Tony Gorry: “Other Lives”

Other Lives

Afternoon on a darkening street
in trees dappled by gas lamps
a breeze whispers slyly of winter
and leaves stir at my feet
yearning for branches above.

Houses with glowing windows
frame comings and goings within
while from the shadows I watch
the mysterious lives of others
ones I might have known but didn’t
ones I might yet know but won’t.

Shivering in a sudden gust of wind
I resume my slow walk home
the lives of those others scattering
like the leaves that swirl at my feet.

 

Tony Gorry has published in JAMA, The Chronicle Review, The Examined Life Journal, The New Atlantis, Fiddleback, Cleaver Magazine, and Belle Rêve Literary Journal. His essay in War, Literature & the Arts was Notable in 100 Best American Essays 2012. His book, Memory’s Encouragement, was published by Paul Dry Books.

Mark J. Mitchell: “Fire”

Fire
 
She says her husband
smelled smoke and left.

She never knew what kind
of smoke—tobacco, sulfur,
oak or hickory—

just that he smelled it
and went out

like a candle.

 

Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel, The Magic War, just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks—Three Visitors; Lent, 1999; and Artifacts and Relics—and the novel Knight Prisoner are available. He lives with his wife, the activist Joan Juster, and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco.