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Poem of the Week
Dead winter trees pace the street
like expectant fathers,
red flashes of cardinals
bright as fire between the black branches.
I'm sorry, I say.
You nod, keep quiet.
There are no clean words for moments like this.
I am alive, fearfully present in my yellow sweater,
my gloved, ringless hand
seeking yours between the gray of December sky
and the hospital's automatic doors
humming shut at our backs.
Patches are all that is left of the year's first snowfall.
Already, the fury of the storm has been forgotten.
At thirty, miscarriage is a small coda
uncurling like a sleeping cat
across what will be the first false promise of tomorrow.
Story of the Week
Deep in space, within the lab onboard the alien starship, a medical monitor showed M'rak the growth and rebuilding of the skin, muscles, and DNA structure. He typed a command into his computer and the monitor turned upwards and projected the screen into a hologram, allowing M'rak to get a closer look at his experiment. It took him years to perfect the serum but this time he hoped he cracked the code in regenerating matter from nothing but bones. He had promised his superiors that if he could create the serum for medical reasons, it would benefit their society.
As the serum seeped into the rest of the bare bones of the small skeleton that lay sprawled out in the container, the holographic images showed the old, worn out, fractured and yellowish-brown bones mend, heal and sprout veins from the inside out. Muscles began to form and overlap around the bones. Organs filled in the ribcage, with the stomach and intestines forming and filling in the abdomen. A layer of thin muscles sealed the organs in and it developed pale and slippery skin which covered its underside. Finally the small creature began to take shape and twitch. Spongy green skin spread and covered the exposed bones and muscles. Glossy brownish-black eyes formed in its sockets. The creature began to move and breathe with its newly formed lungs. Then it suddenly jolted and squirmed around in the container.
Graphic of the Week
Author of the Week
The novel I was writing had a significant event at the beginning of the third act. I knew an event was there but I didn't know what it was. I didn't have a clue. What I had instead was an image:
A large orange resting atop a small iron table on the patio of a house in the Southwest. I couldn't see the house in the image, only the rolling desert in the distance. I could feel the house behind me. The sun had just set on the uneven horizon and the sky---even the air---was a deep indigo. That was the image: an orange set against a deep indigo sky.
It's impossible to say how the image arrived and, in fact, I don't remember the moment I discovered it, yet the discovery and its importance jolted me, lingering in my body with a stray voltage.
This image wasn't a symbol. It didn't mean anything, in the ways we usually talk about meaning. And, it resisted being teased out, refused to unfold into a larger scene. It remained steadfastly, and only, itself. When I reached the writing of that section, there was no way to work the image into the unfolding events.
And yet, the image had claimed me, sustained me. It held the place of the transpiring events until I got there. As I write this, I can still clearly see the orange and the sky, the play of color.
We'll Try Again, You Tell Me Later
Five Photos from Rural America