of the pelican.
When my sister plunged,
And the winds did nothing,
Did she know the song bones sing
Just before they snap?
I hum that slow song.
My heart a thousand wilted feathers.
I pluck one, press the tip into the sand;
I draw her a magnificent winged thing.
The zephyr of my breath
Eddies through the plumes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email