Size / / /

The kingdom was nameless

where we lived that year,

the kingdom to which our father

sent us to study mathematics

and art. We went by train, my

sister and I; he allowed us each

a portion of bread, a book

to read. I should have sensed

something wrong when I

first saw the shining dome.

It was made of lead, heavier

than all the glory in the world,

which was what our father

would have said. For me,

I closed a blind eye and studied;

learned about sin and co-sin,

things like that. As for art,

I was given to watercolor;

dreamy pictures of heaven

and earth—though oil was

tempting. Another temptation:

the river beyond the gate.

It was quite shallow. My sister

and I wandered past

the NO TRESPASSING sign.

Like our father told us, do the math.

We did. Still we never forgave

him for sending us there,

though we tried to feel mercy.

It was downright evil, all

that liver we had to eat.

But like everything, it got easier;

we prayed every night, until

we came undone.




Jeanie Tomasko (jeancarsten@gmail.com) is the author of Sharp as Want and Tricks of Light, with poems recently published in The New Guard, Qarrtsiluni, and Right Hand Pointing. Jeanie lives in Middleton, WI. Violet's application is pending for yet another supervised living arrangement.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
Wednesday: Unity by Elly Bangs 
Friday: The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert 
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