• More Than Flowers by Jamie Gogocha

    It’s that moment when I’m able to step outside without my winter coat. That moment when I look at the flower bed I’m about to tend. I’ll look at the dirt, rich with nutrients from things I missed during my autumn cleanup. I’ll look at the green sprouts of leaves and the minute buds on the hydrangeas my grandma ordered for me from QVC. I’ll smile when I recall that only a handful of weeks before, the hydrangea’s skeleton was in a vertical arm-wrestling match with seven inches of late-winter snow. It’s that moment when I shudder as I use my gardening gloves to wipe the spiderwebs away from the…

  • Four Truths of a Withering Heart by Daniel Wolfort

    Prologue      Once upon a time, there was a boy with small hands and a withering heart.      A withering heart is different than a broken one. A broken heart acts in accordance with Newtonian physics—action and reaction; tragedy and heartbreak. A withering heart, meanwhile, crumbles away, degradation and disappointment wearing it down to dust. It acts in accordance with the law of entropy.      All things follow entropy. The heart is a singularity of time divided by experience divided by memory, all derivative of the heart’s singular, drumlike beating. And with each beat, a little more of the singularity is released, giving the finite amount of energy it contains away to the…

  • Daughter Songs by Joanne Clarkson

    I remember an evening thirty years ago, three of us standing on a footbridge when my daughter was one.  She in a stroller.  My mother, eight months past cancer.  Me leaning over the railing watching tracks of abandoned trains almost touch, disappear into a seldom-used journey. This March, I push my granddaughter in her little red car down the road to a pasture.

  • Bubbler Man by Jonah Barrett

         The Benson Bubblers are all gone. They have disappeared from every street corner. From Burnside to Madison to Stark to Washington to Alder to Yamhill to Morrison to Hoyt to Salmon to Madison and again to Washington. Everywhere. Zip. Badda boom. Our iconic water fountains have vanished, or so it feels.      The fact of the matter is our Benson Bubblers are not where they should be, but we know exactly where they are. They’ve all been accounted for in Pioneer Square in the form of a giant, hydraulic man that sits in the center plaza.      We’d call him Bob, but that’s a bit old these days.      So we call him…

  • Show Me by Margaret Gish Miller

    After Philip Levine The yard is abandoned, though home welcomes you.  A lone blue sofa where she huddles, feet beneath legs crossed in moon shadows. A man scatters seeds…royal blue jays in black plumes land inside the red-fired, ceramic planter, filling the man’s eyes like a lone bird.