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summer

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

At Alice and Henry’s farm, it is time to mate the sows. Henry even bought a home pregnancy test for them—it is inserted into the vagina and simply beeps, with maddeningly little explanation, if it judges them to have conceived.

B&B

Before North took a seasonal job / fishing for kings in Alaska / I’d never admitted to myself / that he was my only friend.

Illustration by Nicole Rifkin

The Ash Swimming Pool

It had been nearly fifteen years, and no one Ali knew looked much like the way they had when they were younger. She wrote Grace’s name on a piece of paper in red felt tip and held it at arm’s length in front of her. In the rush of bodies, the automatic doors that led to the baggage carousel barely had time to close before opening again. There had been some kind of strife—though not a bomb—and there were police, a couple of soldiers moving with intent back and forth through the building. The glass walls were stained with cigarette smoke. In the food shops there were near fights at the discount sections: half-price carrot sticks with hummus, blood-colored smoothies, pita bread. She was so afraid of planes that sometimes, at night, she thought she could hear their seizing rattle, the doomed click of an engine shutting off 36,000 feet above her house. In the e-mail, Grace wrote: I’ve got nothing but air miles, I’d love to come and stay for a bit.

Illustration by Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Mary When You Follow Her

In the autumn of Maria’s eighteenth year, the year that her beloved father—amateur coin collector, retired autoworker, lapsed Catholic—died silently of liver cancer three weeks after his diagnosis, and the autumn her favorite dog killed her favorite cat on the brown, crisped grass of their front lawn, and the cold came so early that the apples on the trees froze and fell like stones dropped from heaven, and the fifth local Dominican teenager in as many months disappeared while walking home from her minimum-wage, dead-end job, leaving behind a kid sister and an unfinished journal and a bedroom in her mother’s house she’d never made enough to leave—

Pastoral

Two tree-limb-switched heretics born of Baptist parents, we reveled in a Ouija. But the only black spirits we conjured were our own shadows which flickered against the wall like a private screening. Both of us church boys sweltered in June pews, our bodies a new gospel.

Art by Anna Schuleit Haber

Geometry

Although they are now in their forties and no longer live in the same house, Helen and Phoebe are still referred to as “the Campbell sisters.” This makes them feel less like people than a brand.

Photography by Ryan Spencer Reed

RNC CLE

Erika Meitner's poetry and prose, combined with photography from Ryan Spencer Reed, take us inside the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

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