Squeeze/ Joshua Stewart

Grandpa dug the game warden’s false teeth right out of his face/ buried them in his dresser near the painting of Jesus on the wall./ As latchkey kids, the first thing we learned how to do was unlock/ every gun case in our mother’s closet…

Plants/ Chance Dibben

The F U scrawled on my car’s hood/ has gotten deeper/ my teeth can hold anything/ but a smile…

The Workhorse/ Lucy Crowe

Oh, those hands – they sifted fall soybeans and pinched them to gauge the moisture content. They tugged wet cornstalks from the corn head, they wielded hoes, shovels, hammers. They patted the dog and held the child, circled the waist of the woman he loved.

Wardrobe/ Meg Weber

That thread from before snags at me, unravels all the way through my chest as the weight sinks in. I can feel the bottom edge of her words, can sense what she might mean. She’s desperately unhappy and can’t find her way out of it.

Finding Larry Brown/ Steve Lambert

Larry Brown taught me that it might be possible for someone like me to be a writer. Brown didn’t seem like a natural candidate for a writing apprenticeship, and neither did I.

Swing Shift, Two to Ten/ Jill Adams

There were twelve long rumbling lines and dozens of workers, with a catwalk overhead where a floor supervisor languidly prowled making sure we were all hustling and hurling. At the top of the hour the whistle blew and we had five minutes to use the toilet or sit down and rest.