—In memory of Blaze Bernstein
“Sometimes I’ll flip / through a book & stumble upon a word,” writes Flower Conroy, “& whatever skeleton of a seahorse / word it is, it becomes / the needed word.”
The works of poetry and prose gathered in this issue are made up of needed words. From the enrapturing rhythms of childhood to the glitter of port-holed cities telescoping into infinity, these works are a compendium of images with clear surfaces and hard edges.
Like the cicadas exploding out of some long-ago summer in Al Ortolani’s “Cigar Box,” they take their time to emerge. With grace, passion, delicacy, and persistence, they elaborate themselves, inviting us to read and reread them. Along the way, if we are lucky, we may even be inspired with a few skeletal seahorses of our own.