Issue 3.3: Kelly Morse

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
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…”

Quả Hồng Vàng

With lines from Li-Young Lee’s “Persimmons”


That first autumn in Hanoi I didn’t eat persimmons because I’d mismatched books and life. A Chinese apple, your teacher said, and in my farm valley bedroom I conjured what I learned a decade late was an Asian Pear, mottled gold with translucent skin like fresh ginger–summoned its roundness when Chinese authors wrote of a beautiful girl with a persimmon face.

Not those baboon-butts jauntily piled atop one another, the reddest bulge topping the pyramid. I passed them every day on my motorbike, one more mystery amidst the dragon fruit and rambutans. Your mother said every persimmon has a sun inside but I dreamed the harvest moon and freckled complexions. I had yet to unravel the skin ablaze with juice and suck it from my fingers, lobes of grainy sweetness sliding out.

A persimmon face can’t be translated as apple cheeks or peaches and cream. We don’t have a word for this moment in English, to see a girl’s taut skin and want to slip it into our mouths–not that we don’t have this feeling, but wordless will the reader know better or like me walk on through a field of adjectives, lexicating her own private pinhole.

I thought I knew their weight from my childhood, that deeply sloped orchard surrounded by tall, wind-breaking trees with branches crossed like young girls’ arms across their chests. Some things never leave a person. The orchardist had been experimenting with exotic fruits, but after a few years declared them unsuitable for the land of Red Delicious, Bing Cherry. He was going to rip up the lot, couldn’t stand the waste and so invited us in. I remember that afternoon devoted to windfalls because it held my first taste of departure, sweet pulp in the mouth–each bruised, golden orb an aperture to the outside world, everywhere winking in the tall grass.

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