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ISSUE:  Fall 2023

My name comes from a man I
never knew, his name comes
from a man he never knew, it
goes like that all the way down
until the thread is lost. It
comes from the Irish word flann
meaning ruddy, or red-faced.
The landlord stands in his manor,
looks out over his fields, no,
Little Lord Go Fuck Yourself
never saw his fields, his middleman
collected the rent, from
the peasants, the red-faced,
the flann. Now I spend hours
at the sink, water running over
my hands. How long will it last?
The window looks out at a brick
wall, the sun moves tiny shadows
across the grout, I can reach out
& hold it. My daughter carries this
same name, peasant child, I didn’t
know what else to do with it. That
name, like a ghost, calling out from
all that light. This window once
looked out over a meadow, all those
people we had to kill to make room
(multiply that by a city, divide that by
the amount of gold in Hispaniola).
We came here to get away, we
were hungry, we had to prove ourselves,
the new landlord nodded in
their direction, we knew what we had
to do. It’s hard to think how to set this
right. We could move all the bones
into the spare room (if we had a spare
room), arrange them in a way that
showed respect. What I need to do
now is help my daughter with her
algebra. Peggy rode her bike to
the farm. Mike decided to go by car.
It took Mike half an hour to get there.
Peggy made the trip in two hours.
If Mike was travelling 36 miles per
hour faster than Peggy, how far
is the farm? The idea is to find out
what you don’t know by looking at
what you know. Let’s start by naming
what we know—everyone is trying
to get back to that farm.


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