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With cover design by Simo Peretti and music by Them Damn Hamiltons.

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Page 1: Go Places: Sea Creatures
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GoPlaces:SeaCreatures

July:Issue5

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ContributorsJesseCataldo http://www.jessecataldo.com/ RachaelEasterly EmilyHiggins EileenHillery http://www.eileenhillery.com/ EmilyHockaday [email protected] GordonHolden http://www.gordonholden.com/ MeganHummel TiffanyNavarro http://www.tnavarro.blogspot.com/ AmelaParcic JackieSherbow TerinTalarico MonicaWendel CoverDesignbySimoPeretti Waltzin’JennybyThemDamnHamiltons

ThemDamnHamiltonswriteandperformoriginaldarkNewEnglandfolkwithatouchofgypsyswaggerandseachanteystomp.www.themdamnhamiltons.com

CreatedandCuratedbyHannahRaineBrenner‐Leonard

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DearFriends,

WhaleMystic,collage,2011

Thankyoutoallthecontributorsformakingitgreat!Hopeyoulovethisone.

Truly, Hannah

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SeaBurialJackieSherbow

listofbeachlife,LongIslandSound,9/11/2000snail,shell,weeds,ladybugs(note:check),oneblackarrowhead,smallwhitecrabs.Oceanside,CA,7/4/2009AMarinedrownedinthemiddleofthedayjustdownthebeachmightaswellhavebeennexttome:thewaywaterflows.Requirementsforburialatsea:musttakeplacethreenauticalmilesfromlandandinwateratleastsixhundredfeetdeep.Certainareasrequiredeeperwater.Allnecessarymeasuresshallbetakentoensurethattheremainssinktothebottomrapidlyandpermanently.listofsealifefromdream,2012areunionofoldfriendstiedupinocean‐dwellingplants:theMarinefromIndependenceDayweekend,redtide,myAuntM.’sashes,silverknottedfly‐fishingties,skippingrocks,thegirlmymotherdoveintoretrievefromthepool’sdeepend,Maisieafterjumpingoverthefencetothebroken‐glassshoreoftheEastRiver,theviewofLowerManhattanfromthewater,mytoesskimmingthetipsofeveryone'sfloatinghair.

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Mom'sBathroom, Northglenn,Colorado,January2010TerinTalarico

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ByNightWithTorchAndSpearJesseCataldo

Theyspenttheirdaysonthebeachandatnighttheyargued.Quietarguments,oneswithroundededges,whereshewouldbreakaglassinthesinkandhewouldmurmurunderhisbreath:forGod'ssakehowmanytimes?Shewasn'tworkinganymoreandhewaspaintingthethingshewanted,deadcantedtreesandemptybeds,theirsheetsgrayandunwashedandsinister.Thingsthatmadethemeninthelittlegalleriesonthehilltilttheframesslightlytotheirsides,bemusedlooksappearingontheirfaces.Hewasn'tworried.Theydidn'tneedthemoney.Summerendedandtheystayedthere,intheshorehousewiththreerooms,onthebeacheachdayinsweatshirtsandlongpants.Thetouristswenthome,ofcourse,andtheicecreammanlefthistruckbehind,parkedonasandycornerneartheboardwalk.Beforethishehadimaginedthattherewassomeonetotidyupwhentheseasonwasover,acleaningmanwithacartorapickuptruck,scouringthebeachfortrashanddebris.Buttherewasnosuchperson.Thecellophanewrappersandplasticbagssunktheirwaydownintothesandorblewoutintothesea.Thewaveswereglassyandcalmandtherewasseaweedeveryday.Bynowthewaterwascoldenoughthatitdidn'tmatter.“Theysayit’sfulloftinymaggots,theseaweed,”Heathersaid“asifitwasn’tbadenough.”

Hemadeadisgustedface.Itwasanothercoldday.Likealwaystheyhadwokenatdifferenttimes,eatendifferentbreakfasts,takentheirmorningwalksalone.Butbynoontheywouldbeonthebeachagain,reading,orsketching,orjustlookingoutatthewater.

“Cleanermaggotsthough,”hesaid,“atleastrelatively.BecauseofthesaltImean.”Peoplewerestillthereintown,somewhere.Theywouldrunintostrangersinthecornerstore

andsayhello,forcedintofriendlinessbythenewfoundemptinessoftheplace.Butthebeachwasempty.Therewasoneperson,anoldwoman,whohadsetupacardtablenearthestepsdownfromtheboardwalk.Shesoldseashells,unironically,readingromancenovelswithsurprisinglytastefulcovers.SheworeaNavajochief'sblanketaroundhershoulders,aheavythingwithamaroonandgoldpattern.Thismustbeoneofthosepeople,hethought,theonesHeather’sfatherhadspokenabout,theweirdoswhoclungtothetownallyearround,throughcoldweatherandwarm,likedeadantsonoldPopsiclesticks.Thiswomanmaywellhavebeenthereduringthesummer,sittingoutamongthefruitsellersandthecaricaturists,withtheirsampledrawingsofoutdatedcelebrities.Ifshewastheyhadnotnoticed.Nowtheysawhereveryday,hershellslaidoutmessilyonthetable,asiftheyhadwashedupthere.Theywerenotthesamekindofshellsyouwouldfindonthebeach.Theylookedforeign,withviolentpatterns,streakedsunsetaccumulationsofpurple,orangeandred.Thewomanlearnedbothoftheirnamesandtalkedtothemwhentheypassed,aboutthesoundthewavesmadeonthejettyandtheislandjustoffthecoast,whichtheycouldseebuthadnevervisited.

“It’sthekindofplacewhereyouseeflowerseverywhere.Inthebackseatsofabandonedcars.Justgrowing.Yearafteryearandthepetalspileuponthefloor.Fallingdowncottagesallcoveredinivy.”Thewomankeptherhairtiedstifflybackandwhenshespokeherhandsfluttered,asinthemotionofsomecomplicateddance.“Whenyouseeahouselikethat,ahousewithrootstearingupthecellar,thingslivingintherafters,deadleavesuptoyourkneesintheoldkitchen,youfeelsomethingrighthere.”Shetouchedherchest.“Andthedogs.Thereareoldstraysthathavegonewildandatnightyoucanhearthemcryingbythewaves.”Atnightthelightsonthenearsideoftheduneswentdarkfirst,thenthoseupabove,inthesmallerbungalowswhereoldcoupleshadsettleddownforgood,leavingonlytowatchthewavesandpickup

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groceries.Therewerestillboatsoutinthewater,andfromtimetotimeonewouldpassclosetotheshore,theglintofitslightsreflectinginthewindow.Sometimestheywouldgobyquickly;othertimestheymightsitoutthereforhours,faroff,likesomethingpaintedonthesky.Whenhesawonehewouldwalkovertothewindow,pickinguptheashtrayinonehandandstandingthere,theasheswanderingoverthelipofthetray,hisfacesmushedupagainsttheglass.

“Shepaintsthoseshells,”Heathersaidlater.TheywereplayingScrabbleandhewassurprisedtofind,hourslater,thattheoldwomanwasstillonhermind.Hehadjustspelledtheword'fuzz'butnowregrettedit,howoutofplaceitlooked,theuglyblockageitputontheboard.

“They'reconvincing,sure,butIknowforafactshepaintsthem,”Heathercontinued.Hewonderednowifthewomanwasstilloutthere,ifshespentallnightundertheboardwalk,

sleepingwrappedupinthatblanket.Thisseemedpossible.HeknewwhyshebotheredHeather,whofearedthingsthatmadeherfeelstupidorunbalanced.Thewomanlikelydidthis,throughthecarefulwayshespoke,poppingoutsyllableslikesoapbubbles,inthearch,measuredtoneofaBaedeker's.

“Whydoesitmatterwhattheyare?”heasked.“Itdoesn'tmatter.That'swhyitmatters.Whosellsshells?Andoffseason?Whatdoesshe

thinkthisis?”Thiswashowtheargumentsstarted.Shewouldpushhimtodefendasidehehadwouldnot

normallyhavetaken.Fromherehewouldstruggletogetback,toescapethetopicandthesidehe’dbeenassigned.Indoingthishewouldenduptakingontheargument.Thiswashowhefoundhimselfdefendingnucleararms,dogshows,ChiquitaBanana,theoldracistwhoownedthet‐shirtshop.Eventuallyhewouldrealizethathewastrapped.Then,slowly,thefightwouldwinddown.Theywouldgotosleepandinthemorningwhenhewokeupshewouldalreadybegone,ashallowdentinthesheetswhereshehadslept.Usuallyhewouldlosethearguments,becausehisheartwasnotinthedefense.Heatherwasatenaciousandwilydebater.Therealityofhislosswouldlingerwithhimandtosavefacehe'dbeforcedtostartanotherfightlater,pickingatherforsomethingpointless,thewayshecoughedorhowshelefttheforkshalf‐washed,inthedishdrainerdottedwithgritandcrust.

“Didyouwashtheseinthesand?”hemightask,quizzically.TherewouldbesilencefromthecouchwhereshesatwiththelightoffandtheTVvolumeonlow.Heknewthesekindsofcommentshurther.Shehadnopatiencefordishesanditwasalwaysdarkinthekitchen.Ifshedidapoorjobitwasonlypartiallyherfault.Soshewouldsaynothing,walkintothebedroomandclosethedoor.Or,ifthingsthatdayhadbeenmoreamicable,shemightwhine:

“MorganforGod’ssake.YouknowI'mnotgoodwiththesethings.”“Iknowthat.Ido,”hewouldanswer.“Sowhybringitup?”“Whynot,”hewouldask,“justcleantheforks?”

Itwasavacationhouse.Thismeantitwasfilledwiththings,allthecastoffdriftwoodofherprivilegedchildhood:frayedstuffedanimals,ovenmitts,booksthathadbeentrappedbetweenbedsandwallsforfifteenyears.Therewasa1987calendarinthekitchen,asmallyellowboxwithallthemonthsononepage,highupabovethecabinetswherenoonehadbotheredtotakeitdown.Hethoughtoftenaboutherandthehouse,thetimesthathadbeensharedbeforehegotthere,whatwouldhappenaftertheyhadgone,thethingstheplacemeanttoherthathewouldneverunderstand.Therehadbeenweekendsherewhenshewasthegrinningfive‐year‐oldhesawinpictures,whenshehadwokenupearlyinthemorningsanddoveintoherparents’bed,squirmingherwayunderneaththecovers.Nowitwastheirbed,withdarkstainsonthecoverletfromlyingonitwiththeirshoeson.Tohimitwasnothingmorethanadrearyplace,onethatseemedbarelyaliveevenwhenitwaswarm.Therewasastinkofdeadwoodandagriminess,anancientmusttothewalls,thatwouldhavenotcomeoutevenifthey’dtriedtoremoveit.Hecouldnotgetpastthis,couldnotforma

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sentimentalbondwiththissadlittleplacethatwasnotreallyahomeorevenahouse.Thereseemednoreasontotry.ByOctoberitwasfullofdrafts,alwayscold,thereflectedcharmofsummercompletelystrippedaway.Itscreakingwoketheminthenight. “Thewaterlookslikestewnow,”hesaid,“Inthesummerithasthatnicelightness,butnowit’slikeredmiso.Theseaweeddoesn’thelpthings.”

“Iguess”sheanswered.“Idon'tknow,”hesaid.“It'snotthemostbeautifulthingintheworld,”sheagreed.

Theirchairswerefacingoneanotherforsomereason.Herslookingoutandhisfaceuptowardthehillandtheboardwalkandthetownbehindit.Helookedatthelinesonherfaceunderthesunhatshestillstubbornlywore.Sherepeatedsomethingtohimthatherfatheralwayssaid,aboutneverturningyourbackontheocean.Fromthebeginninghehadthoughtofthehouseassomethingherparentsbought,aweddingpresentfromtheirparentsorapurchasesharedamongsiblings.Whenhefoundoutotherwise,thatithadbeeninthefamilysince1923,thatseveralpeoplehadhoneymoonedthere,thatoneofhergrandfather'scousinshadchokedtodeathonanappleintheverysamekitchenheatehisFrostedFlakes,hefeltspooked.Thisoldnessgrantedaconfusingvacuitytothethingshere,robbingthemoftheircontextandplaceandloosingthemtoagelesslimbo.Thethingslyinginthehallandbedroomclosets,theshuttlecocksandloosestripsofnetting,thelawnmowerparts(althoughtherewasnolawn),spadesandtrowels,dark‐greentennisballs,hats,boots,bundledlengthsoftwineandstring,boxesofhandwrittenrecipes,ClueandTrivialPursuitinoutdatedboxes,withmildew‐eatenboardsthatlookedlikethefloorsofneglectedmansions.Wheredidthesethingscomefrom?Whenhadtheybeenlefthere?TherewastheyellowraftthatherbrothershadtakenoutontheAtlanticwithoutpermission,rowingagainstthetide,sofarthattheydisappearedbeyondthehorizon.Whentheycameback,trudgingupthebeachwiththeboatheldovertheirheads,herfatherwentafterthemwithhisbeltandlater,afterthey’dbeensuitablypunished,goredtheraftwithasteakknife.Thiswasoneofthestoriesheknew.Shetolditblankly,sothathewasn’tsureifitwasmeanttobefunnyorsad.Buttheraftwasstillthere,foldedupitspackaging,brownanddesiccatedlikeanoldcucumber.

Itwasnotallfighting,thoughitsometimesseemedlikeit,andhehopedthatlookingbackonedaytheywouldnotrememberthearguments.Therewerenicetimes,evenwhenitwascoldandthewindhowled,whentheywouldfindthemselvessittingIndian‐styleonthekitchenfloor,feelingtheoldstormfeeling,theoneyoucouldreallyonlyfeelonvacation.Orinthehallways,theirlegsstretchedoutacrosseachothers.Theywoulddrinkhotthingsfrommugsandeattheoldcrackerstheyfoundwastingawayinthepantry.“1991,”shejoked,“beautifulvintage.FantasticyearforSaltines”.Thepinesmellofthewallscameoutwhenitrainedandsometimesthesmellofawoodstovewouldappearoutofnowhere,waftingupthebeachmaybe,slinkingintothebedroomwheretheylaydrapedoverthebed.Itwasduringoneofthesetimesthatshetoldhimaboutthewhale.Itwasrareforhertospeakabouthermemoriesofthisplace,andthethingsshedidtellwerenotimportant,wherethekeyringusedtohangandthewaythebikeswouldtipovereverynightfromthewind.Howherfatherwouldleanthemupagainstthewallasevenlyashecouldbuteachmorningtheywouldcomeoutsideandtherethey’dbe,tippedoverinthesand.Butthisstorywasdifferent.

“Wemusthavebeeneightornine,”shebegan,“wellIwaseightornine.Clintwastenorelevenormaybeeventwelve.Wecamebackfromsomewhereinthecaranditwaslyingthereonthebeach,dead.Justthemouthandtheheadorwhateverandtherestofitwasinthewater.Butthatmouth.Jesus.Therewasthishorriblecrustofbarnacles,blackalgae‐lookingstuffaroundtheeyesandmouthandI’llneverforget,forsomethingtohaveeyeslikethat,likebiggerthanyoucouldimagine.

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Clintranoverandtriedtotouchitandmydadcameandscoopedhimup.Whichwasgood,hewouldhavecrawledinside,thewayhewas.”

Shelaughedandwentontalking,abouttheeyes,whicheventuallyslidshutontheirown,andtheslackmouth,aswideasagaragedoor.Aftershetoldthisstorytheywentbackoutonthebeachandwalked,upalongthehighdunespasttheoldwoodenshops,closedfortheseason,whereonelonelyhousesatatthetopoftheridge.Thishousealwayslookeddarkfromtheirwindow.Butcloseuptheycouldseethefrailbluelightinsideasatelevisionreflectedagainstthebaywindow.Theydidnotholdhands.Thiswasnotthatkindofsituation,wherethestoryremindedhimofwhyhelovedherinthefirstplace,openeduntappeddepthsofaffectionandbrokethroughthecrustedloamofmisunderstanding.Nothinglikethathappened.Partofhimwasstillannoyed,tobehonest,thatshehadeatenthelastthreeeggsthatmorning.Theywalkedsomewhatapartandsometimeshishandwoulddartcloser,brushingthehairoffhershoulder.Outofhabitmaybe,butwiththehandclingingtothelastfibersofhairandswooshingthembackingbehindherearwhereheknewtheywouldcatch.Theoceanwashideousandblack,swollen,proudofthebilliondeadthingsrottinginside.“It’sselfish,”shesaid,“ButIwouldlovetoseeithappenagain.Thewhale,tremendous,dead,lyingthereontheshore.”“Whatareyoudoingoutthere,”hismotheraskedonthephone,“andwhereisthereexactly?Whatcanyoupossiblybeeatingeveryday?”

“Nothing,”hesaid,whichwasnottrue.Hewaspaintingeveryday,evenwhenhedidn’tfeellikeit,thingshewasnotsurehelikedbecausehedidnotlookatthemoncetheyweredone.Therewasnotmuchelsetodo.Thelibraryintownwassmallandtheyhadnotelevision.Sothepaintingsfilledthehouse.Leaningfacedown,firstagainstthebackofthecouchandthenagainstthebacksofotherpaintings.

“We’llbebackwhenwe’reback,”hesaidintothephone.WhenhewasoutorinbedHeatherwouldturnthepaintingsoverandexaminethem.There

wassomethingmenacinghere,shefelt.Thepaletteandchunkybrushstrokesindicatedfrustration,blackmoods,depressioneven,amorbidintimacywithshadowsandfog.Onepaintingwasofthebeach,coveredindeadjellyfish.Anothershowedthedarkwaterchurninglikesewage,anoldrowboatlistingnearadock,threedustypelicansperchedonabuoy.Shepickedattheirframelessedgeslikeaboxofrecords,runningherfingerovercertainparts,lettingthemfallbackagainstoneanother.

“Whatareyoutryingtosaywiththesepaintings?”sheasked,onemorning,whentheyfoundthemselvesbothdrinkingespressoatthecafédownthestreet.Hethoughtaboutthisforamoment.Hisfingerspulledfromhissleeveanddrummedagainstthetable.“Ithink,”heanswered,“thatIlikedthisplacebetterwhenitwaswarm.”OnedayjustbeforeHalloweentheywalkedupthecoasttowardthejetty,furtherthanthey’dbeenbefore,pastthegraymossyhouseswhereoldfriendsofherparentsstilllived.Hehadstoppedshavingandhisbeardhadgrownoutunevenly,patchyinsomeplaces,scragglyinothers.Hecuppedhishandsandblewonthem.

Therewasaplacehereshehadnotseeninyears.Fardownthebeach,pastwherethecliffwallspressedtightagainstthesea,wherethewaterwasfullofbouldersandsharkeggschokedthesandinthespring.Sheknewitastheboathouse,althoughitdidnotholdboatsanddidnotlookasitevercouldhave.Itwasasmallshackonthewater,connectedbyashortpier,halfcollapsed,withsnappedclamshellsscatteredacrossthefloor.Shetoldhimthatasachildithadscaredherterribly,howherbrotherswouldforceherinside,barthedoorandpretendtoleave.Lookingatitnowshefelt

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nothingatall,watchingthewaterlapagainsttheopenfrontoftheshack,thegapsinthewallscreakingasthetideslowlywrenchedthemfromtheirmoorings.

“Whatahorribleplace,”hesaid. “Itusedtobeevenworse.Orseemedlikeit.MaybeI’mjustbeingnostalgic”Shewatchedthenarrowstarehegavethestructure,hishandrubbingoverhismouth.Shewonderedifhewouldpaintthis,andwhatitwouldlooklikeifhedid.

Theysatinthesandnearbyforafewminutesandthenwalkedback“It’sverycold,”hesaid.“Itis,”sheanswered.Comingoffthebeachtheyranintothewoman,whohadlefthertableandwaswalking

barefootinthesand.Shetalkedagainabouttheisland,pickingup,itseemed,whereshehadleftoffthelasttimetheyhadspoke.

“Therewerethingsthere,”shesaid,“atownhall,abeautifulpetshop,andeverysummerthere'dbefireworks.Iwasagirlhere,yearsago,andonthe4thwewouldcomeouttothebeachandlaydownonablanket,eatfriedclamsfromtheshackdownontheothersideofthebeach.It’sgonenow.Butthefireworkswentupthere,outalongtherocks,andfromwhattheysaidtheislandthemostbeautifulhouses.Mansardroofs,widows'walks,themostgloriousgardensyou’deversee.”

“Goodnight,”Heathersaid,whilethewomanwasstillspeaking.Theywalkedbacktothehouse.Thatnighttheymadefishsticksandatethematthetableoutside,intheirjackets,thewindwhippingherhairupintoherface.WhenthefightstarteditwasaboutClarkGable.WhetheritwashimorErrolFlynnintheoldTechnicolorversionofRobinHood.Itwaslessaseriousargumentthanajokingdebateandthemoviewasrightthere,inanoldVHScopy,leaningagainstafewothersonthelivingroomshelf.Theywerelaughingastheywentbackandforth.Shegrabbedhisshouldersandshookthemvigorously.Butoncetheystartedtheycouldnotstop.TheGablediscussiondevelopedintosomethingtangentiallyrelated,third‐worldpiracy,orhisfather,andthenbecameaboutwaterpollutionandfinallytheideathattheleakofthekitchensinkwasfixable.Theywerenolongerlaughingandherheadwaspressedagainstherhand.Itwasnotsomethingthatcouldberepaired,hemaintained.Itwas,shewassure.Buthadshetriedtofixit?Hadhe?Shethoughttheleakcouldbefixedbecauseshethoughteverythingcouldbefixed,justlikethat,hewasconvinced;sheknew,assuredly,thathewasprojecting,hishateforthishouseandallthethingsthatlivedwithinit.Standinguptorefillhisglassheknockedovertheflag,whichhadsatfoldedontheendtablesinceshe’dtakenitdownonthe4th.Therewasacodifiedprocedureforthefolding,buthedidnotknowexactlywhatthatwas.Itwasherresponsibility,butwhenhehelditoutsheshookherheadfiercely.“Doityourselfsinceyouknoweverything”sheshouted.Hethrewitdownonthecouchinaball.Itwentonlikethis.Theygotintobed,stillarguing,andlaywhisperingwithaspacebetweenthem,backtoback,pitcheddistantlytoeithersideofthebed.

“Ifyoumadeaneffort,”shesaid,“you’dseeitwasn’treallysuchabigdeal.”“Effortisatwowaystreet.Idon’tseewhyI’mbeinglecturedonself‐improvementwhenyou

sitaroundherealldayonyourass,likeyou’rethequeenofeverything.”Herresponsewasthoughtfulandmeasured.Shewasstilltalkingwhenhefellasleep.Whenhewokeitwasstilldarkbutshewasnotthere.Thesunwasalmostcomingup.Hecouldseethefirstglintsofitoutatsea,theedgesofthehorizonbeginningtolighten.Onthebeachtherewere

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seagulls,dozensofthem,wheelingandcryingandcollidingwithoneanother.Hepulledonhispantsandwenttothewindow.Shewasoutthere,onthebeach,standingoversomething.Againhethought,cursingherpetulantrevengetactics,thisdistantmorningritualshecarriedouttopunishhim,thesymbolismofthesebeachwalksandthecoffeeshesometimesmade,thepotleftpurposelyonthecountersoitwouldgrowcold.Butthistimetherewassomethinginfrontofher.Somethingheavy,andlong,bigenoughthatthewavesdidnotmoveitanditsattherelikearock,thewaterrushingoverit.Shewasleaningtowardthethingandhecouldseepartofitmoving,afinorflapoffleshbeingtuggedbythetide.Itwasadolphin,hedecided,orahugefish,thewayitsbackendtaperedoffandcametoapoint,asifthebackfinhadbeensnippedofforeatenbyscavengers.Therewassomethingshockinginthispristine,lifelesspilelyingontheshore.Buthewasmoreworriedabouther,boththequietgriefshewouldincurfromthisdeadcreatureandtheterriblediseasesshemightpickup.Whenhegotoutsideshewassquattingovertheshape,thebackofherjackettrailinginthesand.Hewalkedtowardthewater,sayinghername,lookingforsomedefinitesign:abentdorsalfin,scales,ablowholedammedupwithmud.Butitwasnotadolphin,orafish.Theproportionswereallwrong.Hesawthisnow,comingupbehind,wheresheheldherhandsovertheblobasifwarmingthemnearafire.Shewhirledtowardhim,losingherbalanceandfallingforwardononeknee.“It’sadog,”shesaid.Anditwas:huge,half‐rotted,itscoatsmearedananonymousshadeofgray.

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LightCreaturesTiffanyNavarro

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OtherIslandsMonicaWendelHereweare,inthegreatvalleyofpeoplebetweenthesigns,andthepolice,andthefences.Bringmewater:Iwouldlikethatrightnow.AndthenightonthefieldwiththegrassandtheeelsandtheplanesrisingaboveusfromJFKadozenmileseast–noonefromthatnightishere.ItfeelslikeIamtheonlyoneseeingwhatIseeandatnightIdreamoftheapocalypse,Iamwatchingtheoceanfromaboveandthetsunamiexpandslikeajellyfishsoperhapsinthedreamitactuallywasajellyfish,bluewithwhiteedgesofwaves.Thedream‐mecheckshercellphoneunderwater,sendsonelasttext.Inthegreatmassofpeople,andthenlater,walkingdownBroadwaywithpolicevansstretchedforaquartermile,Ifeelveryalone;Ifeelasthoughnooneiswatching:YetthenewstickerlightsupagainandagaintosaywhereIamanditisasthoughIamwalkingonthebackofawhale,curvedslightly,likeaparenthesis,andwhatIthoughtwasanislandindeedwasalive.

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GordonHolden

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AmelaParcic

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RachelEasterlyjellyfish,youstinglikerainyourbodyflailshookandsinker,runandhunker,milkneedlesdon'tfeedher,nothingappeaseherjellyfish,theywashyouuptodry,feedyoubeercansonyourfirsttry.it'sasunriseyoufloatthrough,theyfollowliketheyneedyoubuttheywon'tsay‐‐jellyfish,thewateriswideforahope,forafever,forasunriseyoufloatthrough,nosinglebeliever‐‐theypourouttheirhearts,denouncethecontainer,‐‐andipickthemoveryou,everyday

EmilyHiggins

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EileenHillery

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CrabbingEmilyHockadayIlostthefirstfewpullingtooquicklyornotquickenough.Youreachedforthestringovermyshouldertryingtomanbothstringandnetatonce.Wewereleftwithemptylines—theragsoffleshlessandlessattachedtothebone.Ihadhelpedyousecurethatstringaroundtherawchicken,fatpuckeringupovertheknotsbeforedroppingitdownintothedarkwater.WhenIfirstaskedyoutotakemecrabbing,youtookitasajoke,maybe,saidtheseasonstartsinAugust,atdark,soday‐litMaywasimproper.Itookyourinformationrolleditbetweenmyfingerstofeelaroundforpiecesofyourchildhoodamongsttheknowledge

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you’dgainedlivingontheshoreofanisland.Youwereright.Togocrabbingwhentherearen’tanycrabs,itdoesn’tmakesense.Iwantedtoseeonecrab.It’swhatIsaidatdinnerthatnight—chickenlegs—overthestiffplastictableclothsaturatedinuglyfloralprint,Alzheimer’s,yourfamilialghosts.Ipromisedyourmotherapoemsohereitis:thedockjutoutintoabaywhichIcalledtheoceanbecausereallyifAtouchesBtouchesC—itsmelledliketheocean.Thesaltstucktomylipsandpores,thespraymisleadinglygentle,andIcrossedthedockinthedeliberateandexploratorywayachildpicksapartveinsinanoakleafbyrippingoutthepaperyandmeatyinsides.

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Theslatsofwood,crustedwithsalt,speckledandstainedwithwormcarcasses,birdexcrementandburnsledoutintothewaterlikealongtongue.Postsandhookswithgrimybitsofstringstickingup.Theequipmentmadeitanexpedition.You,shakingthespidersofftheplasticbucket,netheldlikealacrossestick,wereincommand.Thecrabscameearlythatyear,wouldprobablycomeagain,too,asecondwave.Itwasabnormal(thoughtobeexpected).YouandIhaveprecarioustiming.Wethreweachcrabback;allruntsbutthesamepregnantfemale,sohungry,againandagain.

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MeganHummell

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