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After the Pause Volume 2, Issue 4 Winter 2015


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About After the Pause is an online literary journal based in St. Paul, MN, featuring poetry, flash fiction, and artwork, published quarterly. We also publish a yearly print anthology, with all proceeds going to charity. We look to feature the best poetry and flash fiction from new, emerging, and veteran writers. Find us here: afterthepause.com or @afterthepause

Purpose We believe art is a product of life experiences, from the joyful to the heartbreaking to the absolutely mundane. Life throws pauses at us. Art follows the pause. We want to share the best art we can find and bring hope through those artworks.

Founding Editor Michael Prihoda. He writes, edits, and breathes.

Special Thanks To all our wonderful contributors. Your work creates these pages.

Cover Art Dimithry Victor - “I’m the King of Art”

Copyright 2015 All rights of the material within belong to the authors.

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…In This Issue… Poetry JP Allen Sketchy Get Organized Annabel Banks Schooling Galapagos Love Lisa M. Cole The Sentinels P.T. Davidson Poem 2187 Poem 2934 Poem 2454 Poem 3562 Poem 2900 Megan Dobkin You Once Called Me the Oskar Schindler of the Sea Turtles Brandon Duh New Mexico Paul Fauteux Fireplace Mining Thirty Quondam Neil Fulwood Frog Kate Garett Tesseract When I Think About Hans Christian Andersen M. Ann Hull A Toast to the Women Who’d Had Happy Childhoods hvlk philosophy doesn’t bake bread AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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Amy Kinsman Machinations Matthew Manning Mud, Stream, Everything Jennifer Martelli How to Make a Moat Feeding the Carnivorous Plant The Blue Red and Gray Meredith Meadows Dream Recently Reminded The Birthday Stairs Bradley K. Meyer Teaching Katrina to Drive—Practice Quiz No. 1 Darrell Petska The Separation Alex H. Stone Recurring Thoughts Karrie Waarala antithesis P.J. Wren Refugees

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Fiction Salena Casha Standing Still in Motion Christina Villafana Dalcher heat/wave/length 1967 Richard Heiman Near Acquaintance Jessica Rutland We Who Saw It David Villaverde Where to Stand James Wade 1686 (Savages) winecough Conspicuous Consumption Robin White Correspondence From the Betterbuyer Department of Meats and Fish

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Art Ann-Maria Amato The Lady and the Unicorn Teresa Becket Aqua Threads Ghost I Miss You Rainy Drive Silver Ann Lamparski Blaze Transition Stephen Langlois Action 1 Denny E. Marshall Gesture of Excitement Inside the Box Lost Soul Annette Plasencia Loose Ends 1-5 David J. Thompson DeQuindre Don’t Shoot Dimithry Victor Female Vampire Flowerhead Bill Wolak The One Who Never Unpacks His Suitcase Snowflake Melting on a Zipper

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Editor’s Note Winter is here. In, out, we keep breathing, and now we see our lungs in miniature clouds, in the fading vapor of chill. The snow crawls up our front walks and my hand against the windows welcomes the outside to my body. For as much as we might take offense at the cold, it reminds my body of its desperate need for warmth, to be held. Insulation. Breathing. Repetition. A trudge through the oft-darkened Midwestern months. Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe.

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Inhale

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Salena Casha

Standing Still in Motion

It happens when you're waiting for the C line to Tappan Street, four/five minutes out now. There's a pause of life when you think that your inertia on these broken cobblestones will last forever and you won't be able to move toward the next cocktail hour, after-work dinner, spin-class, family outing. A fan blows at your back, mussing your hair, and you notice the base of your neck is stained with sweat. In the crush of commuters, you are stranded, no steel pole to grasp to in a moving subway car. You stick your idle hands in the pockets of your A-line dress. Standing, you wonder if you're hallucinating the bubble of water at the base of an empty brick in the opposite wall, the constant flicker of moisture looking like a rat's tail. You wonder if the girl, fifteen/sixteen years-old, sitting with her back against the station's red tiles with a cardboard sign half-folded from the humidity, "Anything Will Help" inked across it, looks a little like you. For a second, you feel shame, a paper bag of groceries in hand and a wristwatch your mother bought you for your birthday, while this girl looks up to meet your eyes with a more defiant gaze than you have ever had the need to offer. You want to move toward her, pass her the bag, the watch, your place waiting for the train. You want to see the view from her where she sits in her and your in-between. But the train grinds to a stop before you, green-laced doors swinging open, and life begins again, the escalator of it moving beneath your feet. And you notice, as you board the train, she isn't there anymore.

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Alex H. Stone

Recurring Thoughts I used to draw little stick men puking. I drew them on their knees and hands puke coming out. I don’t know why I just did it. Like a lot. They were easy enough to draw so I just did them wherever. Once I dreamt I was in a boat on a lake and there were hundreds of plastic cobras floating on the surface.

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Neil Fulwood

Frog “A three-line poem with a frog is not necessarily a haiku.” – Billy Collins 1. “Waiter, there's a frog in my haiku.” Inspectors shut down the poem. 2. Frog navigates pond in seventeen nimble hops; lily-pads quiver. 3. Lily-pad bookcase: volumes by Weng Wei, Li Po. Frog jumps, soaks pages. 4. Frog as surveyor; reeds starkly delineate boundaries of pond. 5. Frog sees own likeness painted on pub sign nearby drinks pond dry; cures thirst. 6. Kingfisher shows off: loop-the-loop, blaze of colour. Frog doesn't notice. 7. Kid with fishing rod; frog's lexicon of damp croaks warn minnows away. 8. Frog on holiday, week at riverbank retreat pleasant change of scene. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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9. In long grass near road frog watches chicken strive for other side. No joke! 10. Frog surveys canal: people make travel hard work and call it leisure. 11. Suburban gardens feature gnomes and covered ponds; Falsity, thinks frog. 12. Rain; storm-drain cascade; frog in the inner city, wrong side of the pond. 13. TV shop window, frog watching The Muppet Show. Piss-taking bastards! 14. Frog catches the bus: damp, fetid, pulsing with life lily-pad on wheels. 15. Tower blocks thin out to villages, farms, rivers; up ahead: frog's stop. 16. Folktales make much of wanderers returning home, but few mention frogs. 17. Pond, reeds, lily-pad – droplet-shimmered universe, frog at the center.

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Karrie Waarala

antithesis borrow from the gaslight, roll and shiver meaning in plaid cheap slivers of slatted sound drown yourself then if yesterday bunches at the elbows and nametags glisten like angry trout listen – it’s all just ankle bones and aspirin, come tomorrow you’ll wish you’d brushed up on your Teflon now it’s the five-oh-two full of whispers and floorboards pick the lock on your frost-encrusted ribcage forget about enough

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Brandon Duh

New Mexico Woke up hung over, late for work on a Wednesday, or was it Thursday, sat in traffic, nearly got run off the road by a truck determined to stop a blind merge. A friend texted me the news that another friend had shot off to New Mexico. I asked How, when it had happened, if anybody knew Why. Got no response. Forced a smile all through work. Went to a bar where no one would know me. Got drunk. Counted the dead flies caught in the trap hanging from the bathroom ceiling. Twenty four. Laughed at the number of years I’d been alive And thought about New Mexico.

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Amy Kinsman

Machinations It looked like rain. <br> Your hand was on my face, I&entity_name; think, or else your hand was on my thigh and my eye fixed on your face, I think, or else my eye was on your hand <br> and your lips on my cheek. <br> It keeps on folding <small>smaller, <small>smaller and the details in the highest resolution – Your flawless skin. I remember your flawless skin pale, slick, shining, wet. This moment, I remember it, but there is so much I&entity_name; forget. <br> I&entity_name; know now. I know. <br> It was #af111c and my hands, my hands were on your face, You under my thumbs, God, you were under my thumbs. Your lips were on my lips and I wanted, I wanted. My lack, all there in highest resolution, My inefficiency – Parts, broken, Streaking, sweat

like oil turns rainbows where it pools and runs. <br> Fast, running fast Look at me ¿How did I&entity_name; arrive here? <br> It was #af111c. #af111c and rain folded. <br> God, you were under my thumbs and I&entity_name; said cruel things, ¿Questionable things? and I wanted what was not yours to give and I needed, Your lips like silver, Everything you made in pieces, <br> Fractured, I&entity_name; think, or else <br> My eyes, My lips, My thumbs, Pieces, broken, It was #af111c, I remember it in the highest resolution. My capacity for memory – Memory capacity, Folding for space, I&entity_name; think, or else I&entity_name; do not remember, Remember wrong. <br> It wasn’t raining. Parts, designed this way. I remember, I&entity_name; think, or else glitter in the dark reflecting back your flawless skin, AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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wet, slick, pale. <br> I know now. I know.

I&entity_name; remember it. <br> It is raining.

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Bradley K. Meyer

Teaching Katrina to Driveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Practice Quiz No. 1 1. Spring Break is in one week. You & your friends want to drive to Lake Havasu to drink Nati Light & have your bosoms blurred out on MTV. But, you only have your temporary permit & your friends all lost their licenses for being too gnarly. How do you reconcile? _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________

2. A man in a stupid hat cuts you off on the interstate. Do you: a) Pull up beside him & attempt to whap his mirror off with whatever will reach? b) Point menacingly until he is out of eyeshot? c) Drive him into international waters where any solution at all is acceptable?

3. You are driving back from Lake Havasu alone because your friends were arrested for being too gnarly. You are stopped for speeding en route. Your gut reaction is to play it cool. Instead you: a) Cry b) Cry c) Cry d) All of the above

4. True or False. Automated parking garages are free if you are traveling with a passenger willing to lift the mechanical arm blocking the exit for you. _________

5. You are driving at night. Nobody else is on the road. You spot a deer milling about. You slow down & wave to it excitedly because deer are so elegant. The deer waves excitedly back. You pause to consider. Are you now friends with the deer? Or merely acquaintances? Explain. _____________________________________________________________ AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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_____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________

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Jessica Rutland

We Who Saw It The first time Ivy told me about the thing that lived in her basement, I was thinking about kissing her. She was upside down in her father's recliner, her hair skimming the carpet. She was smiling, but inverted it looked like a toothy frown. I was working up the nerve to close the distance between our mouths when her legs tumbled over her head. She rolled out of a backwards somersault and said, “I tell you about the thing in the basement?" The thing was a monster or maybe a ghost. She saw it first the day they moved in. As she carried boxes of Christmas decorations down to the basement, she felt spoken to, right here - she pressed hard into the spot beneath her clavicle. She caved her chest around the pressure of her hand like it was a place to protect or something that hurt. Ivy had seen the thing crawling among odds and ends left by the previous owners – a broken ceiling fan, a dog kennel, a pot full of clotted dirt – like the thing was the creeping shadow of abandoned memories. She said that the thing’s eyes were like a universe and like the ship that took you across it. You could get lost in its eyes, she said, and you could wind up someplace else entirely. She said, "You want to see it?" That was how I became the first of us to take the test, which was like this: you went through the door at the back of the kitchen pantry and into the basement with Ivy. You stood in the center of the room and she asked you, "Do you see it?" She would ask where it was in the room, what it looked like, how it moved. After, she would decide if you'd really seen the thing or not. When she said I’d seen the thing, it felt like I’d passed something, which was why I thought of it as a test. Ivy administered the test to almost everyone in our class. George said the thing was crawling on the ceiling and moved like an insect. Tuck laughed when Ivy asked him if he saw the thing but then grew quiet. He mumbled something that didn't make any sense and went back upstairs without finishing, but he passed anyway. Ivy said he'd seen the thing. When Ivy asked Julia where the thing was, Julia’s eyes darted around the room. Ivy shook her head and walked back upstairs. She said Julia was blind to the thing. Somehow passing or failing mattered. The thing was a thread that ran through us, an artery that connected us to Ivy. More and more kids began to hang out at Ivy's. Her mother was almost never at home, and Ivy’s place became a clubhouse for idle teenagers, a place where Paul and Whitney could make out in a locked bedroom and where Dustin Frazer could roll joints on the coffee table. Whenever someone new showed up at Ivy's, she took them into the basement and asked them about the thing. In the midst of that teeming life, Ivy seemed to shrivel. Her clothes were too big and her voice had no pitch. The thing was all she wanted to talk about. She would fill the silences of conversations with Don Li's description of the thing's mouth, which to him was a great, lipless crater cut out of its face. She said that Elena Hobbs felt the AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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thing graze her calf with its fingernail, that Pete Evans had seen the thing slink across the wall and open an invisible door that led to hell. The last day I saw Ivy, I found her house empty and went to her basement to look for her. On the basement steps, I closed my eyes, opened them. The thing was crab-walking across the ceiling on back-bending elbows. The thing was slithering across the floor, leaving a shining trail behind it. The thing had alligator skin and a grey-white belly. Its eyes were yellow, white, ice-blue, caveblack. It was made of the mangled bodies of babies, it was the shape of a man formed from a mass of maggots. It was a walking skeleton, a cloud of electric smoke. The thing was sad and angry, kind and lonely. It was dangerous, it was benign. It was hungry. I reminded myself that the thing wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t real, the thing was nothing more than the words we made up to please Ivy. Ivy in the center of the room, curled over herself, and the thing there with her, all its manifestations orbiting around her like satellites. She screamed at me to get out. I had already reached the top of the stairs when I heard her voice. Ivy alone in a dark room, hugging her knees to her chest, and the thing nowhere to be seen. Nowhere except in my mind, in Ivyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind. Ivy and her mother moved away that summer and no one knew to where, but the rumor was that before they left, Ivy was at the hospital for a week. Julia said she heard that Ivy had to have an emergency surgery to repair the gash she put in her femoral artery with a kitchen knife. Julia hadn't seen the thing and she was resentful about it, even now. I could still see her eyes gawkily searching the room, lost to the principle that I finally understood about the thing, that to truly see it you had to be looking at Ivy. I called Julia a liar for what she said, but I knew that she was telling the truth. Somehow, the thread between Ivy and I still pulsed. Across it I could feel her desperation to have the thing outside of her, to bleed it onto the floor so that she would finally be free. And because the thread still spoke to me, as sure as I was of what had happened, I was certain it hadn't worked.

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Annabel Banks

Schooling Next time he’ll stay sharp, whetstone at the ready, and cook the bad chicken till the skin cracks black. She’ll expect retold histories, blackout texts. Describe mathematical sex with an almost-functional curve. There will be examinations. Secret meetings. False faces, recognised. There will be weeping and certificates.

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Annabel Banks

Galapagos Love Our defense is consensual

sticks in the hand

isolation carries mutation

slow and long lived

aspects of unusual biology

rocks in the hand

bring the researchers

process the marks

new fabric curve

described with caution.

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Paul Fauteux

Fireplace I’ll tell you how to be better in the time that you have left: arrange your sofas so the fire burns well. When we sit at table, we’ll find comfortable distance from each other. We’ll bug a stained-glass window, pane it with cherry wood, and depict the nonsense bird with seven little flames, a long flag emerging from a small box. There’s nothing inspiring about this: wringing hands and hoping little shelves will bear the weight of our assorted vases. People talk about music. They always say “it’s like a gallop through a forest,” which only works if it’s been burned back annually and there is space between surviving oaks and the Powhatan sit on river rafts to watch the foliage burn— the dusk alight in orange glow.

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Paul Fauteux

Mining Autumn’s thinning (is) deep winter’s augur— rude poems bleed neither sight, greed, nor Dao— “we paid for the high room, declaimed our worry which crept from our hands And gave us manners, calm, our soul, and room. The wind is like a star; it tumbles, ebbs, and glances leaves across the coarse black stone. We dwell apart; the lowliest of duties are fine and fine and done. A fire burns, but that is not the point. The winds are strong, and rains disjoin unsullied Autumn’s clime.

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Paul Fauteux

Thirty You know, the bubbling up sensation— being thirty and holding a washcloth— remembering that as a child, the cloth must have been supercloth: a sub-maranian towel with super duck-like properties, but you are in a body now like a consignment dresser— re-tightening drawer knobs and wondering whether to re-finish or paint over. You’ll pry the lid off an old paint can, and find, inside, an apricot.

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Paul Fauteux

Quondam Fukushima. You—the rolling than smooth peaks; little grey buildings in fine fog; fat children, dithery indoors for the irradiated soccer field. You, and the grey-hard bank of Abukuma River. My wife bewails our enervated town, the sandstone creeks with skipping rocks and bamboo thicket. No, the thicket’s gone. I go to work in coat and hat. My belly grows— our cats heed not the gentle lamp, the warm orange table.

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This is an exercise in breathing.

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Bill Wolak

The One Who Never Unpacks His Suitcase

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Bill Wolak

Snowflake Melting on a Zipper

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Stephen Langlois

Action 1

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Ann Lamparski

Blaze

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Ann Lamparski

Transition

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David J. Thompson

DeQuindre

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David J. Thompson

Don’t Shoot

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Denny E. Marshall

Gesture of Excitement

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Denny E. Marshall

Inside the Box

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Denny E. Marshall

Lost Soul

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Anne-Maria Amato

The Lady and the Unicorn

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Dimithry Victor

Female Vampire

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Dimithry Victor

Flowerhead

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Teresa Becket

Aqua Threads

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Teresa Becket

Ghost

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Teresa Becket

I Miss You

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Teresa Becket

Rainy Drive

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Teresa Becket

Silver

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Annette Plasencia

Loose Ends 1

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Annette Plasencia

Loose Ends 2

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Annette Plasencia

Loose Ends 3

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Annette Plasencia

Loose Ends 4

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Annette Plasencia

Loose Ends 5

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This process remains neverending.

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Richard Heiman

Near Acquaintance I have a druid. First saw him standing next to the carousel at the indoor mall out on 53rd. A fog statue. Taller than me and thin, like a shaggy sliver. Children walked right in and out of him to get to the white unicorn, trumpeting elephant or the open carriage pulled by Disneyesque swans. He smiled at one little blond girl in red. She stumbled slightly. Spilled Orange Julius on him. Through him. I knew he was a druid because he looked like the model in the Les Celts! exhibition at the Petit Palais. Last day of vacation, summer after graduation. I still have the guidebook. There’s a picture of some Celtic priest on page nine. So I was sure. Druid, the real deal. A study in gray. Ashen robe with peaked hood/silver hair/pewter beard/cloud eyes that bored. Right. Through me. When he looked my way. I shivered. Turned and gazed down "Avenue B." Past the food court, toward Sears. Looked back, he was gone. I walked over where he'd stood. Orange gloop on the floor. One pewter clasp. Stuck it in my pocket. Luck turned soon after. Met soulmate (but we didn’t use the term much- too jinxy). Won high profile murder case, then two. Promoted to junior partner. Lung lesion came back benign; quit smoking anyway. Sold tech stock just before the big bust. Time motored on. I didn’t think much about Celts or druids the next twenty odd years. Then I saw him again. At our daughter’s wedding, by the punch bowl. He glared straight at me through a clutch of bridesmaids and groomsmen. When I worked my way across the ballroom, two photo poses and three sloppy hugs later, he was gone. A tiny staghorn brooch lay beside the punch bowl. Ancient. Put it in my pocket. Things started going south not long after. Our youngest son got caught dealing meth, three years to go. Daughter miscarried twice. I was passed over for senior partner. Fire took our summer cabin-- vandal teens with candles and our liquor, playing séance. Wife split with personal trainer. Lately I’m growing a beard. Not too long though. Company policy. Been studying Gaelic too. Ask myself why. Why druids? I’m English German Welsh Norman French Native American whatever. Never been to Stonehenge. Never sacrificed anyone, though that hotshot Harvard grad who just joined the firm seems a likely prospect. He’s already eyeing my office. Doctor said, vacation. Made my reservations. I know I’ll see my druid one more time. It’ll be next week. Paris…Tuilleries…dusk. When everything shrinks to a charcoal demi-monde the statues look like twilit trees and the granite heart of the city skips a long beat. It’s all planned out. He’ll finally speak to me. Tell me what to do to get on track. What to pray, which barrows to search, that sort of thing. Funny, I call him “my druid.” But nobody else can see him. Did I mention that?

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Meredith Meadows

Dream My dream is that we will someday go back and find ourselves dabbing cave walls with fingertips, "painting," if you will, your primitive hands laced through my thought, dust of our giant history patterned in stars. My dream is less dream than symbol of ache. It wakes me from modern sleep, unhappy. Form, figure, puzzle of shape in flame. Deep in amygdala, shadow eats even the thought of imperfection. In cave of unconscious, light never shines on your flaws.

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Meredith Meadows

Recently Reminded gravity's form, forgotten, tugs at the waist brilliant hollow the age of design, not line but cusp, measures curves in rushed meters, returns

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Meredith Meadows

The Birthday Stairs You call to wish me happy birthday just as I'm turning the corner on the stairs in New Orleans. You're two days early, Mother. Nevertheless, I continue climbing the stairs to my birthday with the same quiet dignity as the dead, those others buried above ground here.

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Megan Dobkin

You Once Called Me the Oskar Schindler of the Sea Turtles I am resurrecting that Halloween costume I once decided was no longer appropriate for me to wear. I am starting to think before answering â&#x20AC;&#x153;goodâ&#x20AC;? when someone asks me how I am. I am taking down that piece of artwork that no longer speaks to me. I am considering who else can do it before I say I can. It is possible that I may cut my hair in an angular shape, get skinnier than I ever have, have people call me by the name I always wanted and any other silly thing one may do in year forty. And if any of this scares you, as if our love could become endangered, I invite you to remember that girl in Mexico scooping up baby turtles on the beach before the Laughing Gulls got to them. You lost sight of me in the ocean mist. And reveled in my commitment to saving one more just one more just one more I would not stop until I saved just one more.

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M. Ann Hull

A Toast to the Women Who’d Had Happy Childhoods To the knees that never skinned on parade across an endless stream of days without rain. Or only rain that drops a mother’s hands towards galoshes so you can go stomping, proud of the face in the puddle before it gets splashed & spreads along gutters that did not swallow paper boats whole & hungrily so. To the father who’d pressed, gently, your hands along the seams to glean origami sterns & cockpits, a collection of transportation you built to stay in place. To the place you stayed staid, at the cemetery of backyard burials for goldfishes in tissue boxes decked to the nines in sequins your sibling helped you, patiently, to glue so you could make a coffin fit for a Las Vegas showgirl, who dances now by slowly getting dressed on stage. To the arms she slips through shining straps, the whole body she isn’t & won’t be embarrassed by & who no one told isn’t gold—Raise your glass so you can see her cocktail dress float in the drink you want, but don’t really need, to drink.

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Kate Garrett

Tesseract1 You were the footnote to afternoons in high summer and I thought of you while a limp breeze bumped sponges of air through the window screen coating my skin with heat. You were the asterisk to my youth (*deceased) whispered asides never direct conversations (*they’re too young to understand). I wrote you a letter on an old computer running DOS, as if eight years hadn’t passed since we sat in school playing Carmen San Diego, dreaming of not only global but interdimensional travel. My refrain: it’s not impossible – and you encouraged imagination, insisting we back it up with equations. And you, today, more than twenty years dead – you must know better now if the theories were true, if the multiverse is separated only by a curtain from one dimension to the next. If we could jump and push with our hands into another life into an alien place, if we had a tesseract, if my eyes by fourteen were not viewing the world through a crust of salt (*tears that stopped flowing) giving myself up to life, letting words live through me

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A slightly different version of this poem was first published under the title “If” in Melancholy Hyperbole in July 2014. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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writing you the long-ago letter that I could not send before pressing “delete”.

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Kate Garrett

When I Think About Hans Christian Andersen2 from this pile of detritus cushioning our bodies where we fuck, where we laugh, where we sleep – instead of twenty mattresses and feather beds, I have duvets, yoga mats, my old baby blanket. There is no pea waiting there to test me but sometimes I still detect the pinch of 1991 in the hollow of my back: its sting of ribbon-rainbowed hair clips, missing guitar picks, bottles of Opium and Dior Poison on a walk-in closet shelf – inside I’d hide my knotted hair and too-short jeans curled into the scented dark trying to imagine infinity. She pushes up through the sheets, into my skin, your whispers drowned out by the thud of a washing machine spinning her clothes; my sparrow hips threaten collapse under the thought of her missing collarbones, her thick calves, asphyxiation 2 Originally published in Prole, Issue 16, April 2015. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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breasts, the delicate press of her fist, and a fairytale blooming in the scrape of her nails against my cheek. Still, let her try to prove Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not a princess.

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Darrell Petska

The Separation Make room for me, melons, in your bin, I've tasted your sorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; that fatal drop of sweetness lingering on the stem at the parting kiss

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James Wade

1868 (Savages) On a rise in the earth, two men lie with their bellies in the dirt. Beneath a distant plume of rising smoke, they watch the shapes of other men. The older man’s skin is stained and hardened by the sun and his time under it. He spits, leaving another part of himself in the dirt. He closes one eye and trains the other down the barrel of his rifle. The younger man has grown a beard. “Sun’ll be settin’ soon. The women are gon’ be worried,” he says. His eyes dance back and forth between the figures in the distance and the man with the rifle. “Let ‘em worry,” the older man replies. “We came for buffalo,” the younger man says. “Ain’t none here.” The wind moves the grass. Insects sing. The night creeps from the east. Below the ridge, the shapes of men feed their fire. Their hands and arms move with their mouths. “So?” asks the older man. “So,” the younger man replies, “what’s your intention?” The older man slowly pulls back from his weapon. A bead of sweat tracks the distance between his forehead and jaw. “Wait until they’re sleepin’, then slip down and cut their throats,” he says. “You gon’ be alright with that?” The words cause the younger man to stiffen. His fingers run across the handle of the knife strapped to his waist. “Naw,” the younger man says. “I don’t imagine the killin’ll bother me none. Done plenty of killin’ in the war. ‘Course, in war it’s easier to believe you’re doing some kind of justice-- God’s or man’s.” Somewhere to the south, the tide rises. Water crawls onto the beach, capturing sand and forcing it out to sea. “Justice,” the older man rids himself of the word as if it is souring his insides. “Weren’t no justice for Tucker.” “Them fellas there are the ones that burned Tucker out?” the young man’s question is meant to be rhetorical. Hundreds of miles away, to the west, men drive spikes into a track. “Maybe them, maybe not, but they’re all the same. Savages,” the older man promises, taking a pinch of tobacco from his pouch and hiding it away inside his cheek. “We let ‘em live today, and we’ll be fightin’ ‘em on our farms tomorrow.” The young man rolls onto his back and stares up at the dimming light of day. The clouds sprawl out, like they are yawning, touching all sides of the horizon, covering the two men and the shapes of men in the distance. “Savages,” the younger man repeats the word, letting it rest on his tongue, as if he is contemplating the taste. “The things I saw at Antietam-- boys slaughtered, a cornfield colored with blood-- that seemed savage to me.” The older man snorts, and the younger man’s vision fades. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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“Fightin’ Yankees was tough, huh?” the older man asks, condescension painting each word. “I was younger than you when I fought the Mexicans. Would’ve fought the Yanks if they’d let me. Instead I stayed here and fought the Injuns.” “You hate ‘em, huh?” the younger man asks. The question does not need an answer. To the north, men find shining streams in the mountains to fuel their greed. The younger man exhales, nodding his head. He produces his own bag of tobacco and uses the last gasp of sunlight to roll a cigarette. Watching his fingers turn the paper has always calmed him. The sun passes its supremacy on to the moon. With each cloud that rolls away, a thousand stars are uncovered. Coyotes bounce their voices off the ridge. They will not come closer to the two men on the ridge, or the shapes of men below. The two men do not speak for some time. Soon after the sun retreats, the voices below are raised in song. The fire grows, burning red and orange and white, casting shadows. The older man watches. The younger man listens. “Look at ‘em,” the older man says, shaking his head. “Jumping ‘round that fire.” “Wonder what they’re saying,” the younger man adds. His inquiry goes unanswered, and again they are silent for some time. To the east, men don white robes and pray for the survival of their race, and their way of life. On the ridge, the two men wait. It is a slow descent, when the time is right. The younger man hesitates to abandon the high ground. The older man leaves his rifle behind. They will use only blades, so that the night will remain deaf to their deeds. Without the sun, the air has cooled. As they approach the sleeping shapes of men, they can feel the heat of the flames begin to lick their skin. With each step, the shapes transform into limbs, bodies, and faces. There are four. They lie like a compass rose, with the fire as their anchor. The older man points to the South and the East. The younger man will take the North and the West. Blades in hand, they separate. In Austria, a young prince sits proudly on his first pony. The older man holds up three fingers. Reformers in Japan attempt to reconcile modern advances with traditional values. Two fingers. A gang led by a man named Jesse robs a bank in Kentucky. One finger. On a golf course in Scotland, a son named Tom is three strokes better than his father, Tom. And in Texas, four Kiowa warriors are not as asleep as they appear. They struggle near the fire. The flames are hot, but the blades burn deeper. Their blood spills, leaving another part of themselves in the dirt. Grunts and groans echo to the top of the ridge. And down below, the shadows show the shapes of men.

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Hold your breath, console your lungs.

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Christina Villafana Dalcher

heat/wave/length H is for hole in the sky Heading into the third day, she wakens to the sun's colours dancing dervish-like on the backs of her eyelids. She is hungry, thirsty, still cold from the desert night. In another hour, her skin will sting and burn, blistered by a red hole in a cloudless morning sky. E is for echo Ears singed the shade of her hair—brilliant, flaming orange—sense familiar sounds. A howl travels over the dunes, floods her with memories of comfort and companionship. It is only the wind, echoing the Sahara's silent song. A is for aeroplane A clockwork bird carried her here. She gazed over its wide wing, down to silica waves three miles below. As she wanders the graveyard of aeroplane bits, her hands touch random steles of metal, jutting like silver sculptures in a sea of monotonous yellow. T is for tree Teatime back home--cakes and Earl Grey and clotted cream. She is hungry and hot. In the afternoon, she peels off another layer, revealing the tan lines that criss-cross her shoulders—white, laser-cut scars on a parched landscape. She imagines a green ocean of pines where she once bathed in cool, protective shade. There are no pines here, no oaks, no acacias. Trees do not decorate Allah's Garden. W is for weir Watery streams appear in the distance, as they did on the first day. She moves toward ripples the colour of tears—clear, cool, wet. So much liquid, she thinks, enough to last her until tomorrow. She cries as the weir of sand fails, releasing its precious blueness, spilling imaginary droplets into the landscape before her. A is for avalanche A second sandstorm comes, crawls its way over the dunes like dry surf. She squeezes her eyes against the whirlwind of dust until she sees only inky indigo. When she opens them, the avalanche has buried more of her transport. Another storm, and the search parties will not find her. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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V is for vigil Vacant grey eyes pan for signs of the othersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;those not burnt to ashes in the crash. She finds only the pilot, violet lividity blooming on the parts of him that remain. The dry sand makes for easy, if temporary, burial. Tonight she will keep vigil, not for a saviour, but for the souls of lost travellers. E is for eternity Evening descends on the desert bringing all of the colours and none of them. Blackness comes, cold as death's hand. She allows it to take her, to carry her to the place of thrones and kings and angels, greeting eternity with a smile.

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hvlk

philosophy doesn’t bake bread the essence of triangularity has not so much to do with angles and sides as it does with three— beings in one—the physical not as important as the concept of three existing as one—only a mother could possibly understand—this curse of a single body housing the heads of three complete with teeth if any of the others need persuading

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Matthew Manning

Mud, Stream, Everything When the ephemeral stream sunk into the dirt, we looked for the crabs and snails. Your knees brown from the dirt, and nails becoming sharper, your skirt, littered with food drippings and mud, seemed to just be in your way. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re eleven you reach the entire day. We had nothing to do except benefit from the flood that escaped by first light. Even the bad lands seemed surprised about it. The entire world was your yard, and we were the only ones caught off guard, witnessing the living things rising by our hands.

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Christina Villafana Dalcher

1967 Amy. noun a female given name, from the French 'aimĂŠe' (see Wife; see Indochina, specifically, Viet Nam) Agent. noun a person or thing that produces a specified effect (see Orange) Armada. noun a fleet of warships (see Huey Helicopter) Toast. verb cook or turn brown by exposure to heat (see Deforestation) Paradise. noun an ideal or idyllic place or state (see History Books) Amy. noun a female given name, from the French 'aimĂŠe' (see Widow)

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J.P. Allen

Sketchy Hidden in the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart, hoods frayed, kids hunch, passing cinders in a circle. I spot them and speed my walk, afraid and then ashamed. Old friend: remember when we used to fake impunity so well? Back when our mob ruled midnight, when we were what the town was scared of?

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J.P. Allen

Get Organized3 heavy, large or bulky products cannot be donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let insulated experts rob time from out-of-control play find all the advice you need from children

3 Redacted from a direct-mail ad for The Container Store. AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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Robin White

Correspondence From the Betterbuyer Department of Meats and Fish Dear Tony, May I call you Tony? I know we’ve never met, but I feel like I know you so well! Thank you for your continued membership in the BetterBuyer program. Your continued membership is important to us. I’m writing to you today in a personal capacity, not in my capacity as the Regional Area Deputy Manager in charge of Meats and Fish. I can assure you that being the Regional Area Deputy Manager in charge of Meats and Fish is a full-time job, and I have kids to go home to and a new wife to please, so my dance card is pretty full! With that in mind, I hope you appreciate this, my little note, Tony. Tony, that is. Not Mr. Wallace, our customer, but Tony, whom I'd very much like to consider my almost-friend. I’ve noticed from your shopping habits that you’ve had a few life changes lately -- I hope you won’t mind that they've been brought to my attention. You see, I feel like I’ve gotten to know you, in all your years of Betterbuyer membership. You, indeed, all our customers, are like our own little reality TV show. We see your highs, your lows, your splurges, your budgeting. And, Tony, from all that, we can safely assume what’s going on in your life. For instance, I knew when your dog, Trevor (Embossed Dog Tag reading: Trevor + Date + number, August 2013, repeated purchases of Best Chum Wet Dog Food and occasional Good Boy brand treat) sadly passed away. When those purchases dried up, we felt bad for you in the office, we truly did. I wanted to send a card, (Compassionate Card number 17B -- Lower-tier bereavement Eg. loss of job, beloved pet, distasteful aunt, etc) but, you understand, we can’t really do things that way. From your repeated buying of the Good Boy brand treats, I can only assume that he was a good dog. Rest in Peace, Trevor. And then, I must say, apologies for your break up. Not quite ‘apologies’ I suppose, because it wasn't anything to do with me, or, indeed, Meats and Fish. When my exwife left me for a bastard named Gary who wore a goatee and worked in Human resources, I was devastated. But I found a delicious way to get past it, and so must you. Quite frankly, Tony, I know I’d never met Kim (Engraved yellow gold bracelet from D’Angelo’s catalogue, Fall 2017: My one and only Kim, forever + Bespoke Greetings card Name: Kim, Relationship: Spouse, Sense of Humour: Medium-racy, Event: Anniversary, Cost: Mid-range) but that whole thing was clearly more her fault than AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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yours. Her gifts to you during the course of your relationship were noticeably less expensive than those you gave to her, and often bought only a day or two before your birthday/major event. Did you know, for example, that she only bought her outfit for your father’s funeral on the morning of the service? (Black Dress from Perennials Catalogue, Price: Mid-range, Medium Slutty) That is not the action of someone who really cares about her spouse. Or, for that matter, said spouse's dead dad, Clive. We at Betterbuyer would hate for you to be down about your current singleness, and lack of dog (Bachelor’s Noodle Soup, x36 over the course of four months, subscription to Jugs and Thugs web-series, vegetable intake drastically decreased, triple increase in purchase rate of light beer, one-time purchase of aftershave potentially for date: NOTE -- Suggest to consumer new tie or shoes next time consumer is in appropriate store). Let me assure you that we have plenty of other valued members of the BetterBuyer program whose lives are much more difficult than yours, EG. Kim's mother, a regular purchaser of BetterBuyer BestBudgetBuyBrand Morphi-quick. I shouldn't have to tell you that I shouldn't have divulged to you that information, Re. Kim's junkie mother, and that doing so could lose me my Regional Area Deputy Managership in charge of Meats and Fish, but I’d like for us to share a secret, and I know that you can keep a secret, Tony. After all, you never told anybody when you found out about your brother's homosexuality. Which reminds me: your cell phone is due for renewal this month. As an almost-friend (we really would get on very well -- we buy the same underwear!!! (Betterbuyer Basics Stainaways, 3 pack, medium) I feel obliged to tell you that Kim, prior to recent developments, had recently renewed her prescription of Baby-no, and was almost certainly looking for another sexual partner -- that is, if she didn’t already have one, which she might have done -- she was a looker after all. I’m using Department of Meats and Fish stationery here at an alarming rate (it will come out of my salary, Tony, but I don’t mind, because I really think we could be friends one day) so I’d better get to the crux of my letter. I’ve been trying to think of a way to cheer you up, which I’m sure you’ll need given your, as previously mentioned, dead dog and whore (!!!) ex-wife, so please find, in the box beneath this card (20x18x34 size BetterBuyerBasicsBox, X-Strong) a lifetime supply of Department of Meats and Fish General Brand Meatios (Eatio your Meatios!) which have been individually tailored, by me in my capacity as Regional Area Deputy Manager in Charge of Meats and Fish, to your specific needs. The meat has been thoroughly decontaminated to eradicate any trace elements of Baby-No and is best served medium-slutty. I hope it proves to be a delicious way for you to get past things. Maybe someday I could buy you a beer, take your mind off of everything. I know which brand you like, after all. Ha! AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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Yours Faithfully, Brian Phillips, Regional Area Deputy Manager in charge of Meats and Fish, BetterBuy Industries, Illinois. The better buy, is a Betterbuy!

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Jennifer Martelli

How to Make a Moat In one night, a determined man can make a crop circle in a cornfield. He needs ropes, boards and a crow tethered to his shirt for the other way of seeing. Or a balloon with magic-markered eyes pinned to his collar. But if I were to make a moat, I’d use the shoulder blades of a larger mammal to dig up the sedges that bend the way the corn stalks bend to form the hieroglyph seen from the sky. I could do it in a night, too, but I’d have to wait for the storm to fill it with rainwater. And then I’d throw in my alligator shoes. And my purses. But what if there’s no storm, what then? What if the storm just hangs around up there so the willow barely casts a shadow: just an idea of a shadow, its ghost. A shadow of a shadow of a shadow.

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Jennifer Martelli

Feeding the Carnivorous Plant I unwound the barbed wire from the heart lying all dusty in the play yard and made a steel bouquet for my daughter. Forgive me, I never taught you Jesus. And now thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pain: acupuncture done with the rubber milk stems of dandelions. The albino lashes of a baby Venus flytrap we tried to feed ground beef closed shut by the breath of our fingers: eyes too shy to accept love, sustenance. The heartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blue tubes sent air bullets straight through to rooms deep in her chest: cruel humors, weightless, eye-kissed.

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Jennifer Martelli

The Blue Red and Gray Your dream of an albino snake, a girl named Rubi, a blue snake—your dream without me is dull. Listen, last night I sat at an iron table on crushed granite stones and a candle glowed white in a blue globe in a fishnet. The whole harbor was illuminated in red for the blood shed on some battlefield on the ocean on a plain. This was someone’s dream, too, the red lights, the white illuminated willows, the ocean at night. An old dream, not mine. Your saffron, your Xanax 1.0, your platinumplated vibrator on a chain around your neck will not stop your dreams your cancer our hearts from wanting. I can decipher the lights on the boats in the harbor, guess drinks sipped from up here at the table on the stones by the candle above the glow: Blue Curacao, Chambord, Grey Goose Vodka. Masts furled, boats moored under the stars’ red glare.

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Exhale

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David Villaverde

Where to Stand on the Platform When Waiting for the G Train For Nicole & Nicky Albertson Look at the map but don’t look like you are looking at the map. There were so many rules to learn. Never gawk. Don’t make eye contact. Never ask questions. Don’t greet your Hasidim neighbors unless you want to be greeted with enmity. Before we moved you said “you are either running towards something, running away from something or self-stimulating.” That was before the reliability of the G Train was a known quantity, before knowing that the trick to not appearing displaced is to comport yourself with a balance of over-confidence and apathy. Remember to only buy cigarettes from the bodega at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop. There were always new rules. Always bring a book that is conspicuously literate but not too popular. Never take the FDR before 7PM. Cuff your jeans. Eschew your origins. Before we moved you never thought that we would be face to face with madness, that this stranger would be looking right at us, reaching into his backpack, fumbling between hypodermic needles. You never thought that he would pull out a straight edge razor and begin to cut off his scalp at the forehead, never breaking eye contact as the blood rolls down his temples and off his chin. There are moments, after which you know all the rules. Stand in the middle of the platform. Stars no longer exist. The city breathes in and out because it is a living body. Exit the train calmly.

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P.T. Davidson

Poem 2187

this poem doesn't have to be this way

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P.T. Davidson

Poem 2934

this poem is not what you think

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P.T. Davidson

Poem 2454

this poem has said all it is going to say

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P.T. Davidson

Poem 3562

this poem was written under extreme duress

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P.T. Davidson

Poem 2900

this poem is not interested in small talk

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P.J. Wren

Refugees Did we come to them at the fences, seeing our own faces in their multitude? Did we interlace our fingers, and with bent knee, offer them footholds? When a headscarf, lifted by the wind, snagged on the barbed wire, Did we pull it down, shake it out, and let it settle as on a sacred temple? Or did we turn away, leaving them to carry their hearts in bundles that bloomed with red poppies.

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Lisa M. Cole

The Sentinels are Waiting These matches you strike against my spine reveal this trystâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;& then the misfortune of my tailbone. Already, the gleam of this vertigo undermines the rising song. My eyes unfold like roads youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never travel; become clouds of oil; become captives, & the sentinels in my skull still wait impatient. Then, my body jangles like a silver bell & wonders: Will I ever be redeemed?

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winecough

Conspicuous Consumption This page intentionally left blank.

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Inhale again.

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…Contributors… Poets J.P. Allen JP Allen lives in Baltimore and attends the Johns Hopkins poetry MFA program. Before coming to JHU, he worked in the New York Mayor's speechwriting office and for an ill-fated taxi app. He holds a BA from Middlebury College. He grew up in Danville, Kentucky. Annabel Banks Annabel, an English poet and writer of fiction, teaches for Falmouth University and is in the final stages of her practice-based PhD 'Poetry and the Archive'. Links to more work are collected at annabelbanks.com or Tweet @annabelwrites. She would love to hear from you. Lisa M. Cole Lisa M. Cole is the author of Dreams of the Living, and Heart Full of Tinders, both forthcoming from ELJ Publications. Lisa has also written a variety of chapbooks, most recently, The Love Machine from Yellow Flag Press. You can find out more about Lisa at her website: http://lisamcole.blogspot.com P.T. Davidson P.T. Davidson is originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, although he has spent the past 24 years living abroad in Japan, the UK, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. His current posting is at Zayed University in Dubai. His poetry has appeared in al dente, ulcer, Pre-Text, Otoliths and BlazeVOX. His first book of poetry, seven, is due out soon. Megan Dobkin Megan Wolpert Dobkin is a Best of the Net nominee whose work can be found in various literary journals and at megandobkin.com. When she isn’t writing, she is producing film, television and fielding tough Star Wars questions from the two criminals who live the in backseat of her car. Brandon Duh Brandon Crittendon was once called a waste of space by a high school teacher. He writes from Columbus, Ohio. He didn't go to college and considers it his greatest achievement. Given the choice, he'd rather be riding shotgun to nowhere in particular. He loves you, wherever you are! Paul Fauteux Paul Fauteux has published poetry in journals including Anima Magazine, Third Point Press, White Stag, Ampersand, and others, in addition to contributing book recommendations to The Lit Pub. "The Best Way to Drink Tea" is his debut chapbook from Plan B Press, and his manuscript for "How to Undo Things" was a semi-finalist in the 11th Annual Slope Editions Book Prize. He lives in Virginia, where he teaches high school English full-time and adjuncts at Northern Virginia Community College. Neil Fulwood Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book The Films of Sam Peckinpah. His poetry has appeared in The Morning Star, Nib, Butcher's Dog, London Grip and Prole. He is the co-editor, with David Sillitoe, of the forthcoming anthology More Raw Material: work inspired by Alan Sillitoe. Kate Garrett Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction, and edits/publishes other people's poetry and flash fiction. Her work has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Copperfield Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Your One Phone Call and Prole. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, an aspiring pirate, and the author of a few tiny books. Kate lives in Sheffield, England with a folkmusicianpoet, a cat called Mimi, and three trolls who call her "mum". www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk M. Ann Hull AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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M. Ann Hull has had work published in 32 Poems, Barrow Street Journal, BOXCAR Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Passages North and Quarterly West amongst others. She has won the Ed Ochester Award for Poetry and the Academy of American Poets Prize. A former poetry editor of Black Warrior Review, she holds an MFA from the University of Alabama. hvlk hvlk earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University, where she was a founding editor of the Marathon Literary Review. A South Jersey native, she remains active in the Delaware Valley literary arts scene. Her writing has also appeared in American Vegan. Amy Kinsman Amy Kinsman lives in Sheffield, England and works a supermarket job for low pay. Her work has appeared in Pankhearstsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Slim Volume: This Body I Live In and online at Pankhearst: Fresh and Three drops from a cauldron. For blogging purposes, find her at akinsman.tumblr.com Matthew Manning Matthew David Manning is a poet and instructor at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and PSU, and has been published or has forthcoming poetry in such publications as Rust + Moth, velvet-tail, Eunonia Review, 150 Kansas Poems, and Chiron Review. Matthew recently returned from spending two years teaching creative writing in Suzhou, China. Jennifer Martelli Jennifer Martelliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chapbook, Apostrophe, was published in 2011. Most recently, her work has appeared in Wherewithal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Rogue Agent. A recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry, a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she lives in Massachusetts. Meredith Meadows Meredith is a federal government employee, an LGBT community member, a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer. She has essentially always been the same person: quiet, subtle, and serious, restless and thoughtful with a tendency to understate. meredithlmeadows.wordpress.com Bradley K. Meyer Bradley K Meyer writes from Dayton, Ohio. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP, DASH, Rougarou, Apeiron Review, Gravel & others. He is the author of a chapbook, Hotel Room (Vostok East Press, 2013). He edits Pouch Magazine which lives at www.pouchmag.com Darrell Petska Darrell Petska is a retired university editor with poetry or fiction appearing in Blast Furnace, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Boston Literary Magazine, About Place Journal, After the Pause (Spring 2015), and elsewhere. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Alex H Stone Alex H Stone is a Minneapolis based writer and person. Mostly writer. He has a B.A. in music composition and a cat. Karrie Waarala Karrie Waarala's work has appeared in journals such as Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, The Collagist, Southern Indiana Review, andVinyl. She is the poetry editor at the museum of americana and holds an MFA from University of Southern Maine. Recipient of the 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Prize, a Best of the Net finalist, and a multiple Pushcart nominee, Karrie has also received critical acclaim for her one-woman show, LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, which is based on her full-length collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords. P.J. Wren AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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P.J. Wren is a scientist living in Kensington, Maryland. This is her first poetry publication. She thinks about philosophy, literature, and science, and sometimes those thoughts end up here: http://glasstunnel.blogspot.com/

Fictioners Salena Casha Salena Casha's work has appeared in over thirty publications and her first three picture books were published by MeeGenius and then acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Visit her website atwww.salenacasha.com or follow her on twitter @salaylay_c Christina Villafana Dalcher Christina Dalcher lives in the land of Styron and barbecue. She has a doctorate, but not a mobile phone. Her short bits can be found in Zetetic, Maudlin House, and Pidgeonholes. Alec Shane of Writers House represents Christina's novels. Find her at christinadalcher.wordpress.com or on Twitter @CVDalcher. Richard Heiman Richard Manly (Rick) Heiman lives in the California "Gold Country" where there is little gold and no water from which to pan it. He works as a substitute teacher and writes when the kids are at recess. Rick is pursuing an MFA with Lindenwood U. and daydreams a lot. Jessica Rutland Jessica Rutland lives in Austin, Texas, where she plays at being a respectable businessperson. Her short fiction has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and she is currently working on her first novel. David Villaverde David Joez Villaverde is an editor for the After Happy Hour Review in Pittsburgh. His writing has been featured in the Belle RĂŞve Literary Journal, The Jewish Literary Journal, Restless, Runaway Hotel, Apocrypha and Abstractions, The Pittsburgh City Paper, Uppagus and the Loyalhanna Review. He has forthcoming work in Cheap Pop and the Great American Wiseass Poetry Anthology. His writing can occasionally be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com. He lives in Mount Washington with his cat Yoshimi. James Wade James Wade lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes fiction for his wife and two dogs. His wife is encouraging, but the dogs remain unimpressed. His story, 'Eligible,' received Honorable Mention in the Texas Observer's 2015 Short Story Contest. His work has appeared in Bartleby Snopes and Yellow Chair Review. winecough There is a patch of skin on winecough's left thumb that has itched continuously since 1987. The matter is before the courts. Robin White Robin's fiction has recently appeared in Barlteby Snopes, Crack the Spine, and Dogzplot, among others. He lives in Manhattan with his partner, Wesley, and their dog, Wally.

Artists Anna-Maria Amato Anna-Maria Amato is a fine artist living and working in London. Having graduated in 2011 from Loughborough University she has exhibited in group shows and solo exhibitions and curated as part of a collective and as a young curator at the Tate Britain.

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Teresa Becket Teresa Becket is a young photographer, writer and swimmer. She lives and attends high school in York, Pennsylvania. Ann Lamparski Ann is an online English tutor from Lansing, Illinois. She worked as an editor and reporter in the past. She enjoys writing fiction and taking photos. Her work has appeared in Mash Stories, Inner Sins, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, and Nite-Writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Literary Arts Journal. Stephen Langlois Stephen Langlois is a writer and visual artist living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Portland Review, Monkeybicycle, Necessary Fiction, and Gigantic Sequins, among others. He is also the recipient of a 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship from The Center for Fiction. Visit him at www.stephenmlanglois.com. Denny E. Marshall Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. One recent credit is interior art for Bards & Sages Quarterly October 2015. See more at www.dennymarshall.com. Annette Plasencia Annette Plasencia is from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Mills College. She is the recipient of the Mary Merritt Henry Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Otoliths, Chronopolis, Of/with and After the Pause. David J. Thompson David J. Thompson is a former prep school teacher and coach who has been traveling since October 2013. His interests include film, jazz, and minor league baseball. His latest poetry/photography chapbook, And Thou Upon Earth, is available from Nerve Cowboy in Austin, Texas. Dimithry Victor Dimithry Victor is a 15-year-old artist. He has many aspirations and goals, but he most wishes to change the world through art and encourage people to think. Recently his work has focused on religion, everyday life, cartoons, and motivational topics. Bill Wolak Bill Wolak has just published his twelfth book of poetry entitled Love Opens the Hands with Nirala Press. Recently, he was a featured poet at The Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival in Craiova, Romania. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

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Editor’s Note 2 Until next time, until next year….

AFTER THE PAUSE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4

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After the Pause: Winter 2015  

The winter 2015 issue contains experimental poetry, flash fiction, artwork, and photography from 31 international contributors.

After the Pause: Winter 2015  

The winter 2015 issue contains experimental poetry, flash fiction, artwork, and photography from 31 international contributors.

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