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Small Essays on Disappearance

“All / my life sacrificed to the arrogance of cities, / their empires of skin.” A child, a city, a scar, wealth, music, memory, and identity consort in a swift series of lyrics from J. Mae Barizo.

Three Weeks

“I am going to try to write / A little. // I have nothing at stake but my life.” In Dawn Potter‘s sequence, a 19th century woman alternates between diary entries and poems, trying to make sense of her life, her obligations, her hunger for holiness, and a feeling of disaster or deliverance just out of view.


“I have to invent him as a little boy / because loving him was grief-stained. // Because living with him was like— / and here I give you a house full of bees.” From Mariah Whelan, a story of violence, legacies, grief, and survival.


“When I say ‘te amo,’ I bend a border to you.” Shifting from word to image, language to language, scene to scene, Paul Hlava Ceballos assembles a portrait of his mother from contested memories, amid ongoing erasure, and in honor of her lifelong work of making a life for them.

Nonnus of Panopolis’s Dionysiaca: Book 7

From a new translation of the longest surviving poem from Ancient Greece, the story of how Eternity pleaded with Zeus to create wine to ease human suffering, as well as the courtship of Zeus and the human Semele, which led to Dionysus’ conception. Translated by Christian Teresi.


“It’s not just you who has it wrong./It’s not just people. It’s every song.” Out of empire, war, destruction, and some smaller mistakes, Thomas Mixon feverishly tries to fantasize a better vision of America and, maybe, but probably not, himself.

Four Poems on Sally, Dick, and Jane

“Sometimes Dad naps on the sofa. / Pray is like play is like sleep. / I want to play, but I am on the outside. / This is how I learn to pray.” H.E. Fisher tells the story of a childhood in primers.


“From your flesh I’d grow a garden, / I’d make a forest of your bones.” A new poem from Carolyn Oliver overlays the long echoes of Hamlet, whale-fall, the death of a beloved, and the future of a son.

The Cats of Old San Juan

“The cats are here because of the rats. / The rats are here because of the Americans. / The Americans were here because of the Spanish. / The Spanish were here because fuck the Spanish.” Combining the force of logic with bitter irony and sharp humor, a new poem from David M. de León tracks the confusions of Puerto Rico’s colonial past and present.

Three Dramatic Monologues

Three new poems from Matthew Buckley Smith present a medieval mother reckoning with forebodings of a new plague; Achilles, in an alternate history, looking back on a life in which he never went to war; and a contemporary woman refashioning her public humiliation.