Issue 3.3: Andrea Witzke Slot

Elusion by Sarah Marie Kosch
“Luckily, Becca rescued the family photo album before Mother could X-acto all of the pictures. She hid it on the shelf above her bed…”

Heat Index by Brenda Miller and Julie Marie Wade
“Alcohol
In the 16th century, shipping companies often paid sailors in rations of rum. The sailors (always wary of the bosses) learned how to see if they were being ripped off…”

Quả Hồng Vàng by Kelly Morse
“That first autumn in Hanoi I didn’t eat persimmons because I’d mismatched books and life. A Chinese apple, your teacher said…”

The Radiators in Ellen Reed House by Liz Ahl
“have been pushing their ancient water
through these plaster walls…”

The Radium Girls by Liz Ahl
“Time used to tick, to trip,
to click between …”

Saturn V by Liz Ahl
“Unlike grief, escape
has only three stages…”

Honeysuckle by Maggie Bailey
“is taste not scent,
memory pulling…”

Alternative Air Source by Bobby Bolt
“If the ocean is only a sequence of shared breaths,

Then you may dream your way across…”

Physical Geography Lecture by Bobby Bolt
“I hope you’re taking notes: The nature of nature
is to move,…”

He’s a wildflower by Austin Eichelberger
“jaw decorated with soft thorns…”

Heat Wave by Jennifer Highland
“Bronx summer streets
smelling of piss and petunias…”

The Insulators by Jennifer Highland
“We try to keep the weather here controlled,
and so we softly barricade…”

Climate Change my Body by Jenny McBride
“The warmest years on record
and my body is coming into its own…”

Last Day to Save on Sarah Jaeger’s “Throwing and Alternative Video” by Andrea Witzke Slot
“sign me up for the master class of how.
Train me to…”

The Palm of Proprioception by Andrea Witzke Slot
“The sense of touch arrives early, long before the others…”

Unpacking by Larry Thacker
“My father is fresh back from Vietnam.
I see this in a memory I shouldn’t…”

Recipe by Patti White
“Say it began with an oven so hot…”

Boûts-Rimés: God’s Grandeur (1934) by Katherine Williams
“In black-and-white, five children in a god-
forsaken shanty of loose boards…”

For My Father, Who Will Someday Die by P.J. Williams
“Likely because his lungs
have turned umber, lost…”

Candling by Annie Woodford
“Short and sort of defeated even then…”

Melisma by Annie Woodford
“You love the radio,
love the thump & pop…”

The Palm of Proprioception

 

The sense of touch arrives early, long before the others,coiling itself inside our small selves when we are still swaddled in the comfort of pre-memory and fishtailed time. And so too does hang on until the bitter end, clinging to our skin long after eyesight and hearing fades, long after the taste of food dulls, long after the scent of a loved one’s clothes wheedles away into the particled air. Rest assured, it will haunt us even in our final hours when the cool night air floats into our empty rooms to shroud our failing lives. Touch, you see, is not just about love, consolation, sex, or need. Touch is the heat of others pulling at the spine-needled compass within, telling us who we are, where we are, and when. Direction is the meat of this unassailable craving, sewn into every thousandth millimeter of us from the instant we enter the cold air of the world, held up in a doctor’s hand, placed near another’s body, our naked skin lit—if we are lucky—by the light-like pulse of another. You know the stories: the infants whose lungs shut down from lack of another’s touch, who die lying in their sun-lit incubators, barred from the grief of those who press their fingers against walls of glass. People die every day for lack of what is found there. How many of us hunger for what others take for granted? A brush of a hand in ours as we cross a street? A palm pressed against a back as we move through a door? A pair of legs intertwined with ours in the night? A body on ours in an open-wide dawn? When touch doesn’t arrive, radars fail. Vessels drift into Bermuda triangles, where there is no way to know which way is under and back and down. But even then— when magnetic fields scramble sense—the dream of direction continues: reveries of bodies floating to calm island waters, where every inch of flesh is warmed, every organ gloved, where our whole selves are cradled in the boats of furnaced hands, rocking, rocking, rocking.

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