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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015


Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA


It is the same pattern every summer. The rain stops in early June and by July lawns have browned and I can feel dust on my teeth. The municipal lake shrinks and exposes tangled wood, bottles and crinkled cans. Cats and buzzards feed on the beached fish. Boys fire stones at fish gasping in the few pools that remain.

In August, I line my father’s wheelbarrow with a shower curtain then push it across the cracked bed of the lake. I use a bucket to fill it halfway with water and scoop in a half dozen orange and white carp. In the days to come, I will feed them dried bread, add a cup of fresh water every day for oxygen, and keep them in the shade to slow down evaporation. Soon they will be like pets snapping at my fingers. It is the same every year—I give them a few more weeks—that is all I can hope for.

lilies at night
a prayer inside
closed hands



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