There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.
For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.
Certainly the ushers who pass the baskets know me as a miser.
Our house sits alone out in the country, seven miles north of town.
I want to remember us this way—sun streaming through the window.
The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.
All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.
If he’d had that seat belt on, he would have been pinned inside.
The event was an accelerator. So much matter crashed, vaporized.
Death is a lack, I suppose, and love more so. But I will not falter.
The excuse, of course, was that men had to support families.
Snows piling in his crying mouth. Cold gave him a light complexion.
She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.
Lost land, this is a song for the scars on your back, for your blistered feet.
There were more whispered speculations about his relative sobriety.
I had the tongue of an adder and my heart was black with rage and hate.
I want to cut loose from her each wistful sigh I hear escape her lips.
That’s why Mam drinks whiskey. That’s why he drinks whiskey too.
He’s weirdly hard to pay attention to, even when he’s threatening you.
Sleepy and pensive, July succumbed to the day’s isolating heat.
I lift my wine flask, drunk with rivers and hills.
We imagined the train routes through the heart of the country.
A collection from San Franciscan photographers Eszter and David.
The sunrise does not blaze fiercely but spreads in a gentle flush.
I looked out at the busy world, and I saw nothing but its ugly bones.
All these barns with their busted spidery limbs strewn over the lupine.
When his father was out cold he tied him up, roping his arms to his sides.
The author reads her story, a finalist in the Winter 2013 Story Contest.
At first my dad was optimistic that he could be a one-armed farmer.