ISSUE.23

The First Quarter
of Rampant
Global Warming, 2007

 

 

 

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Creative Nonfiction Magazine
and The Best of Brevity

 

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CHILDBIRTH IN ALABAMA
By Robin Behn

The babies have the shocked look of wet birds from a smashed-open egg; through papery skin their inner workings shine. The fathers stand like dazed, draped mannequins, there being nothing, no one, they’re allowed to hold. The newly delivered mothers raise their upper torsos for a fleeting look.

THE SHRIEK THEY KNEW SO WELL
By Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Father drove circles around the lake—windows rolled down in ninety degree heat—calling the bird’s name in a thick, coconutty Indian accent while Mother paced the sidewalks carrying Chico’s three-story white iron cage hoisted high above her head.

ON RECEIVING NOTICE OF MY STEP-DAUGHTER'S PREGNANCY
By Mary Akers

I want you to hear the voice of an angry stepmother as you read this, so go ahead and settle into it. You know the voice I mean: that extra-tall mocha raspberry voice, with the hint of an edge.

CANDY
CIGARETTES

By Anne Panning

You stood there in your cheerleading uniform: twiggy legs, curling iron bangs, eyes squinting through smoke. You were on the edge of everything. You would succeed and supercede, or come down like the rest.

FURNITURE, RENTAL WORKERS, HOUSTON
By Sandi L. Wisenberg

He was black, yes, and a manual worker, yes, and he was older, but mostly he was an obnoxious insistent stranger.

MY FATHER'S NOOSE
By Grace Talusan

Perhaps his mother will remove the crates and watch him suffocate; allow his siblings to play tetherball with his body; or keep him tied there, hanging from the kitchen.

THE POET
VISITS HER
FATHER-IN-LAW
By Joy Beshears Hagy

Emphysema is drowning him, but he’s not sure if it came from smoking or because he is allergic to pine trees. “It’s from smoking” I tell him. He coughs and I gag.

COMING OF AGE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, PENNSYLVANIA
By Leslie Stainton
Kiss Grandma goodnight. Kiss your Aunt Betty. Kiss Dr. Bunny. I pad from one to the next, trying not to recoil at the bright lips, leaking smoke, that plant themselves on my skin and leave cherry bruises.

CATACHRESIS
By Patricia O'Hara

 I compensate for bad spelling with bad penmanship. When in doubt, I carefully malform my letters so they appear to be written in haste by a woman with way more interesting things to do than carefully form her letters.

LAST STAND IN THE CLOSING COUNTRY
B
y Christopher Cocca
 This will all end soon. These parts will finally fall and these people with them, paved under one of a million concrete slabs connecting New York and Philly and Baltimore, too.

BREVITY copyright ©  2007
authors retain copyright over individual works