The Fourth River

Tributaries

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Tributaries: “Diagnostics”

By on August 9, 2017

By Lora Rivera   Your eyes go bright, green as creosote. “This here’s a good placement. Lots of surface area. Solid rock.” Tap-tap. “Now this…” Tock-tock. “Hollow,” I mutter. Nuts, cams, anchors: Sport climbing’s one thing. This’ll be my first

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Tributaries: “A Cottage”

By on August 2, 2017

By nv baker   Her house is what could be called a cottage, but that’s not a regional term, not a colloquialism. Her home is an old adobe. Old, corrugated roof casting blindness in the sun, roof tin peeling backwards

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Tributaries: “Single”

By on July 28, 2017

 By Lucian Mattison   The cabin window overlooks a thicket of scrub brush, pine. Sprawled on the mattress, I’ve found something I had forgotten went missing, but this time it fails to surprise me: paper wasp embalmed in the eaves,

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Tributaries: “Arkansas Anoles”

By on July 19, 2017

By Stacy Pendergrast     Before Daddy left us for New York, he told me if I could catch one of those lizards its tail would snap off. Those critters ran up and down our house all day, their true

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Tributaries: “Mobius”

By on July 12, 2017

By Nat Froiland   Searing thighs stomp pedals towards radiating pavement, each pump another pressing decision. Not the reflex begun in Milwaukee’s morning rush, but a conscious twilight effort among anonymous county highways. The river races the wrong way, inviting

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Tributaries: “Badgers Run”

By on July 5, 2017

By Andrea M. Jones   The three dark shapes ripple—not the fur so much as the bodies, undulating across the landscape like figments of a wave. I feel like I’m seeing the wind itself: a phenomenon usually visible only by

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Tributaries: “Morning Glory”

By on June 28, 2017

By Fay L. Loomis   first blush of warmth unfolds velvety purple face midday withered glory carpe mane seize the morning   ** Fay L. Loomis, a nemophilist (haunter of the woods, one who loves the forest, its beauty, and

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Tributaries: “Rehabilitation: A Gospel”

By on June 21, 2017

  By Ashely Adams   It took three days to pull your wings    from the metal grille. What can a man do with an owl a shroud of cardboard and terry cloth? There’s no one here to roll back your

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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.