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Poetry Summer 2016    fiction    all issues



Cover Carly Larsson

Sarah Sansolo
Bedtime Stories
& other poems

Miranda Cowley Heller
Things the Tide Has Discarded
& other poems

Alexa Poteet
Escobar's Hacienda Napoles
& other poems

Cynthia Robinson Young
Triple Dare
& other poems

Nicole Lachat
Of Infidelities
& other poems

Amy Nawrocki
Bad Girls
& other poems

Lawrence Hayes
Winter Climb
& other poems

AJ Powell
God the Baker
& other poems

Gisle Skeie
& other poems

Bruce Taylor
Always Expect a Train
& other poems

Ricky Ray
They Used to Be Things
& other poems

S. E. Ingraham
Storm Angels
& other poems

Laura Gamache
& other poems

Keighan Speer
It Rained Today
& other poems

Emma Atkinson
Grocery Stores Make Me Feel Mentally Ill
& other poems

Erin Lehrmann
& other poems

D. H. Turtel
Margaret, Again
& other poems

Chris Haug
Bovine Paranoia
& other poems

Kimberly M. Russo
Definitive Definition
& other poems

Holly Walrath
A Tourist of Sorts
& other poems

Angel C. Dye
Beauty in Her Marrow
& other poems

Chris Haug

Bovine Paranoia

I’m sure it’s different for everyone,

but for me, it began like this: You’re scared,

but you tell the Angus beside you

anyway, and he just snorts dismissively

says that in profile

faces only look like they’re winking.

But you’re unconvinced,

and you don’t want to bring

it up again, but it keeps happening.

The sheep start doing it, and pigs

do it, too; then a farmer does it, then a tractor,

and the worries you feel about what

others will think are eventually outweighed

by what all of this means for you

if what you think you’re seeing

is actually happening. Your four stomachs

churn each time you catch someone’s eye,

until you finally can’t take it anymore,

and you dare to speak about this phenomena

with others, but of course, that psychotic

Guernsey pipes up and says

you’re the one who’s way off base.

And everyone laughs, but

no one knows what to do,

and you think, What else can you do,

but speak up? See, whether or not

you’ve accurately remembered

the moment last week when you saw

the wheat field winking at you

just before it began to rain . . .

you’re sure there was a flash

and then finally, definitively—

thunder. Yes, it now occurs to you

that the only thing that’s really true

is that you’re soggy and uneasy,

and that there is no way

you’re going to be able to spend

every single moment

of a lifetime of afternoons

like this.


It’s never how we imagine:

a daughter can, perhaps,

see her father returning

home from a long year

in a dusty place, his beard

matted with black blood,

his eyelids locked tight.

Though she knows

this won’t be how she will

actually see him when he returns,

it’s a way

to prepare herself.

But loss sneaks out

from the dark corners

of a Thursday morning

when her mother

doesn’t wake her

for school, and her hero

father comes back early

with his hair neatly trimmed

and his oaky legs unscarred.

Months pass in silence,

and she finds that the only things

her father can bring himself to touch

for more than just a moment

are the creamy shells of eggs

sleeping peacefully

as the dull kitchen lights

buzz somewhere overhead.

In Havelock’s Pub—Nairn, Scotland

I’m pretty sure it’s English

he’s speaking, but I can’t make out

a word, so I’m nodding

and drinking, trying to hide this fact.

His words are a deluge

and his eyebrows arc into caterpillars

as his leathered hand points

like a gun: forefinger at my empty

glass, thumb at the ceiling.

I nod, and a smile burrows out

from beneath his gray mustache.

He laughs as he bangs my pint glass

on the bar three times.

The bartender nods.

Apparently, I’ve just ordered

another drink.

I don’t know what he saying,

but I want to believe he’s telling me

how he survived the war

and how he learned to talk about it

once it was over, that he’s speaking

about how hard the rain fell

the day he met his wife, about how soft

her hands were the first time

she touched his shipwrecked face,

and that he’s confiding in me

that sometimes the sea

seems to unfold itself

only to him.

I Learn Prince Harry’s Junk is Going To Be in the Newspaper

after Frank O’Hara

Apparently, he was gyrating away

and then suddenly he stopped singing

and dancing to flip off the camera

and you said there was thunder

from across the sea, the Queen’s anger

you said. And I said

but thunder pounds you in the chest

hard, so it was not really thunder

and there was no lightning,

but I was in such a panic about “news”

like this permeating the air

about how “society” was acting

precisely like the sea

churning and foaming

that I saw a newsman

levitating, mid-air

on a forty-foot television screen say,

“Prince Harry is naked in Vegas!”

And look, I know I haven’t been

to that many casinos,

but even I know saints aren’t canonized

at Caesar’s, and I know there are no comets

seen in the Bellagio’s bathroom.

I have, however, had my picture in the paper.

O Prince Harry, we love you

please put your clothes on.

Chris Haug is a father, husband, and teacher. His poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in places like Silk Road, North American Review, Harpur Palate, Punchnel’s, and Potomac Review.

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