Issue > Poetry
Mary France Morris

Mary France Morris

Mary Morris has received the Rita Dove Award and the New Mexico Discovery Award. Her work appears in many journals, such as Prairie Schooner, The Columbia Review, Quartery West and Indiana Review.

After The Diagnosis

We walked to the pond, considered the swans'
question-mark necks wet with bite marks,
listened to the honking of snow geese
mating for life.

I visited the museum with its displays
of oddities: foreign objects fished out
of children—shiny pins, sharp nails, clips
and thorns, retrieved by the precision

of a surgeon's hands. The evolution
of medicine—what was once so painful,
personal—now given a number
displayed on cadavers.

That night there was a man in the restaurant
whose arm shot up—involuntarily,
as if raising his hand for an answer.  
Silently, we all were.

Strangers, we spoke among ourselves
about vials of blood the techs had drawn
all week, tubes of crimson cells,
our grasping of appointment cards—

epistles we memorized for hours
in waiting rooms, as if in a theater
to audition for a longer life.
At St. Mary's Hospital they threaded an artery

in the groin, a catheter to deliver dye.
The beautiful photographs of my brain
I keep, now in the nocturnal drawer
underneath my hats—an angiogram

with my skull, its shadows of eyelids
and clustered veins, teeth lined up
in their ghostly corridor
of whispered exhalations.
Everything becomes inquisitive then,
aside from the heart—transparent
and rhythmic with all of its defects,
its innocent murmur knowing nothing.


Catherine Stearns

Catherine Stearns
Snow in August


Zebulon Huset

Zebulon Huset
Inconsiderate Acts


Lindsey Bellosa

Lindsey Bellosa