Issue 24 | Winter 2020


Glory the holes in my father’s socks. Glory the empty goldfish bowl. Glory the slippery edge of the bathtub. Glory the pain. Glory the bloodstained fire hydrant. Glory the streetlight that turns on last. Glory the raspy voices laughing on the radio. Glory the old man who lives alone. Glory the dead-end fence. Glory the older boys hiding in the trees. Glory the balls stuck in gutters. Glory the straw poking into the juice box. Glory the man who slices meat at the Old Country Buffet. Glory the alleyway snaking between backyards. Glory the big brown park my father fills with stories. Glory the observatory. Glory the fireworks. Glory the red Caravan rolling down the hill. Glory the crash. Glory the Mormon missionaries. Glory the girl on the neighbor’s garage. Glory my hot cheeks. Glory the pines. Glory the creaking steps. Glory the pull-string stairs to the tar roof where we can see the Steel Tower. Glory the dusty mirror in the loft of the red barn. Glory the freshly painted front porch where my mother watches us become brothers. Glory the stained glass windows. Glory the neighbor’s yard full of gingko fruit & car parts. Glory the boom box blasting New Kids on the Block. Glory the Pogs. Glory the doorless basement toilet. Glory the spiders on the sidewalk. Glory the belly button of the lifeguard at Riverview Pool. Glory the changing room of chlorine & urine & bare feet. Glory the wet bike rides home. Glory the dollar movie theater in the mall. Glory the man with the candy cart. Glory the rock and roll store smelling like incense & sin. Glory the used sports equipment. Glory the bullies on the baseball team. Glory the dugout full of sunflower seeds & saliva. Glory the underwear aisle at the discount department store. Glory the big wood door between the library and the museum. Glory the magazine racks of toothsome men. Glory the librarians watching me watch them. Glory the teachers. Glory the golden age musical tapes. Glory the uncles drinking beer watching the Steelers lose to the Cowboys. Glory the drunk man’s spit swirling in the wind at Three Rivers. Glory the troughs in the bathrooms. Glory the day my father takes me to the river to watch the stadium implode into a ghost of dust. Glory the mouth of the Ohio. Glory the tugboats towing barges full of coal through the locks. Glory the prison by the sewage plant. Glory the birds. Glory the scout tent sleeping three. Glory the muddy lake I can sink my toes into. Glory the tight green shorts. Glory the fire full of foiled spuds. Glory the old men & their stories about bears. Glory the four of scouts squatting together behind a rotted log. Glory the hair smelling like smoke for days. Glory the gold pipes of a church organ. Glory the hymns. Glory the kneelers. Glory the cream white robe of empty crosses. Glory the flamingos in my grandmother’s yard. Glory the oil portrait of my great-great grandfather staring at me with disgust. Glory the velour chairs I can’t stop running my hands across. Glory the bright red cherries soaking in bourbon. Glory the garden of the dead. 

Filed under: Poetry

Michael Bennett (he/him) is a queer writer and educator born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city and subject he may never escape. Michael holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University. He teaches teen writers at Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts High School and the Allegheny County Jail. His work has been published at Burning House Press, The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, Homology Lit, and elsewhere. He tweets at @PixburghMike.