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“Nativity,” “The Audition” and “First Light”

Issue 39 by Holly Kelso

When she delivered him, occipito posterior, the back
of his skull cradled against her sacrum,
when he crowned, face up, chin up,
it was her father’s chin, her father’s
nose, his broad strong Scotish countenance.
My father was there, wearing a hospital mask, ear to ear,
stretched across his face like a sheet spread at birth,
she would say later it was the first time
she’d seen him cry, her husband.

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“01 – to feel what it feels like”

Issue 38 by Rachel Elam

when i was eighteen
i lost sensation
in my cheeks. it was only
years later, once i felt the
slightest tingling
return to that same skin
that i let myself mourn
its absence (easier to numb
with positivity and denial
than to recount
the beauty and
brokenness
that led to its loss).

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