I did it this morning. I threw away the “Smith Family Reunion: We’ve Come This Far by Faith” T-shirt, which I wore for years despite not being a Smith and not having any faith. Into the bathroom garbage also went an “I’m Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs” T-shirt, which I wore as some kind of ironic comment on corporate marketing to toddlers. Old, holey, too-small, rock T-shirts of concerts I never attended—gone. Even my beloved baseball cap that read “Gooseberry Pie” found its way into the pile of discarded floss.

Stanley and I

By Quenby Moone

Essay

Arguments around the dinner table are not this family’s modus operandi. Akin to intense debaters who pore over details and minutiae, eventually we realize we’re preaching to the choir and have a good laugh. Arguing is a scholarly endeavor. We leave the messy emotional disagreements for discussions. When an argument takes place it’s a remarkable occasion.

Like a boxer finding his feet

Gets off the floor

Or a ship buoyantly climbs

The crest with a groan


An unseen technician

Slides the dial, and here

Comes our plentiful

European light;


No scavenging hyenas

Or roaming hawkers here

To disturb our preening

Stillness. Only swans


Doing their best to glide

Like card cut-outs

Across the perfect stage

Where a man sits


Head in hands, watched

By sleeping strangers

Whilst he declares

“Morning won’t suffice.”



It’s 9 PM, and I’m not wearing pants.

I’m 28 years old.  I hold two Masters degrees.  I have one sock on.  I’m splayed out on my couch like a dead bird, eating pickles and rechecking my email for the sixth time that hour while my television babbles in the background.  Astonishingly, I’m single.

By Tina Traster

I hear his step before I feel his bare arms around me. His embrace is like a warm sweater. My nose is pressed against the chilled window. I never tire of watching snow fall. Tonight it is falling hard. It is piling like tufts of whipped cream on the concrete bird bath, the green birdhouse I decorated with a red cardinal, the picket fence. The storm silences the mountain pass. Boxwoods droop like slackened shoulders under the weight of eight or so inches. Tree branches groan each time they smack against the clapboards.