“For the Polar Bear at Joburg Zoo”

In Issue 36 by Donatella du Plessis

They’ve painted your tank blue so you forget
how your paws flung moonstone stars across the
Northern Lights, how your cubs, seal-small, clung to
falling spires of snow and scarred, songless ice,


“Enchanted One” and “On Loneliness”

In Issue 36 by Emily Stout

How can two words capture the magic of such a creature?
How can a name hold the essence of anything? I wonder, cradling
huckleberries from the bush, how to express the way my hands
are left a misty purple,


“Death By Bleaching”

In Issue 36 by Lara Colrain

They tell me that I’m not dying.
That my limbs aren’t burning.
That my face isn’t as ashen as I make it out to be.
But what do they know –
the false prophets with their loose lips, tailored suits, and painted-up lies?


To Hunt and Be Hunted

In Issue 36 by Alexander Koch

It was a quiet October day, drizzling and cold as dusk edged its way over the hills. In southwestern Wisconsin, out in the hollows far from any civilization, a small cabin renovated into a viable home stood by an outcropping of trees. Smoke was billowing from the chimney while chickens scuttled around the wet grass. A glass storm door was the only thing preventing the cold breeze from seeping its way into the house. Through that glass door, a woodstove squatted low to the floor, casting heat to fight back the cold of the crisp autumn day. However, this wasn’t just any October day.


The Road to Bohemia

In Issue 36 by Martha Branson

There should have been French-Creole farmhouses overlooking the Mississippi River, wide gallery porches under deep overhangs, rockers waiting for hot, humid summer evenings spent in society with neighbors. The yards should have been surrounded by weathered brick and iron fences and concrete statuary.


“The Last Days of the Dinosaurs”

In Issue 36 by Kathleen Holliday

In third grade, one afternoon,
we were ushered into the auditorium
for a 16mm animated film
about dinosaurs.
As comets and asteroids fell,
pocking the earth,
so did the huge creatures,


Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

In Issue 36 by Vicky Oliver

I was in a meeting when the mysterious email arrived: “Need to talk to you today. What’s your phone number?” The message was so curt, that I didn’t think my friend John could have possibly written it. He was a native New Yorker with the soul and demeanor of a Southern gentleman.


“The Serpent: Smog in the City” and “To Soy, My Soul”

In Issue 36 by Nam Nguyen

Mascara swirling down her face,
the woman with sagging eyelids

stands on the chipped concrete
like the tall factory pipe
connected to the power plant machines.
She doesn’t think about her plight,
only the fact that she must make the ends meet
in order to feed her 2 children.


Waiting for the Bikaner Express

In Issue 36 by Christopher Johnson

On a journey to ‘discover’ myself, or at least try and escape the blur and whirl of dead-end jobs and lacklustre ambition, I decided to embark on a trip to India, jewel of the now defunct British Empire. I had hoped that such a voyage could liberate my restlessness, give some catharsis to the plague of self-obsession and stagnation that consumed me


Elephant in the Room

In Issue 36 by Lucas Klesch

these days the smiles are scripted
to induce the flow of joy
in hopes
they amplify an initial step
to overcome the inertia
of years of climate induced apathy
i still remember the days
when i did not have to remind myself
to smile or breathe deep


Certain Savages: Hyperinflation

In Issue 36 by Greg Johnson

On low marshy islands in the middle of the River Seine, an encampment of Celtic fishermen, the Parisii, once founded a village. The fishermen worshipped the horned god Cernunnos whom they believed united the earth, sea and sky. To this stag-horned hunter they sacrificed goats and pigs to ensure the fertility of their women. They doused statues of him in holy water to ensure their nets returned filled with fish. They laid flowers at his feet and fought enemy invaders who attempted to desecrate the Lord of the Dance.


Extreme Vetting

In Issue 36 by Roxana Arama

Livia Holban arrived at the Seattle Immigration Court that morning determined to fight like hell for Félix Dominguez’s children. Sixteen-year-old Cruz and thirteen-year-old Clara Dominguez sat beside her at the counsel’s table looking terrified at the prospect of being sent to Honduras, a country they didn’t even remember. At the government’s table, Immigration and Customs Enforcement trial attorney Josh Henderson appeared relaxed, as if he’d already secured the kids’ deportation.


Heat Wave

In Issue 36 by Aaron William

Gooooooooooood morning Woodfield! This is Kap Freeman with your drive time weather update. It’s gonna be HOT again today! [cue: sizzling bacon sfx] Mostly sunny with a High of 92, heat indexes creeping into the triple digits. Continuing into this evening with tonight’s low only getting down to 81. [cue: loud barfing sfx] Then HOT again tomorrow!



In Issue 36 by Alpheus Williams

The headland rises before the horizon like a giant lion’s paw, sun bleached and golden. Morning mist lifts above it in a soft mantilla of grey gossamer. You can just hear the breakers over the heavy equipment, the banging of gears and the blades of the bulldozers scarring the earth.


Keep Going

In Issue 36 by Forrest Brown

It’s October in British Columbia and unseasonably warm. This means it’s also hot in the cabin of the twin-prop Cessna carrying me northwest, so I twist out of my sweatshirt and squirm in my seat to find a comfortable way to sit. No success.

I’m on assignment for Outdoors, going to interview Diana Li at her vacation cabin up north.



In Issue 36 by Julie Beals

You are moving forward! You are moving forward. You’re cruising down the road in your jeep, on the way to work. The leather seat is cool beneath you; the world that’s passing by is overcast, but the yards and flora surrounding the nearby houses are almost a fluorescent green. There was a thunderstorm the night before.


How We Got Here

In Issue 36 by Cory Essey

We danced on my porch on the night I buried my dad. My feet were bare against the weathered wood, smooth under my skin. My dress, black and wrinkled, shifted in the cool night air and I remembered my father holding me up to the sky above his head. My arms outstretched, face toward the sun and flying, flying.


Twisting Time  

In Issue 36 by Gary Bolick

JENGA, yes, JENGA and rain. Both are safe for all ages, right? At the beach, sheets of rain rather than rays of sunshine coating the beach. JENGA! Throw in a slumber party game, a few choice words, a little alcohol, nothing too severe: Pinot Grigio, and wait. Now add a little, no, a lot more rain, bingo! Problem solved, right?


“A Walk on the Edge”

In Issue 36 by Jill Bronfman

Let’s go to the beach today
It’s closed, I know, the Great Highway, the great expanse
But I know a way in-
I’m a scientist.
I’ll show them my credentials, say you’re my assistant

We’re here to study the shoreline, what’s left of it