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Terese Svoboda

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Captain Andy

Leave me be. From here on the veranda I watch a path that's not slimed by slugs, or soiled by rabbits, the damn brown rabbits pausing in their gnawing, or the high stink of daisies, but one that's combed sand, palm, crab. What light there is mot [...]

Baiyer River, Papua New Guinea

The road stops, not in a suburban cul de sac but where the bulldozer's sunk. Thirty or so men mill at the wreck in shorts and Coke or Sony T-shirts. They all have shoes and guns. Dirt from the "plantesin" seams their skin. The Hertz rent-a-jeep is th [...]

Sudanese Civil Sonnet

The bones scatter not as impressively as the elephants', unless you call it a decorator's statement, massed thousands for color and texture. Lots of texture here, especially where the bones complicate with smaller sets. Still, Matthew Brady would ha [...]

This Is What I Have

Crones support her in birth so when the head appears she does not topple from her squat and snap it off. Women who give birth the same year are sisters the rest of their lives. All big-bellied ladies brew beer, laugh aloud cautiously, dare not give t [...]

Barking Dogs

Early one Hattiesburg night, the moon hardly dry from the swampbottom, the beer already half-gone and sleep six hours off, the kid changes into her tutu and tap shoes and sings Sewanee with the dogs by the light of the high beam. We go wild. Even the [...]

Scouting Locations for A Commercial

He'd thought having them along might make homeowners open. But she's platinum blonde and the baby owes nothing to him. No one invites them up for tea, into their family rooms, onto their decks. Instead, she kisses him big in a shady lane, her baby sq [...]

Family Court

Though the mother does not take drugs to keep her calm, the father is obviously placid. The child is the boat they all climb on, even the guard. This is a saga about seasickness. The judge begins by considering the mother's legs as she flips unsteadi [...]

Fleur-de-lis

I'd forgotten about stars, the only prairie ornament. As we drank on the patio, they lit his head until cloudcover cut them off, chiaroscuro, the way his whiskers banked over his jaw after five. I'd forgotten about the emptiness of the prai [...]

Keep House

Magoo, I said, remember courtship? The sense of search: the long leaves tight against the empty pod? How annual those yearnings, how unsymmetrical. A man desires to drive you to the ever-campus of innocence. Ha. First a moment in a pub, a drink [...]