In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • the swordsman, and: this is a good building, and: before and after (on the occasion of the third anniversary of the katrina disaster)
  • Treasure Williams (bio)

the swordsman

her voice was a crossbetween stereotype jewish mother kitch,and dime store gypsy camp.

dripping with throaty bubelehsand clucking tsk, tsk, tsks.

my child, she said. the tarothas informed me that you are unlucky at love.

yes, my voice trembled in hopeful response

the swordsman sits on your . . . how do you say?your tongue. you have a husband, no?


madame heaved a heavy and your husband have one hundred wordsleft tosay to one another, before you will separate.


one hundred words. i see all i know all.

with that she abruptly rose from the table,her many scarves whispering an end.

she patted the slot in the wall where payment was left.her final footsteps said conserve.

the first week spent in total silence startled my husband.he studied me. he searched my eyes like a child.

the second week, he brought me breakfast.

supplicating: cherries, creamdecided: potatoes, eggs, black coffeeangry: a plate full of toast teetering on the edge of the night stand

last night I dreamed we spoke through our navelsand every word was medicine.

the third week he retreated into our bathroom,he searched the bible for salves.

after that my shoulders were shaken;i was slapped and then watched.

my dreams were full of silver change—i filled my husband's pockets.

last night he came to steal sex,smashing my cheek with the ball of his hand

he heard me draw in my breath to scream,and retreated, into the speechless dark. [End Page 735]

this is a good building

For so many who worked at the famous Windows on the World, 9/11 was an ending . . . but for their families and friends, some fragments remained behind. A very few of these appear here.

—Jason Perlow

there was a man from church in his beda beautiful pentecostal preacher

he really shouldn't be late again today he thoughtputting his forehead on the beautiful man's shoulder bladewhen the phone ranghe knew it was his mothershe was like a heat-seeking missileshe could smell his lustif he even thought about sex, she calledshe told him to turn on the t.v.terrorists had come downtowngod had spared him

he was late for a reasonat least this is what he tells meat three in the morning over steak and eggsthat he barely touchesi play calm as he puts the salt and pepper shakersand the silverware in his baghe shows me his most recent viral loadand t-cell stickerspasted on the back of a cellphone case

he was late for a reasoni have to carry his bag to my carso much about him has always seemed foreignhere in memphisa refugee from brooklyntoo thin; the city deprived of himi feel him struggling to be normalthat minister infected his wife and me

the news is a compression blastthat only makes a sound to me later

his collar bones insinuate themselvesinto the corner of my eyei've driven past this neighborhood beforethe one where he asks me to drop him offthis is a good building, i thinki never thought i'd know someone who had died here [End Page 736]

before and after (on the occasion of the third anniversary of the katrina disaster)

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. . .

—Matthew 24:38

you can run your tongue along the scar tissue in the citytaste the blood in the airfragments of semi-heeled skin, buoyed by the windfloat across desiresomeone left the roux on too longthe west bank stands over a burned potfighting back tearswe have to be careful with one anotherduring times like thisthe quarter goes crazy every nightbut when the sun hits the leveeshe...


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pp. 735-737
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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