Issue > Poetry
Josh Kalscheur

Josh Kalscheur

Josh Kalscheur is the 2015-16 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. His book, Tidal (Four Way Books), was the winner of the 2013 Levis Prize in Poetry and was published in Spring 2015. Individual poems have been published in Boston Review, The Iowa Review and Slate among others.

Priest #6

It is best to live by a school for the deaf
in the fall, when the bare trees leave space
to look to the street or the field
by my house where hands move everywhere
and mean something. Nothing about their bodies'
turning is wasted. One flick of the wrist
and a boy begins to laugh, or one begins
to laugh and a girl, shyly toeing a broken pipe,
turns her wrist and quiets everything.
One hand curved to a C over the heart
means sadness, and a hand moving up
my stomach to my chest means my hands
have been doing their job well. I have loved
their faces, how they need to face each other
to talk. Something joyful happens
and the woodchips are lifted and the shoes
are scuffed. Grace sweetens and I move
from room to room on a quiet day of praying
to catch them learning what it means to stand up
for themselves. They are boys and girls
who want to be growing, meaning
their bodies will care for themselves.
In a year, God will smile down on them.
Love outside the family will take hold
and tighten around their wrists.


If the unspirited end their lives
with a mechanical purity
then the spirited take a boy
and sacrifice him as required, as he wills.
Then he is the child who disappoints
love, who failed to fall correctly
when a balance was struck
into his body. Then no one ever dies
according to the rules
of dying. Then into a house full of apartness
the young boy is taken and melancholy
is surrendered over his hip.
The world's few clean corners
are cut and scattered, make possible
the shape of God.


Michael Homolka

Michael Homolka


Peter Munro

Peter Munro
The Jack Knife


Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Elaine Fletcher Chapman
Broiche, Late October