What’s Left

Kyle McCord

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I’m astonished no one has ever suggested that your sight has simply
preceded you into your following life. This isn’t intended cruelly.
Like Siddhartha, but much less zealously, I based my life on a gamble
that the buds that die simply weren’t intended for this particular act.
Resplendent snow varnishes the window where I repeat to myself
the host of Greek verbs all indicating departure. I embark, vamoose.
It’s said when the body gives in to the corpse, the spirit has left it.
After your sight left you, my mother bought you an electronic reader
in the hopes your spirit would stop rattling you awake.
Tonight I want to write about something quiet and a thousand miles
distant. I want to run my hand over night and not feel it rotting beneath
my fingers. A liver sick from liquor, an example of the martyr I still might be
passes on a street in Richmond. I can say little about him except
he clutches his books to his chest, crosses the road.
Tomorrow when I peer into the mirror with the paint stain
like a flying buffalo, I will have internalized this, moved memory
into post-production. The scene where you hurl a ceramic angel
at the floor in frustration then laugh. The scene where you spray
what turns out to be the cat with a high-pressure hose.
This isn’t intended cruelly. If anything is left in our body when we die,
I’m certain it’s only what’s cruel, what the spirit unconscionably bears.


ART: Jenn Brehm, Jason Polan,
Grant Willing

FICTION: Kirby Johnson, Anjali Sachdeva, Chad Simpson, S. E. Smith

NONFICTION: Laura E. Davis, Aaron Gilbreath, Alexandra Kimball, Elena Passarello, Alison Stine

POETRY:Samuel Amadon, Will Arbery, Elizabeth Arnold, Melissa Broder, Kara Candito, John Lee Clark, Graham Foust, Kit Frick, Paul Killebrew, Kyle McCord, Shane McCrae, Geoffrey G. O'Brien, Sandra Simonds, Bruce Smith

ET CETERA: Flannery O'Connor Soundboard, Poetry Bingo

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