The Fourth River

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Tributaries: “Devil’s Crown Rock, Galapagos, Ecuador”

By on June 14, 2017

By K. E. Ogden   My body merges with black blades of slicing currents. In the dark water below me hundreds of sharks move in an IV tube from this world to the next. I ask my guide, Pablo, how

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Tributaries: “Peony”

By on June 7, 2017

By Sally Nacker   for B.W.   You bring home a peony bush to plant with your dog’s ashes. Too late for medicine, or hope, but not for beauty. Each June, an effusion of vivid blossoms will open, blessing air.

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Tributaries: “Arrows Go in Circles”

By on May 31, 2017

By Ryan Loveeachother   You drag the blue recycling crate to the curb. When you’re at work, the big truck comes collecting. Shrill hydraulic brakes. A robotic arm snatches, lifts and shakes. Everything shatters into a million loud pieces. Speculations

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Three Poems by Joseph Bathanti

By on May 29, 2017

To read our interview with Joseph Bathanti, click here.   Girl After Sam Hamill’s Translation of Izumi Shikibu Her long brown hair, still a girl’s at that instant of intake, a breath she holds interminably – because the black dog

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Tributaries: “The Wisdom of Neighbors”

By on May 24, 2017

By Susan Wider     Dark-eyed junco:             Relax into the slide. A light dusting of snow covers the gently-sloping green roof of the bird feeder. You fly there—regular schedule, normal speed. You take it at a slide when you try

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Tributaries: “Crossing Borders”

By on May 17, 2017

By Aileen Bassis   Walking on roads and rubble, gravel and grass, pavement and black-top. We know our past. We don’t know what waits. Grass and pavement, black-top hillsides and grasslands, desert and dirt, we don’t know what waits —

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Tributaries: “Glass with Soma and Salt”

By on May 10, 2017

By Amy Small-McKinney     This time there is a window, there is also a sea. Not what you expect, not my usual ocean of evergreen. Here I lean against regret. Behind me, everything I want. Uncertain blue or insistent

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Tributaries: “Someone Else’s City”

By on May 1, 2017

By Robin Rozanski   This city is compact. However you define city and downtown and wherever you draw the lines, the whole thing is morphing. The roads are ripped up for construction, and the new buildings behind the barricades are

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Tributaries: “Pawpaws”

By on April 26, 2017

By Kelly Garriott Waite   The thing is, I’m not even sure I like pawpaws, deceitful things: I look at the oversized fruits dangling from the branches ten feet up and think pear. Yet a pawpaw cut open and tasted

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Tributaries: “Landmarks”

By on April 19, 2017

By Deborah Fass   Not the lawn taken by oxalis, not the yellow flowers we recklessly call buttercup, not the Caution: Repaving sign tacked to a sawhorse, not the sawhorse, not the pavement, not the 1950 single-family ranch, not the