Lend Me Your Hand

Lend Me Your Hand

I arrived early at the Church of St. Mary at Westminster College to get my music together and try the piano. It was late April in Fulton, Missouri, cold and damp, and the morning haze set the church in a sort of numinous relief against the pervading Midwestern gray. I leaned against the large wooden door, stepped inside, and shook off the chill.

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Fuji Bay in Sioux City, slow Monday night, and The Bachelorette’s on TV. She’s stopped on her way back from the airport, in an attempt to self-soothe with sushi. Earlier in the day, she said goodbye to The Beloved in a different airport, then dozed on and off through two uncomfortable legs. Saying goodbye to The Beloved is always dreadful.

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This Is The Drill

You turn off the lights. You shut and lock the doors. If there are windows, you herd your students to a corner where they can’t be seen from the windows. You tell them it’s important they stay still. You tell them it’s important they stay silent. You use the tone of voice you reserve for only the most serious things. The tone of voice you once used with your own children when you told them never to shoot up. You only have one life, you once said, don’t throw it away.

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The Birds

Human beings ought to emulate the birds. / Every millisecond on TV is a birdbrained lie. / And I love TV very much so I can say it. / A soothing mixture, pain and plenty.

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Green Mountains Review, based at Northern Vermont University, is an annual, award-winning literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary essays, interviews, and book reviews by both well-known writers and promising newcomers.

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Review of NOT A PLACE ON ANY MAP by Alexis Paige

Review of NOT A PLACE ON ANY MAP by Alexis Paige

Organized as a series of forty flash essays anchored by their geographic location, Not a Place on Any Map by Brevity editor Alexis Paige charts a life that stutters and snags on trauma and addiction, a life where entropy looms and the “myth which insisted that matter falling apart was not moving toward something larger, like islands or stars.”

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Bruce, on Ice

Bruce, on Ice

Phoebe swears that the slick roads and misty skies, and the fatness of the roses in our front yard are all signs that point to Bruce. When we hear “Bruce” called out at a restaurant, or see the name in the newspapers, or watch a movie with a character named Bruce, she grabs my arm and says, “See?”

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Two Poems

Two Poems

The NYT today says Haiti’s Baby Doc / Duvalier is dead. So that’s that— / another brutal dictator escapes without / paying his tab. It’s almost dusk / as a cloud a little darker than the others / leans down to kiss the grey sea.

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A Protective Impulse

A Protective Impulse

We want to believe that there is nothing natural about numbers. These ciphers are our perfect projections, whom we marshal and archive, in endless right angles. Though they have pores and spines, the tables we fashion for them are not carcasses or skeletons, not birds shorn of feathers and skin.

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Origin Story

Origin Story

This afternoon, Iris’s mother plans to swallow a pill that will dissolved her thyroid gland, cure her hyperactive metabolic disorder, and turn her, temporarily, radioactive. She will lift the white pill over her blushed lips and open her teeth so that the chalky capsule can dissolve in her arteries and turn her blue veins nuclear.

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Red Tide

Red Tide

Robby Johnson sits at the bar drumming his fingers on a bottle of Bud. He’s been sitting in that same spot, two stools from the door, for the past two weeks. Since his dad and brother died. The only other person at the bar this early is Jimmy.

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