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PV MAG ISSUE 2

Seconds to Consume

words / black holes / cotton candy /
a moment / the air / voice / trust / life

I.  A Sunrise Buzz…………….………….……....Bekah Steimel

II. Time …..…...…........................……..Michael McAndrew

III. Conversation ...………………….…………….....Bekah Steimel

IV.  Popcorn….………...………..................…….Glen Armstrong

V. Grit …………………..……….................…….....Moylin Yuan

VI.  A Melancholy Breeze...........................Emily Kamminga

VII.  Moor…………...…………......................…..…Kirsty A. Niven

VIII.  T.I.E....……………………...………….......….......Braxton Kocher

IX.  Decolonization…...................................…….Moylin Yuan

X.  From Meconium Aspirations:                                                

                     A Play In Ten Breaths.....................Mark Blickley

XI. Drunktown …………..................…….…….…..Jesse Maloney

XII.  Entropy….....................................................…...Lana Bella

XIII.  On TV, the Reporter Says:........................Siobhan Gleason

XIV.  She blinks…………………………....…...….…….Braxton Kocher

 

Cover Art.  Glitter Ritual……………………………Christine Stoddard

I

 

A sunrise buzz

 

because

I might die by the clock

but I will not live by it.

 

II

 

Time doesn’t count

It happens all at once

 

In grains of sand

Or even drops of water

 

An ocean wave

Or volcanic eruption

 

On watch staring at the sea

Wanting to go smoke and forget

 

A different watch, staring into darkness

Waiting to see if any of the kids on the unit wake up with a bad dream

 

Sitting at a bar in Malaysia

Talking about nothing in particular

 

It’s snowing and the kids need to go to school

I’m arguing with an 11 year old about why she can’t wear flip flops today

 

I’m stamping my new rank

On a green flight deck jersey

 

I’m labeling the kids clothes when I get into work

I don’t want them to argue about what belongs to who in the morning

 

Whole milk in plastic tumblers with cartoon characters

Whole Red Bull’s from Thailand, uncarbonated and warm

 

Tiger Beer mixed with Irish Car Bombs

Mixing Miralax into orange juice

 

Men and women who can’t speak about what they know

Kids who haven’t mastered how not to

 

“I heard you were in the army, is that true?”

I was in the navy

 

“My grandpa was in the navy, that’s how he got all his teeth knocked out.”

Yeah, that can happen

 

“Is it true you have to make your bed all the time in the navy?”

Just every morning

 

“That’s all the time.”

Uh-huh

 

“What war were you in?”

This one

 

“There’s a war going on now?”

Yep

 

“Will you eat breakfast at the table next to me?”

Yes

 

“Is the breakfast in the navy good?”

Not really. Well, the biscuits and gravy were good

 

“We have that here.”

I know. It’s better here


 

III

                                                                            Conversation

 

                                                                            with you

                                                                            feels like

                                                                            tires

                                                                            spinning in the mud

                                                                            nothing lost

                                                                            nothing gained


 

IV

 

It remains in its bag

In the microwave

I got called away

Suddenly

It’s as if it never existed

Orange eyeshadow and lipstick

Tends to make white folk

Look out of place

Like carneys at the Laundromat

I’m afraid

 

We’ve given them legitimate

Reasons to fear us

We get called away suddenly

From the home and snacks

That we’ve never really appreciated

We look down on people who pop

Corn for a living

It’s too stale to eat

So I leave it for the birds

And think bad thoughts.

V

 

Grit

washing down igneous rock

Spattered in bird waste

All speckled and sun coloured

Remember the climbs and twisted ankles

              your fingers onto fissures, crags stacked with oysters, their tongues

Waiting for the tides

We ran after the shells

hiding under waves

              the new elders soaking toes under

foaming sands

              when being, vanishing, was a phasing Sexuality

 

 

 

VI

 

A melancholy breeze between monochrome skies.


 

                         A sky that is easy to forget from its lack of dimension.



 

One that doesn’t demand your attention.


 

                                                                    One that simply exists.


 

VII

 

The wind howls at the door,
begging to be let in,
turbulent and terrible.
It huffs and it puffs, desperate,
scraping at the bricks,
throwing twigs at the window.
The trees bow under its pressure.
A Brontë aura of gloom
as it encircles the house,
cowed under its enormous thumb.

 

VIII

The plane shakes

Like a cold boy on a late summer evening

Lost among the oaks + the evergreens

Wandering down old dusty paths.

 

Mother said to be home hours ago but the hummingbirds and the dandelions tell the best stories and the darkness is only scary if you believe

it exists.


 

Turbulence in excelsis.


 

Amen.

 

IX

 

Softly we un-borrow the ivory shells,

learn to lean towards ourselves

Identity shifting in sand

Now it’s daily weather, with dunes

drifting at different levels

Every morning if the sun burns my skin

Would you call my name?

 

X

I think I’ve born into the past


 

but I’m not sure whose past

and that makes me kind of nervous.

XI

 

A Navajo waddles on 160 at 7pm and

is struck on the Navajo side

by a truck

trajectory sends him soaring

lands on the Hopi side at 6pm

the same day.

The police report reads

TIME OF ACCIDENT:     7pm, Aug. 14 2017

TIME OF DEATH:           6pm, AUG. 14 2017

Tuba City’s not a drunktown

It just has bad bookkeeping.

 

XII

 

                                                                                                                                      only in silence

                                                                                                                                      do we give audience

                                                                                                                                      to the roughhouse 

                                                                                                                                      that shifts our breaths

                                                                                                                                      and bones

XIII

 

On TV, the Reporter Says:

 

          “Police officers found a man’s body in the river.” The TV shows the riverbed, the grass, and the water lipping at the muddy edge. The reporter doesn’t say: “Officers found a man in the river.”

 

         He was floating when he was found, but not like a swimmer floats, closed eyes facing the endless sky. River droplets coursed off his limp shoulders, a gushing, a wet smack against slow-moving water. He didn’t roll his shoulders to brush them away. His shoulders drooped. His arms flopped downward.

 

        The reporter says “body” before he says his name. His name is the afterthought – the word for those that knew him before he was just a body. The word for the rest of us says, We know what is missing now. It means what is no longer – what will never be again. And when the name is unknown, we just hear “body.” The body of a woman, a man, a child – a collection of limbs.

 

        The body’s right eye is open, but we know that it no longer sees. We close it out of respect. We close it so that he doesn’t look like he is looking at us, even though we know he is not. The body has ways of seeming like it is still alive. We regulate those moments, drawing the line, enforcing the boundaries. We remind ourselves even when we speak about him. Past tense, we think. Past tense for what he was. Present tense for what is left behind.

 

        According to physician Duncan MacDougal, the soul weighs 21 grams. 21 grams of half-smiles at strangers, jokes shared in secret, knowing glances, handshakes with just the right grip. The man who is now a body cared about applying the perfect pressure for handshakes – his friends remember that about him. He didn’t believe in the soul. He believed we only exist once. We only get one chance, and then it’s over.

 

       His family hopes that isn’t true. They think about what to do with what is left behind. He can’t be cremated, because his soul needs to rejoin his body. A soul can’t do anything with a pile of ashes. It needs working limbs. A swollen foot and water-filled lungs can be repaired, but not the dust – not the light gray ash. There is a limit to the miracles that can be performed. They bury only what they can hold.

XIV

 

She blinks.

It's all over now.