The Fourth River

Tributaries

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Tributaries: “The Smell of Rain”

By on February 22, 2017

By Diane Payne   The two babies, twin sisters, lie next to each other wearing matching pink satin robes and stocking caps. They were alive hours, maybe minutes, maybe not at all. The parents, my neighbors, dressed their daughters for

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Tributaries: “River Road”

By on February 8, 2017

By Akua Lezli Hope   Long way is the highway short way follows river goes past farm field fringed with timothy Jerusalem artichoke, dames rockets stone steps to the landing shaded by old willow flat sweep below a twist of

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Tributaries: “After Courtrooms”

By on February 1, 2017

By Lauren Claus   Midnight over mountains, our horse runs in directions I never chose; I hated to face the sun so I never let her reach the forest. You can’t see her black skin at night, but note the

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Tributaries: “The Dream”

By on January 25, 2017

By J. Matas   The dream saw you before you woke. The creek. The clear creek leaving the lake. Where it was possible to see a temperature. Where your dream had run in desperation. Your sleep was maudlin. You casted

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Tributaries: “Gulf, Waves”

By on January 18, 2017

By Jack Bedell   Big moon, breeze—my daughter hurries to finish her sentence in the sand before waves climb up the shore like dogs sniffing panéed meat. She wants to spell out the names of all the people she loves,

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Tributaries: Excerpt from “It Begins With the River”

By on January 11, 2017

By Courtney L. Sexton   “There goes Courtney floating down the Delaware/chewing on her underwear/can’t afford another pair/ten days later eaten by a polar bear/and that was the end of her!” I cringe even now when I sing the song

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Tributaries: “Nuchal Origami”

By on December 28, 2016

BY KERI WITHINGTON   If I could untangle umbilical cord, measure calcification, label isosceles, scalene, acute, copy your construction, its strict geometry I could find comfort at your steel altar meditate to the wasp buzz of power; electricity thrums from

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Tributaries: “A Woman Escapes Herself in the Redwood Forest”

By on December 21, 2016

BY KAT LEWIS When her boot slips from rock into mud, the silence is broken. The distant careening of creek over stone, bellow of a bird somewhere close to the constant buzz of tiny insects near the ear, but not.

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Tributaries: “Geography of a Steel City”

By on December 14, 2016

By Allison Brooks   Here I am the proverbial stranger: My foolish mouth, my pig-shit mind, drops verbs of being sweeps them up from this slippy floor. I was forged stupid, then, by lunch pails and Catechism. Mid-west, where thunderstorms

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Tributaries: “Learning to Drive”

By on December 7, 2016

BY DENTON LOVING Sunday afternoons after church, after miles of my pleading, my dad pulled off blacktop, onto the gravel lane leading home. My Dad and I, at the mouth of the hollow, played Chinese fire drill, Mother relegated already