33.2 Winter/Spring 2021

Hyrax Syntax

Shira Dentz

O aurora I see centers everywhere / & crescents too, multiplying bubbles / within which every sense / fractures concave & convex

Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

Umbilical dot

Shira Dentz

take a page out of that / book, temporal without / a hitch of loathsomeness.

Southern Comfort

Quintan Ana Wikswo

When Toni and Lola have a good run with the oilmen, we all get to go up to Dallas for steaks and Neiman Marcus and drink thirty dollar cocktails made with real gold. Tina finished paying her forty-eight blowjobs for the red mustang convertible and it's hers now, fair and square, and Tina and Lola in front and Toni and me in back and there's no need for a hotel because we're not ever going to sleep again. Sleeping is for people who haven't been paid.

Where She Was Forgotten

Karla Clark

before brunch bottomless hipsters march on / MLK would say these chicken tenders taste like / freedom rings

Tree of Life

Brandon Shimoda

Someday I’ll stand speechless / on a grand, forgotten tree of life. // The ornate order of existence / will be my partner, and my partner / will be my shadow // My shadow will be preaching, will be endowed with / all I cannot carry / in this life, // overcome with questions, The tree of life is / not but // total / illumination.

The Gallery

Brandon Shimoda

standing shoulder to shoulder / staring at a painting of a massacre / from which the sufferers [had] been replaced / to center the camouflage of negative space / that binds suffering to celestiality


Karla Clark

Back home is wider than my legs lost the beat when viper sting / hid your keys ‘tween his fingers and though he snorin’ I ain’t / lightfeet ‘nough to get ‘em you gon’ have to chain lang along

Inimă / Heart

Romana Iorga

Eyes closed, / they sang mournful songs about sons / who forget to come home, while my / twelve-year-old heart worried that neither / the rain, nor my childhood would ever end.

Fried Chicken

Caroline Wray

She’s there on one of those red-herring March afternoons that make you think spring’s arrived, when everyone pours outdoors gasping, like they’re emerging from underwater. Her parents’ house is the worst on the block, squat and ranch-style, and she’s on a sunny ledge, a small plane on her roof that’s eye-level out your window, where you’re sitting in the stuffy green chair trying to read a Lincoln biography.

The Movies

Naomi Kanakia

The man has a gun. He walks into a bank with the gun. He sees himself from the outside, enacting a scene from a movie. He shows the gun to the security guard, who sits down, and he shows the gun to the cashier, whose face congeals with fear, and it’s all happening too fast, too automatically.

Lahore’s Morning New York’s Night

Ayesha Raees

My mother WhatsApps me and I am traumatized to ever answer anyone concretely. At 99 Favor Taste, over bubbling stock, over boiling shrimp, my friend says: This Is Not Even Your Country/ This Is Not Even Your Discovery/ Girl. I just like this planet. Girl.

Beyond Belief

Annie Kantar

There’s one hundred and three year-old Mazal, known for the decades she gave to cleaning bodies before burial. Preparing the dead for death. Did they ever come to you, I ask. No, she guffaws, proof, as she sees it, of a job well done.


Katy Mullins

Brigitte watches her mother swat at a mosquito sending ashes from her cigarette into her coarse gray hair. She’s smoked it past the filter, an orange nub in her fingers the size of a peanut. She’s always been this way, siphoning the last dab of nicotine out of every inch of a cigarette. Brigitte has never understood this.

Second Best is Best

Isaac Yuen

Sometimes being best can be the worst. The prized antlers the wapiti so lovingly drapes with velvet and nourishes with aspen shoots can turn their caretakers into rumpus room decor, even though deerstalkers know perfectly well they could just wait for the elk to finish bugling its mates before picking up the discarded instruments for a song.

The All of It

Emily Strasser

Rachel felt small and held in the green bowl of the clearing beneath the boundless bright sky. She felt a tug in her middle, some big, sweet sadness, and knew she would always feel this way now, no going back, part wild thing, part person.

Hyrax Syntax

Shira Dentz

O aurora I see centers everywhere / & crescents too, multiplying bubbles / within which every sense / fractures concave & convex

Demolition Order

Annie Kantar

a perhaps Hand (which comes // out of nowhere), arranging / her young face, // a window into which people look / (but don’t see— // arranging changing placing // a paper in her hand, / a strange / thing Can you (and a known thing) // read this here and / changing everything carefully // —she can’t believe.

Origin Story

Lyn Li Che

tell me again about the flood / the water stoppering the air & how our people / learnt to cross it by drowning / afterwards we rebuilt our cities underwater / lest we dared to escape ourselves


Brandon Shimoda

The repercussions of war the multiplying of god’s face / in a strobe-like assault of diffidence and death / is in the lower right-hand corner / of the primarily yellow painting // of war / In the cave

For the Love of Oranges

Leanne Ogasawara

Arriving back in Los Angeles when the orange trees were in flowery bloom, their fragrance nearly knocked me over, flooding me with childhood memories. The poet Mahmoud Darwish said that, “cities are smells.” Well, I can tell you, Los Angeles is the perfume of orange blossoms, jasmine, and the salty sea.

Little Marilyns and Audreys

Laura Valenza

We’re filming on the verandah of the Golden Age Movie Ranch in Los Angeles County. 3 AM is my sister. She’s the third attempt in the Audrey-Marilyn series. They call me 7 MH, the seventh in the Monroe-Hepburn series. We’re different configurations of genetically modified and cloned fragments of DNA of the famed actresses. We don’t know what happened to our predecessors.


Nathan Spoon

What was it that slid through the field of my hand? / A mountain. I will say it was a mountain, although / it is no longer here for any other to see. It is elsewhere / and doubtless sitting like a toad whose voraciousness / desires to be appeased.

Somewhere Michael Schumacher

Jensen Beach

There is a man in India who is every morning attacked by crows. I heard this on the radio not long ago. This man, he once rescued a crow that had become disoriented in his garden. And since then when the man emerges from his house, crows descend from the trees nearby to swoop at him and to peck. The birds have been attacking him for three years.

From the Archives


Natalie Scenters-Zapico

a man covers his face with a rag / on video capture at five in the afternoon, / a woman cuts a round into a saguaro / on video capture at five in the afternoon, / a girl twists her ankle on a rock / on video capture at five in the afternoon

Fragments and Farewell Songs

Song Lin, transl. by Dong Li

The retreating autumn deepens in the city. Water turns from silver to maroon. A fisherman smokes on the bank, looking at the rising tide. The dark tones in the landscape are often overlooked. The bank, grey in the fog.

If My Disease Were an Animal, What Would It Be?

Joanne Jacobson

To be diagnosed with a rare disease is to have wildness pressed upon you. You are not exactly the secretive quarry that birders travel the world to add…

Two Poems: King of Pop and Homeopathic

Christopher Salerno

Got to be starting              some thing. My father used to                                  catch and                                           modify minor birds with butcher twine.               Revise each one to be more beautiful.