Issue 23 | Fall 2019


Carve it open with a pocket knife. Build a boat for the bacon grease. Even outdoors, our little life, tented, you are the gourmet chef of your father’s teachings. I wake to the sizzle of fried rice, strip, swap flannel for a one-piece and shake open a book before the others rise. You cream my coffee, bring it to me on the air mattress like you said you would on our best days. On our bad, you do it anyways. Your swim trunks stick to the wet glaze of your slick legs. All hot burn from the summer sun and sea spray. The beautiful belly of lake time opening us, freeing the little caged angels who shake metal to be heard. Today, we hear them, free them. Watch their mystical dance. Pour champagne from glass into an empty iced tea jug we’ll all hug today at least once. Here, we gather around evening fires, listen to the difference the lake makes after dusk. Crush all the cans we can find until a dozen are, together, the size of one.

Filed under: Poetry

Laura Vrcek mostly writes about triumphant family love. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her home city, and now writes for brands in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her prose poetry and nonfiction essays have appeared in Apple Valley Review, Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog, Entropy Magazine, The Red Clay Review, sPARKLE & bLINK, and on Perspectives, a storytelling segment on KQED public radio. With Northern California as her backdrop, the rust belt at her roots, and a surly gang of crows outside her window, she is writing her first book.