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Spring 2023

a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing

transitional spaces
reclaiming painful narratives
nature and grieving
Cover art: “Cosmic Bloom” EDITOR IN CHIEF
by Carella Keil Katie Budris

The staff of Glassworks magazine would like to thank MANAGING EDITOR

Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Program Cate Romano
and Rowan University’s Writing Arts Department
Garret Castle
Cover Design & Layout: Katie Budris Stephanie Ciecierski
Skyla Everwine
Kay Fratello
Glassworks is available both digitally and in print. Rebecca Green
See our website for details:
Courtney R. Hall
Glassworks accepts literary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, Daniel Hewitt
craft essays, art, photography, short video/film & audio. Cat Reed
See submission guidelines: Javis Sisco

Glassworks is a publication of Rowan University’s Ellie Cameron
Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Caitlin Hertzberg
Frank E. Penick, Jr.
Correspondence can be sent to: Amanda Smera
c/o Katie Budris POETRY EDITORS
Rowan University Rebecca Green
260 Victoria Street Iliana Pineda
Glassboro, NJ 08028 Nyds L. Rivera
Paige Stressman
Copyright © 2023 Glassworks Lesley George
Bryce Morris
Glassworks maintains First North American S. E. Roberts
Serial Rights for publication in our journal and First
Electronic Rights for reproduction of works in
Glassworks and/or Glassworks-affiliated materials.
All other rights remain with the artist.
Spring 2023
Issue Twenty-Six


Issue 26 | Table of Contents
E. O. Connors, Balconies, Italy | 47
Feather, Ireland | 53
Glass on Windowsill, Ireland | 25
Catherine Edgerton, 13th Amendment | 10
Predators | 34
Gerburg Garmann, Hibiscus and Happy Hoops | 44
Unlikely Sisters | 4
Carella Keil, The Birth of Phoenix | 30
Cosmic Bloom | cover

Faith McNaughton, In the Bathroom Mirror | 5
Kathryn Reese, The Principal and the Sea | 32

Joanna Acevedo, Prosopagnosia | 48
Chelsea M. Carney, Teeth | 40
Ted McLoof, Future Girl | 14
Devon Brock, Static | 45
A Thrift Store Cup with Blue Lotus | 46
Amber Lee Carpenter, Collective Memory | 29
Rachael Inciarte, Desert Dogs | 36
Karina Jha, Mice in a Matchbox | 8
Sean Madden, Frank Sinatra’s Favorite Color | 31
Mary Makofske, What Would Grow in Hitler’s Garden? | 9
Claire Hamner Matturro, Trespassing | 12
Reese Menefee, Missing Us During a Downpour in Louisiana | 52
Kathleen McGookey, Small Words | 28
Sam Moe, Vanilla Smoke as Ceremony | 38
Judith H. Montgomery, Elegy for a Burnt House | 55
L is for | 54
Annette Sisson, Flight Season | 26
Jacob Stratman, from The Shell of Things | 3
The History of Glassworks

The tradition of glassworking and the history of Rowan University

are deeply intertwined. South Jersey was a natural location for glass
production—the sandy soil provided the perfect medium, while plen-
tiful oak trees fueled the fires. Glassboro, home of Rowan University,
was founded as “Glass Works in the Woods” in 1779. The primacy of
artistry, a deep pride in individual craftsmanship, and the willingness
to explore and test conventional boundaries to create exciting new
work is part of the continuing spirit inspiring Glassworks magazine.

glassworks 2
from The Shell of Things
Jacob Stratman

The dogwood and redbud blooms in March

are what he misses—the speckled hope
among the resting bare branches, the whites

and reds among the bared brown hills, crags,

and valleys of his home, but he only notices,
considers, believes this longing now

on this walk around this lake in the woods

between these hills staring at the fainted
purples he doesn’t know, cannot name,

winking at him, these trees, these azaleas

he’s later told, in the sunlight, cutting
through the pines and the few oaks resting bare

here, the same as home as far as his eyes

will allow him to look up the hill,
but it’s those cherry blossoms in their celebrity

a week or so away from crowding the stage

when he will join the masses walking
along the streets in the parks to see

the planted city trees, the planned beauty,

picnics under the blooms, taking pictures,
posing, chasing the flowers in the wind

with his sons, and then he will forget

these purple dots, these woods blinking in color
like he will forget the dogwoods

and redbuds again when the cherry blossoms

arrive, when the strangeness overwhelms,
envelopes, and invites him again.

glassworks 3
Unlikely Sisters
Gerburg Garmann

glassworks 4
In the Bathroom Mirror
Faith McNaughton

For the slightest moment, you the lazy eye and the bright pink lip
pause and think of Sarah—the smirk gloss dribbling down her chin chops
on her face, her mouth curled over your pin-straight brown hair just
new braces, puffing out her tight up- below your shoulders—no layers,
per lip when she spouted: I didn’t even no face framing, the same trim each
get my haircut at the haircut place. You time. In the salon chair, you would
were drawn in, her side bangs chic survey yourself in the fluorescent
and jagged, like the pointy-toed high light dressed mirror. You would
heels your mom wears on nights touch your rounded cheeks with
when she comes home late and your fingers, watching how they
nights when she doesn’t come back look bagged down and weighty un-
at all. Sarah flipped her hair as if she der the lines of your hair, how your
wanted to see you watch it waterfall forehead seems to overwhelm them,
behind her shoulders, bragging: I fell a shiny dinner plate. You would
asleep with my gum in my mouth and it got argue with your mom, please let me
all up in my hair. My mom made me cut grow my hair long, or even, please
it clean off. let me chop it to my ears, please let me
Clean off. wear it in two braids, or in a noose around
You imagine Sarah’s wavy hair my neck.
escaping the grasp of the big Your mom always says, you think
scissors, the kitchen kind, and how so much that you don’t think at all,
she must’ve glowed under the warm when you flip through the books
bathroom lights, the bundle of lem- at the salon, grasping onto every
on juice-kissed hair on the ground, haircut on each glossy, laminated
leaving behind bangs that looked page. You imagine how the gym air
just like the girls in your sister’s mag- conditioning would feel if you had
azines. You imagine Sarah, beautiful something like a bob, short pieces
and free, pushing her bangs back barely flying behind you, too stubby
into bobby pins when she plays soc- to tie up, sweat wicked off your neck
cer, or letting them flow in front of by the wind. You would walk—no,
her long eyelashes, still outrunning glide, like Sarah when she entered
you blindly. the classroom in the morning, like
You think about Sarah, her hair, she knew how she looked, how she
and how lucky she is not to have the looked good, like the paparazzi was
haircut you get from the place on dancing and flashing from the array
Main Street, how the woman with of desks.
glassworks 5
When you saw her like that, all out the color wheel at Sarah’s feet
golden and glowing, like the wom- and she knew, deep in her beating
en on TV selling jewelry, their hands heart, to pick out the perfect shade.
pawing diamonds at their throats, She has blonde eyebrows that never
their skin like glazed ceramic— look angry, never furrow to create
seeing Sarah like that, with everyone wrinkles in her forehead, the kind
around her, and her new bangs like that you get during math tests or in
feathers—you noticed the purple the dark. She wears dresses to school
scissors in your desk. How they were that flow out behind her at recess.
brand new, right-out-of-the-package. She runs past all of the boys and
How they were sharp as tongues. never stops to catch her breath.

“Staring back at you are your eyebrows that fade at the

tail, your deranged hair (like a rat’s nest, your mom says
when she helps you drag a hairbrush through the tangles
before school), your crooked teeth, each tooth elbowing
the other for a place in your mouth. ”
As the bustle of Sarah and her The bathroom is cold and the
fans faded out to recess, you found only sound is some faint chattering
yourself in the bathroom, scissors beyond the window. You wonder if
tucked in your sleeve like you’ve it’s Sarah talking outside. You won-
seen other girls do before. Staring der if she’s gossiping or drilling over
in the mirror. Counting the hand- homework.
prints across it from bottom to top. And then you are in a memory:
Staring back at you are your eye- the kind tinted with blurriness and
brows that fade at the tail, your bits-and-pieces, the kind you have of
deranged hair (like a rat’s nest, your wide and smiling faces staring down
mom says when she helps you drag a at you, of being smaller than you are
hairbrush through the tangles before now, so small in fact that the world
school), your crooked teeth, each around you towers like the trees you
tooth elbowing the other for a place drive past on car trips, sky-reaching
in your mouth. and ancient.
Sarah’s braces are purple—like In this moment, you wait,
cool lilac, like the orthodontist laid stretched across the living room
glassworks 6
couch, dressed in Christmas paja- mother. You think about change,

Faith McNaughton | In the Bathroom Mirror

mas. The days are getting longer. like how the days grow in early
You watch the sun drop slowly as spring and braces yank teeth into
your tired eyes, how the shining straight lines.
rays on the front door dim, and the You feel your tightening grip
dust caught in their path fade into on the scissors, almost strangling
the shadows. Gaze connected to the purple handles, so perfect in
the hands of a ticking wall clock, your hand, to the point of break-
you jolt at the sound of the jiggling ing. In your other hand, you
doorknob, and sit up as your mom hold a generous section of hair
stumbles in. She promptly kicks off in front of your face. The walls
her high heels and shakes off her of the bathroom seem to swirl
black blazer before climbing onto and fold in on you, and for just
the couch next to you, carefully sip- one moment, your running mind
ping the water you left out for her. goes blank.
As she falls asleep with your legs It’s sunny out, you can see it
across her lap and the news channel in the light from the window.
blurring into white noise, you twist The days are getting longer. You
and comb her hair with your tiny fin- hear girls outside, on their way in
gers. You watch her gentle waves fall from recess. They are laughing.
as you let them go, and comb and In a single moment, you
braid and twist them again. breathe in the beauty and just as
For the first time, you see her face. quickly breathe out, with a swift
Really see it. You look like her, this and heavy chop.
tired woman. You see your stringy
hair in the soft strands curled in
your hand. You see it in the curve
of her nose. Her forehead like yours,
a gentle moon. Your likeness bleeds
through the woman laying across the
couch. In the noise and the waiting, it
is completely still and peaceful. You
sleep next to each other until the sun
rises again, her hair still wrapped like
a bandage around your hand.
And then, like magic or waking
up, the memory leaves you. You
see your face, your mother’s face, in
the bathroom mirror. You wonder
about Sarah, wonder about her own
glassworks 7
Mice in a Matchbox
Karina Jha

They don’t save the children with your face, my mother says,
Braiding rivers into my hair.
There are too many rows of crayon drawings to burn,
Too many buildings to crumble and devour like pryaniki,
Too much twisting smoke to breathe in with the smell
Of Babushka’s blini on the stove.

Last night, I saw a little girl lying on my own kitchen floor.

Maybe it was my sister with her rosy apple-cheeks,
Maybe she wasn’t dead at all,
But I know the children were left under my playground,
The ones with our face.
The ones that lived in my childhood,
Now curled around each other like mice.
So terribly quiet,
Like mice.

glassworks 8
What Would Grow in Hitler’s
Mary Makofske

Not what you think—no

foxglove, monkshood, chokecherry,
oleander, deadly nightshade, angel’s trumpet.
No hemlock. No yew.

A dozen varieties of tulip

flaunting bright chalices,
then peonies with pastel
ruffled skirts. Roses
scarlet, blush, canary yellow,
purest white, but only the most
fragrant, intoxicating,
and daisies, snapdragons,
a full palette of colors
delighting the eye of the would-be
painter who cedes to them the task
of filling the world with color.

He revels in excess, extravagance,

bounty, but tolerates no
wildflower or weed.
His gardeners uproot
whatever does not fit his plan.

The secret to making the garden

rich, he believes, is ashes.

But who can control the urge to life?

See how they break through soil, those hands
thrusting up to reach for light.

glassworks 9
13th Amendment
Catherine Edgerton

glassworks 10
glassworks 11
Claire Hamner Matturro

Seeking the solitude of owls

and the cover of ancient trees
we came to build a house
deep in the thick woods
as if we were royalty
whose desires deserved
more than any other’s needs.

Built small with good intentions,

still the house uprooted
live oak, loblolly, and sweetgums.
Jessamine vines which once curled
their trunks rotted in slash piles
wasting like snags that never hosted
birds or grubs on their resting logs.

Our feet crushed lives we’d meant

to cherish—the tender trilliums
whose petals and bracts splashed
vivid across dark leafmeal and
prairie phlox with nodding purple
blooms easing up sloping loam
like shy children holding hands.

Green lynx spiders who scurried

under curled brown leaves and
clubmosses were not always
fast enough to escape.
Even maligned deer ticks
knocked from fronds of dogfennel
fell prey to our clueless trod.

glassworks 12
We pray the woods will one day
reclaim our house. Already tenacious
yellow jessamine crawls up the far wall,
like some winking peeping Tom
looking for an open window, its tendrils
ready to take back the space
it once owned completely.

glassworks 13
Future Girl
Ted McLoof

When Molly Miller’s brother died demonstrate, “it doesn’t have, like, a
of AIDS her senior year of high beginning, middle, and end. Yester-
school, she became convinced she day didn’t happen ‘before’ today. It
could see the future. Her parents just, you know, happened.”
had split under the stress of his Andy nodded. I was a year behind
death and everyone assumed her them, a junior, and felt lucky to hang
belief was a sort of psychosis due out with them. So I tried my best:
to this wave of trauma, but she “So it’s next year right now?”
insisted it wasn’t. She missed a She shook her head, but warmly.
month of school during which she She knew what she was saying was
didn’t leave her house. Upon her odd. “You’re just applying the wrong
return, our school let her miss what- prepositions to events. They don’t
ever classes she wanted. Mrs. Miller, happen in an order. Look at your
who’d always been kind of a hippy, clothes,” she said, and pointed at
brought her to a psychic. Mr. Miller them. “Did your shirt happen before
encouraged her to focus her energy your pants? Did your shoes happen
on college applications. He’d moved before your socks? That’s not the
to Wyckoff, the next town over, and relationship they have to each other.
took Molly with him, on the grounds They just exist at the same time.”
that it was a wealthier town and the I looked at my shirt. “I bought
school could afford a special grief this yesterday,” I said.
counselor to help convince Molly I was worried she’d think I was
she was imagining things. We all felt making fun of her, which I only
bad for her so no one made jokes, kind of was. But she and Andy
not to her face anyway, but of course laughed. “You’re a pisser,” he said,
no one believed her either. and rubbed my head.
Except Andy. Andy Ryan had I’d borrowed my sister Emily’s car
been her boyfriend since middle to drive them around. This was a
school and accepted her claims with- routine we’d gotten into: pick them
out judgment. I tried to do the same, up, ice cream, cruise down the high-
but it was hard. She was telling me way, home. At first I’d been cautious
about how it worked, future-seeing, to broach the subject of Future Girl.
one night as the three of us sat in But eventually she’d volunteered the
the Wyckoff Dairy Queen parking subject herself—“You can ask me,
lot. “Time isn’t a line,” she told me, it’s OK,”—and since then it took up
drawing a line with her finger to a lot of our discussions. “So, like,”
glassworks 14
I said, “when exactly in the future Andy’s dad owned Ryan Auto
are you from?” Parts in town and Molly’s parents
Andy perked his head up, as were rich, from family money. This
though he wanted to know the was partly why her parents never
answer to this himself but never liked him, and they liked him even
thought to ask it. “It’s tough to say,” less when they found out he in-
she said. “I can’t tell whether I’m dulged her delusions. Mr. and Mrs.
from the future or can just see it. Ryan thought of the Millers as
I just have memories, except all of holier-than-thou muckety mucks
my memories haven’t happened yet. and took the occasion of Molly’s
Does that make sense?” new reputation as Future Girl to
“Sure,” said Andy. I was grateful forbid them from seeing each oth-
for the save. “Are we still together?” er anymore. That’s where I came in.
he asked. Andy failed English and ended up

“‘Time isn’t a line,’ she told me, drawing a line with her
finger to demonstrate, ‘it doesn’t have, like, a beginning,
middle, and end. Yesterday didn’t happen before today.
It just, you know, happened.’ ”
She wrapped her arms around his taking it again with the juniors, and
neck. “Of course. We’re living in when we got paired up for a class
New York, in a loft. I’m an actress.” project we became fast friends. He
“A movie star,” he said. was a popular if not-so-bright jock,
She shook her head. “Theater,” great with cars and easy to get along
which made sense—Molly’d always with. But his friends, like everyone
been the lead in the plays through- else, found Molly a little spooky and
out high school, and read Ibsen and he couldn’t drive his own car to her
Inge and Pirandello in her spare dad’s house for obvious reasons, so
time. “You’re there too, Teddy,” when he found out I had access to
she said to me, though she was wheels he roped me into being their
still looking into Andy’s eyes. I felt unofficial chauffeur.
flattered and almost asked what “You sound like you’re their pet,”
I was doing in the future until she Emily said to me the next day as
said, “And the weird thing is, so’s my I drove her to the train station. She’d
brother.” moved back in with Mom and me
~ after college a few months prior and
glassworks 15
took the Path to Manhattan for her Still, she was a lot smarter than me
job in the city. It was my job to drive and I had concerns about my own
her to work, and I got to keep her possibly dangerous hero worship. So
car each day. I said, “I guess it is a little weird.”
“I’m not their pet,” I said. “I’m “She’s going through trauma,”
their friend. They’re cool.” Emily said. I couldn’t remember
“Do they swing? Maybe they’ll telling her about Molly’s brother but
proposition you into a threeway,” I guess word traveled fast through
she said. She put her makeup on in town. “Andy’s familiar. And it sounds
the passenger mirror and I deliber- like he loves her. And obviously they
ately jerked the car to the right so like that you’re their biggest fan.”
she’d smear lipstick on her teeth. We were pulling up to the station
“Can’t I just like these people?” but I didn’t want to end the con-
“Like whoever you want. Just versation just yet. We parked. She
be careful.” grabbed her stuff to get out and I
“Careful of what?” thought, as I did each morning when
“I’m just looking out for you. I dropped her off, of our father,
You’re prone to hero worship.” whom Mom dropped here so often
Ever since college, she’d been with us in the car as kids. “Do you
dropping terms like that all the time. ever miss him?” I asked her.
Blasé. Bourgeoisie. Hero worship. She stood outside the car now,
Oedipal complexes. It was irritat- looking through her bag to make
ing, and I probably didn’t help my sure she had everything, her focus
case by saying, “You should see not really on me. “Huh? Who?”
them together. I think they’ll be Satisfied she had what she needed,
together forever.” she zipped her bag, looked up at me
I kept watching the road but and, in response to whatever face
could hear her eyes roll when she I was making, figured it out. “Not
said, “Christ.” really—is this where you want to
“They will. She can—” I had the have this conversation? In the thirty
good sense to stop before I said seconds before I catch the train?” I
See the future. Emily wasn’t always shrugged. The whistle blew closer.
like this—she’d made it all the way But she relented. “Tell your bud-
through college still dating her high dies you’re busy tomorrow night
school boyfriend, but he dumped and we’ll do something. Just the two
her just before graduation and her of us.”
plans to move across the country ~
with him fell through, hence living Emily and I had never been close.
back with me and Mom and hence She was seven years older than me
too, I guess, her newfound cynicism. and in her last two years of high
glassworks 16
school—those years when Mom for a ten year old. I would have

Ted McLoof | Future Girl

and Dad were throwing plates at voted them class couple myself
each other’s heads, when things got if anyone asked. And I thought
really bad—she’d basically moved of them a lot these days with
in with Eric, her boyfriend at the Molly and Andy, feeling for
time. They went to college together the first time since then like a
and lived there year-round, so she’d sidekick or a mascot or some-
missed the fallout. I could see why thing, something this special
she wouldn’t miss Dad. Moving back unit of people actually wanted
in with Mom and me had clearly hit hanging around.
her as a defeat, her escape plan back- I was thinking about it that
firing, and though she never talked night as Andy and I drove to
about it I could tell she and Eric had Molly’s. “Everlong” by the Foo
had a messy breakup. She’d come Fighters played from my sister’s
home from work and go straight speakers—the acoustic version,
to her room and stay in there until which Andy insisted we play
morning. I don’t know when she ate. over and over whenever we
Her TV blasted Nick at Nite reruns drove around. I got the feeling
in the deep sleep hours so I don’t he thought there were hidden
know when she slept, either. messages in it. “I really like the
But I’d been thinking a lot about gold hat,” Andy was saying. “I
her and Eric lately, not of their think I get it now.”
breakup but of the time I’d seen We’d finished The Great
them together most, back when she Gatsby in class the week before,
was in high school. They’d been but I suspected Andy hadn’t got-
voted class couple in the yearbook. ten further than the epigraph:
Mom and Dad had taken to sleeping Then wear the gold hat, if that will
separately by then, Mom in a sleep- move her. If you can bounce high,
ing bag on the floor in my room, bounce for her too, until she cry, “Lov-
so I tried not to go to bed until I er! Gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I
absolutely had to. And occasion- must have you!” We were approach-
ally Emily and Eric would take me ing Molly’s dad’s neighborhood
to Blockbuster and we’d watch in Wyckoff so he slumped down
movies until late, me on the floor, the as always, to hide, but kept
two of them sharing a blanket and talking at a normal volume. “Do
throwing popcorn in each other’s what you gotta do, right? Even if
mouths to catch. Eric would ask me it’s something stupid.”
what I thought of the movies we’d “I don’t know that that’s the
watch. Emily would compliment my point of The Great Gatsby,” I said.
answers and say I was perceptive “I mean, it’s not this great love
glassworks 17
story or anything. He dies without the years, brought girls to make out
Daisy ever fully loving him.” or groups of friends to do whip-its
We pulled up to Molly’s and there and shots. But Molly and Andy were
was an awkward silence in the car. I different. They didn’t drink or do
looked down at Andy, on the floor in drugs and they just liked the peace
the backseat, his shoulders slumped. of the place. All they ever wanted to
“What?” I asked. do was talk. That night, Molly told
He looked at me, crestfallen. us to sit Indian-style in a circle. She
“He dies?” brought a candle but it kept blowing
“Sorry,” I said. “Spoiler alert, out, so I turned the headlights on
I guess.” and they shone on us like a spotlight.
He looked at me through his fin- “Do we need, like, a Ouija board or
gers, smiling. “Guess I should’ve anything?” I asked.
read past the title page.” She looked at me skeptically. “You
wanted to know how it works,” she

“A rock is just that which

said. “The future.”
Andy and I were facing the head-
lights head on, Molly backlit by
we call a rock, what we them, so all I could really see was
her silhouette. Her brother had been
decided to call it. But what a small guy, with a frame roughly the
size of Molly’s and a high-pitched
if you decided to call it voice, and the effect of her robbed
something else? Does that of the features that distinguished

the two of them spooked me. I
make it something else? wanted to be supportive, but I also
wanted to be honest. “I have a hard
time with this stuff,” I told her. “I’m
We parked on a mountain in the trying to buy into it but I guess I’m
Ramapo Valley Reservation, a spot not there.”
that overlooked a lake soundtracked “OK,” she said. “Let’s try this.
by crickets’ and owls’ chirps and This is an exercise we used to do
hoots. Molly and Andy loved it from in my acting class. It’s supposed to
the first time I brought them. I was help you get out of your head.” She
never outdoorsy but Dad took me picked something up off the ground
there as a kid once, told me he went and handed it to me. I couldn’t see
up there when he wanted to be alone, it until she’d put it in my hand: a
and had never shown anyone else shiny black rock, the size and shape
the spot, not even Mom or Emily. of chewed-up gum. “What is that,”
I’d been there dozens of times over she asked.
glassworks 18
It felt like a trick question. but I opened one eye to look at

Ted McLoof | Future Girl

“A rock.” them both; Andy still bobbed
“How’d you know it’s a rock?” his head, eyes shut; Molly’s face
“Because I’m holding it,” I said. was a calm blank, like she’d
“I’m looking at it.” already slipped into the deep
“But how do you know what meditation she now attempted
you’re looking at and holding is a to lull me into. I closed both eyes
rock? How do you know what you again and tried. You’re not on this
call a rock is a rock?” mountain, she said, but I was of
I looked to Andy for help. His course—I could feel the ground
eyes were closed and he nodded his beneath me and hear the crickets
head, like some tune we couldn’t and owls, so I said, Where am I
hear was playing through invisible then? and she said, You’re not any-
headphones. I looked back down where, you’re everywhere and nowhere.
at the rock and said, to it instead of There’s no such thing as ‘here,’ what do
Molly, “Because that’s what every- you see—don’t tell me, don’t say it out
one calls it.” loud, just communicate it to yourself in
She leaned toward me and patted your head, and I said, I thought I was
my knee. It startled me. “Exactly,” supposed to be getting out of my head,
she said. “A rock is just that which and she said, Shh, just tell your-
we call a rock, what we decided to self what you see, but what I saw
call it. But what if you decided to call was myself sitting like an idiot,
it something else? Does that make it I couldn’t stop picturing what I
something else?” For my only friend looked like, or what I’d look like
who didn’t smoke pot, she sure talk- to an outsider; I pictured Emily
ed like a stoner. I almost said that watching this and rolling her eyes
out loud but didn’t need to, because and I couldn’t not agree with
it was like she read my mind when her. Molly stopped talking alto-
she said, “You think it’s weird, it’s gether. I looked at the Rorschach
OK. I thought it was too. Close your of weird light patterns that
eyes.” kaleidoscope in front of your
The headlights gave her a little eyes when you close them real
halo of fog in the aftermath of that tight. I didn’t see anything until I
evening’s rain and I couldn’t take opened my eyes. Andy and Molly
looking at this rock anymore, so I were holding hands, looking at
complied. I did my best—she could me.
deny it, but I knew Molly was going “Molly was in a play,” Andy
through stuff I didn’t understand— said, responding to a question I
and tried to let go of my skepticism hadn’t heard asked. “Something
as she spoke. Clear your mind, she said, old-timey, she had a corset on.”
glassworks 19
She squeezed his hand and put her “Why not?” It seemed unfair that
head on his shoulder. all I’d done was answer her question
It was my turn to talk next but and she already objected.
I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t “Because,” she bit her stromboli.
seen the future and felt like a fraud. “You’re a kid. You don’t need to
“See?” she said. “That’s why I want- think about that stuff.”
ed to do this. You’re special. I knew “I’m not a kid. I’m sixteen. I
you’d get it.” can drive.”
~ “I wouldn’t call what you do driv-
“You know I knew her brother, ing,” she said, and I threw a balled-
right?” said Emily when she took up napkin at her head.
me out the next night for pizza. I didn’t want to switch topics yet,
I should have known that—our though. Emily could be a pain in the
town was tiny and everyone knew ass and she seemed depressed as hell
everyone, but the news took me by lately, but she also had her feet on
surprise anyway. the ground. A lot of vague threads
“What was he like?” I asked. I pulled at my brain lately, like a car
didn’t want her to see my curiosity so radio stuck between two stations, the
I looked at my slice, patted it down score for the ball game laid over a
with napkins to degrease it. Zeppelin tune but too soft to hear
“Funny kid,” she said. “Kinda either so you didn’t know which
goofy. Used to carry the Village teams or what song. “Anyway,” I
Voice around with him everywhere. started, carefully. “She says he’s
I thought it was weird at the time but not dead.”
in hindsight it was pretty cool.” The She stopped mid-chew, wiped her
TV behind her played a rerun of mouth slowly, kept her eyes on me,
Who’s the Boss. Mona said something like I myself was a ghost. “What are
about how fuckable Tony is and I let you talking about?”
the sound of the canned audience I stirred my drink with my straw,
cheering fill a beat. “How’s Molly stared at it as I talked. “She just has
taking it?” these visions of the fu—” I glanced
I winced, unsure how much to tell at her horrified look and pushed for-
her. “She doesn’t seem too bad, con- ward as quickly as I could, “she has
sidering. She’s told me some stuff these visions of the future and she
that made it hard for her.” says her brother’s part of them and
“Like?” don’t worry,” I held my palm up to
“She told me what he looked like her to stop her from interrupting,
at the end. Like a cadaver already.” “don’t worry, I know it’s nuts and
“Jesus,” she said. “She shouldn’t before you start psychoanalyzing,
be telling you things like that.” she knows it’s weird too. I just…”
glassworks 20
She looked at me, chewing, un- “Planning for it and seeing it

Ted McLoof | Future Girl

blinking. It was just like Emily not to isn’t the same, bud.”
throw her two cents in exactly when “But it is sometimes, isn’t it?
I wanted her to fill the silence. I took Like, when people start a rela-
a bite and pretended there was too tionship, say. They plan on stay-
much in my mouth to keep talking, ing together for their whole fu-
but she didn’t buy it. “It’s just what?” ture. And they can’t literally see
I shrugged. what the world will look like fifty
“I don’t respond to shrugging. years later, but they can work at
I refuse to let my little brother be- it and make sure they’re still to-
come like all the other men I know. gether. They have control.”
You obviously have something “Nobody has control of that.
you want to talk about. Talk. Use What are you talking about?”
your words.” Behind her head on the TV,
I swallowed. “I’ve just been think- Angela and Tony kissed, and
ing that, like, is it so crazy, so impos- the audience went wild with
sible that someone can see the future applause. “Nobody?” I asked.
or whatever? It feels…wrong to be so Her face dropped, and I knew
certain and just write it off. Isn’t it at the look, like whatever private
least possible?” conversation she’d had with
Her forehead scrunched, in con- herself had been right all along.
templation or mock-contemplation, “See—this is what I was really
I wasn’t sure which but was grateful worried about.”
either way. “You mean like chaos “What?”
theory? Parallel universes? Alternate “I didn’t think you hanging out
timelines? Quantum physics?” with Molly during her grieving
“Sure,” I said. I had absolutely process was inherently a bad idea.
no clue what she was talking about. But I knew this is where your lit-
All I’d meant was the gut feeling tle mind would go. I knew that
Molly had. But if there were credi- would somehow become about
ble schools of thought on this she’d this.” I took a drag to look casual
picked up in college, I wasn’t about but really I was nonplussed—
to shoot it down. I lit a cigarette. another of Emily’s favorite
“You smoke too much,” she said. words. She waved the smoke out
Which was funny because actually of her face. “You know what
I’d been cutting down since hanging Dad said to me before he left?
out with Molly and Andy. He told me you can’t count on
“I just mean people see their anybody. I was with Eric then
future all the time, right? They plan and asked him whether another
for their futures.” person can fulfill everything you
glassworks 21
need and he said, ‘No. We expect too to throughout school: a group of
much of our partners. We expect kids sat around a TV playing Boy
too much of people in general be- Meets World, taking shots every time
cause people are fickle and you can’t Mr. Feeny doled out advice; Gia
count on them.’” DiPinto and Luke Morris broke up
“That’s what he said?” in the kitchen, over some infrac-
“That’s what he said.” tion Luke had committed before I
“And then he peaced out on us.” showed up; a senior girl chatted up
She lifted her eyebrows. “You a nervous sophomore guy on the
gotta hand it to Dad for teaching couch while he peeled the label off
through demonstration.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “You
think he was right?” “No. We expect too
“I think he was right that no one
much of our partners.
can fulfill everything you need, sure.
But I think you can count on peo- We expect too much of
ple to give you what they can, if they
give a shit. I know what you’re going people in general because
through, kiddo. You’re hitting the
age where you realize that people let people are fickle and you
other people down. And it sucks.”
I stubbed my cigarette in the can’t count on them. ”
ashtray and took out another one.
“You’re only twenty-three. Stop his beer trying to figure out what to
acting so world-weary.” say; Andrew Sinclair did a keg stand
She took the cigarette from my in the backyard; bong smoke cloud-
hand and placed it in her mouth, lit ed the screened-in front porch; you
it with a match from the table, the could hear the ceiling creak and the
Brother’s Pizza label on the match- muffled sound of two people hav-
box unchanged through all these ing sex in one of the upstairs bed-
years, one of the few constants I rooms; two guys in Grateful Dead
knew anymore. “Just be a normal t-shirts stared at the family dog and
kid while you still can. You only have said, “What’s he thinking? Can you
a couple years left.” I wished to God hear it?”
she hadn’t said that. I tried to do as Emily said: soak
~ it in and be sixteen. But my heart
She dropped me off at a party wasn’t in it, the crowd felt differ-
Melissa Torres was throwing. The ent. I was about to leave when I felt
party was OK, which is to say it a hand on my shoulder, and turned
was like most other parties I’d been around to see Andy.
glassworks 22
“Hey,” he said. “What are you do- “Molly’s thing about the fu-

Ted McLoof | Future Girl

ing here?” It had been a while since ture. You know it’s just her going
I’d seen Andy at a house party and through stuff, right?”
it was weird, a foreign context, like I shook my head. “Wait—
when you see a teacher at a store in what the hell are you talking
the mall. But he looked as at home about? You said you saw it too.”
here as he did everywhere. I was the He held his palms up and
one feeling out of place. said, “Well yeah. Her broth-
I shrugged. “Emily dropped me er died. I’m trying to help her
off after dinner. She took the car.” through it.”
He smiled. Andy had a great smile. It had rained earlier and the
It was like a gift he gave to certain muddy front lawn felt unsta-
people. He’d smiled at me the ex- ble beneath my feet, like quick-
act same way the day he decided to sand. I shifted my weight to get
be my friend. “Let’s go in the front my bearings but it wasn’t work-
yard, it’s hard to hear in here.” ing. “What about her being in
He said Molly was at the library that play?”
up the street, but that she was meet- “What play?”
ing him after, and then he asked “You said the two of you were
what was wrong. I wasn’t sure what gonna live together. In a loft in
he meant until I realized I’d lit a the city. She was wearing old-
cigarette, even though I rarely timey clothes.” I wasn’t sure on
smoked in front of him. “Noth- the details but I knew I had them
ing,” I said. “Emily can just be a being together right, at least.
downer sometimes. It’s my fault— He nodded toward the street
I told her about Molly’s, you know, and without thinking I followed
future thing. And she as usual over him, threw my cigarette at the
intellectualized it. She doesn’t think house. The hill leading up to
it’s real.” the library, which I’d walked
I took a drag. The sound of the a million times, felt suddenly
party inside swirled around us. Luke insurmountable. “I’ve gotta take
and Gia made out now in the win- over my dad’s shop when I grad-
dow. It wasn’t until I blew out the uate,” he said. “And Molly’s got
smoke that I realized Andy hadn’t too much going for her, I can’t
responded, and when I looked at make her stay here with me. She
his face he wasn’t smiling. “I mean,” hasn’t told her parents, but she
he said. “It’s not real. You do know has an audition in Greenwich
that, right?” Village next week. She’s taking
I thought I’d heard him wrong. the bus in. I guess we can’t get
“Huh?” you to drive us around forever.”
glassworks 23
He laughed, but I couldn’t see any- remained in the air but were dispers-
thing funny in what he said. Emily ing, moonlight breaking through like
was probably right—I smoked too some werewolf movie. We walked
much, because halfway up the hill, in to the graveyard at Nativity Church,
front of Eastern Christian Church, where Molly’s brother was buried,
I ran out of breath. Andy patted and sat next to his plot wordlessly.
my back as I coughed. “Easy, pal,” On the headstone, she placed a pic-
he said. ture of the two of them when they
I righted myself and asked, “So— were kids: Molly on a swing in a
are you breaking up? What’s gonna Little Mermaid bathing suit, her
happen next?” brother pushing her and laughing,
He seemed confused by the ques- a terrier I’d never met at their feet.
tion, as though I were asking who’d Molly and Andy held hands, and she
win the next World Series. “Who reached for mine.
knows,” he said. “Thanks for coming,” she said.
I felt angry with him. With both
of them. These people who’d made
me drive them around, who’d adopt-
ed me, who’d tried so hard to con-
vince me of unreasonable things—
how was Who knows a good enough
answer for them?
As though he’d heard the ques-
tion, Andy said, “We love each oth-
er right now.” We approached the
library, where Molly stood at the
front door waving, a stack of
books in her hand. She was wearing
Andy’s football jersey, so large on
her it looked like a muumuu. He lit
up when he saw her. “You have to
have a little faith in people,” he said.
We didn’t do much that night.
We didn’t talk about Molly’s audi-
tion or acknowledge there was an
impending goodbye, or that our
drives together wouldn’t last much
longer. We didn’t need to; it was in
the air. Clouds from that day’s rain
glassworks 24
Glass on Windowsill, Ireland
E. O. Connors

glassworks 25
Flight Season
Annette Sisson

after “Gulf Coast Highway,” by Hooker, Flowers, & Griffith


Somewhere in Texas a blackbird
glides across a long flat
highway. Flocks of bluebonnets
purple beneath its fleeting shadow.
It recedes into a wide horizon
of rusting oil wells.
This morning my Dallas cousin
reports her condition—recurrence
of cancer, tubes, her son
suctioning mucus from her lungs.
She celebrates being home,
alive. Her voice shimmers,
the cadence and trill of birdsong.
I try to muster lyrics
to blend with her grace notes—
flinch as I picture her springing
for feather and bone, winging
into the dark eye of flight.


Yesterday I bent for shampoo
in the shower, wailed for my husband,
my lower back wrenched.
He rushed in to help,
reported blackbirds cluttering
the tops of the Japanese maples.
The day folded like paper—
curved wings, forked
tails, origami birds.

glassworks 26

My father’s eyes wither
like cut blossoms. I watch
his world, his body, shrink—
my hands digging for roots,
tubers in soft loam.
My children trundle boxes
to apartments, babies to homes
in distant cities. I visit,
stretch the rounded hours
thin and long, lift
the toddler’s hand to trace
my cheekbone, jawline, then
her own. At bath time I towel
water from her skin, repeat:
bath, lake, river, rain.
Already blackbirds flit
like specks of cobweb across my cornea,
dart away when I focus.

glassworks 27
Small Words
Kathleen McGookey

On Cherry Valley Road, there’s a catalpa with a heart-shaped hole in its side,
where the trunk branched and half tore away in the storm. You could stand
on tiptoe and hide a measuring cup and a spinning wheel in there. I pass
it twice a day, taking my kids to school, but today, I can’t stop and guess a
hundred names for love. Not even one. A mass of white petals litters the
ground. Some days I glance at the jagged hole and wonder if it’s growing
teeth. Some days, while the kids argue, I think about dinner. About the bats
living in the eave and the ladder. The lost language arts book, surely dam-
aged in the storm. My daughter’s teacher wants her students to stop using
perfectly good small words like little and pretty, in favor of more complicated
ones. She’s made the classroom bulletin board into a graveyard, miniature
headstones marking each discarded word. I see her point and disagree: after
dinner, the dog and I walk in the dark, while the wind shakes a little more
rain from the trees.

glassworks 28
Collective Memory
Amber Lee Carpenter

We dive in unison. Our adolescent bodies slice through

shallow, cool blue water [three feet to be exact]. A range of

body types––ectomorphs endomorphs mesomorphs––practice

proper form: the body begins in a crouched position, hesitates,

then leaps into the pool like Superman. Vinyl flags hang
immobile in this summer heat; they point to the pool floor where

a boy named Edward waits for someone, anyone, to notice him.

The rest of us resurface, swimsuits now sodden & heavy, our bodies

ready for sandwiches & sunkissed towels. Question: If memory swims

the length of a pool [twenty-five yards to be exact], how many laps

can memory take before it drowns? Answer: Not one of us knows.

Paramedics strap Edward to a spinal board & laboriously lift his

body out of the pool. On the count of three, this incident will become
a collective memory: one mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi.

glassworks 29
The Birth of Phoenix
Carella Keil

glassworks 30
Frank Sinatra’s Favorite Color
Sean Madden

was not cool and primary, contrary to what our collective

free association might lead us to believe; contrary to those
bright azure irises,
the inspiration behind that famous old moniker.

Frank apparently preferred the warm and secondary—

the color of the armchair at Jilly’s Saloon,
the leather one brought out special whenever
the Chairman popped in for drinks. Still,

blue is what he was, when you consider not

only the music—the smoky, languid ballads
soaked in city rain, where Stordahl’s strings swell
like a heavy-hearted breast, and horns
slurp up the dregs of a whiskey-dark romance—
but the man behind the microphone, lonely as
Cheever, chronically dependent on wee-hours
barstool talk, the boozy
camaraderie of kindred souls to
stave off the solitude of sleep.

It’s a wonder, then, armchair aside,

that after the loss of his most kindred:
bum-blinkered Jilly, burned to death
in a car crash, his body identifiable only
by his jewelry—it’s a wonder bereaved

Frank would have favored

a color as fiery as orange.

glassworks 31
The Principal and the Sea
Kathryn Reese

You straighten your tie. Tap your in your office three times this week
fingers on your leg, breathing in already. Watch.
the scent of basketballs, sweat, and The golden haired girl beside
a mix of aerosol antiperspirants. her, feigning attention. Uniform
When you step on stage, you still correct, shirt buttoned all the way,
have to remind yourself to feel your skirt of appropriate length. The
feet, look at a point just above their quiet one. The one called upon when
heads, reach into your own chest a good influence is required to show
to gather your voice. You still be- a new student around the school.
gin with this seasick belly, after so Your speech doesn’t pause as you
many years. watch her stealthily tear a page from
After all these years the kids are her book. You allow her to fold it,
still rocking their chairs back, bal- using her nails to form sharp,
ancing on two legs. The kids are still precise creases.
chewing gum. The girls still wear You wait. You watch her hand
their skirts too short and their shirts reach across, into the dark-haired
too low. You have given this talk so girl’s lap, linger just moments too
many times that, once begun, you long. That precise moment when
only notice half the words. Responsi- hand on hand enfolds that paper—
bility. The Reputation of the School. crack her name like a whip from
Call their behavior “appalling” your mouth.
because that word tastes so round She jumps, blushes, panic across
and sour. List the recent breaches. her face. Name the dark-haired one,
It no longer matters if the breaches too, call both forward for public
are recent or not, list them anyway, reprimand. One saunters, one creeps.
using your stare to tip those chairs One glares back defiant as you rant,
down to four legs, to silence those the other stares at your shoes. See
whispers and to stop those insolent how close they stand. Sometimes
jaws, gum under their tongues. as they fidget the backs of their
Now you have their attention, hands touch.
turn to Consequences. Your eyes Demand that crisply folded paper.
roam the room. There—those girls. Unseal it. Two hands have
The dark haired one with a dragon written—you have your proof,
charm on a string tucked beneath your weapon. Return the note with
her collar. She flicked her fingers, a demand:
opened her hand. You have had her
glassworks 32
Read it aloud.
Before the whole school. Now. Read your confession of love, your intimate betrayal, your
plans to crash the weekend party. Read. Golden-hair first.

You hand back the paper—too late, notice her hand grasp the other girl’s
as they turn. Too late notice her chin rise and her feet turn roots. Too late
notice they smile, the energy surging, not from one to the other but sum-
moned by both—
A deep inhale. Parted lips and eyes that rest closed, then—

dust motes dance in sunlight, turn to fairies that war for gossamer thrones, chalk dust
deserts quenched by teardrop rains flow rivers pigmented, pink, blue, yellow, acorns thrown
in gutters sprout, root, crack open these halls and the crows that feast on lunch scraps
gather to sing…

Your hand is at your tie, rocking it loose. You cannot breathe and swallow
this magic, you cannot speak to stop them. Dark-hair takes the page, grips
her charm, reads:

and the forest is filled with bears and fish that climb out of the stream and sing, mush-
rooms rise from the rich, dark loam bearing gifts for the butterfly king, a storm arises,
raining stardust and snowflakes that catch in the canopy…

They pause, breathe. Only then do you notice the sobs of weeping school-
boys. You have melted to your knees, your tie discarded.

and the sea carves mermaids and kelpies from rock, and driftwood forms bones and
seaweed makes flesh, these scarecrows make fire and dance with the tide—

You have kicked off your shoes, you notice now your mismatched socks,
your sleeves rolled askew, you notice yourself swoon…still they go on:

silver gulls cry: your sadness, your sadness—

summon you inward, call your soul deep…

Your mismatched socks,

your abandoned tie.
Your jacket strangely scented with salt.
Your flesh surrendered to a faraway sea.
glassworks 33
Catherine Edgerton

glassworks 34
glassworks 35
Desert Dogs
Rachael Inciarte

the neighborhood dogs are barking

and no one thinks
to quiet them

this is the west

where everything is at least half

maybe it’s the coyotes that descend

from the mountains to prowl
encouraging their madness

the dogs carve troughs through the sand

arroyos in miniature
which they flood with urine

behind thistled walls you can hear relentless panting

their breaths burnt
a small dust storm in every yard—

you cannot walk this block a stranger—

outside our Bichon circles the garden

cloaks himself in desert dust
tries becoming unrecognizable

but we know him

when he waits by his dish
to be fed supper

the way our dog paces

how hard he pulls at the leash

glassworks 36
it’s hard to believe he dreams of running
while he is curled between my knees for warmth
but isn’t that what all hearts want

to revel beneath the bright sun

howl into the moon’s pocked face and return
to find there is a soft bed waiting

glassworks 37
Vanilla Smoke as Ceremony
Sam Moe

Young and haunted, you get kicked out of the house

so you leave for the forest at dusk, station wagon
a faded blue, its interior smelling of old cologne
and smoke, you left vanilla cloves on the dashboard
and the sun burns through each of your confessions.

I wait, I pretend to be guarded when really, my love

is an extravagance, and I’m jealous of your exes whose
pear and cherry lips once touched yours. We’re dancers
and we’re living off family meals from the restaurant

you’re more charming than I am, you smoke with chefs

on the back porch during storms, you know the perfect
wines to order, using a fresh pen to lie about prices, you
always keep jars of spices in your trunk, one Tuesday when

we couldn’t sleep you called me, a few beers in, so close

to drunk, and softly asked what ingredients I would use
to make the perfect compound butter. My jaw hurts from
biting my cheeks, holding back my quirks and smirks, your

knife chest is heavy, and I can barely get it over the threshold.
Once inside, you take the guest room, I light the burners
and put on tea for us, I wonder why I can’t quiet my mind
for a few seasons at a time, my head is full of chatty bones

whose skeleton owner is a feast of embedded lies. Soon

you’re in my kitchen, wearing your striped work pants,
laughing at my half-melted candles, the milk saucer my mother
bought for me, shaped like a cat, and I laugh back but believe

me when I say you could never hold my heart in your hands

in a way that makes sense, you could never tune lullabies
towards porch birds, this is our green and stamped paradise,
this is my lip, bleeding from where I bite back your name, this

glassworks 38
is the fridge which knows the curve of my back, the tiles who
have all memorized my calves and thighs, the windows know
the way I arch my spine when we’re on the phone in the dark,
you are in my heated workspace, and I want to press my fraught

lip against the wall, each time the floor creaks I feel my breath
shake out its linen-blue feathers, it’s almost time for the thrush
and crush of dinner, already I’m following you through my door.

glassworks 39
Chelsea M. Carney

“Love has teeth; they bite; Then turns again to face the window.
the wounds never close.” You nod because what else can
-Stephen King, The Body you do?
Your childhood bedroom is It’s August. Through the break in
painted sky blue, but in the dark, your nearly closed door, you watch
black of night, you can only see the Mom chase your brothers, the three
shadows dancing on the walls and the of them zig-zagging down the beige,
moonlight in ribbons as it cuts carpeted hallway of your house.
through your white, plastic blinds. Above Mom’s head, she’s gripping
You’re curled up under that cheap, a cordless phone and you can hear
scratchy comforter of your twin that dull beep like the phone’s been
bed, when your eyes click open like disconnected too long. One of your
a doll’s—Mom is standing by the brothers is drunk. You can tell by
window. She’s facing away from you, the way he slurs his words, how he
and you can only see the back of staggers, and because you’ve been
her head, her curls tight against her dragged to A.A. meetings your whole
scalp, that old terry cloth robe she life, you know what drunk looks like.
wears, loose around her shoulders. He’s laughing, but you don’t under-
It’s quiet in the room except for the stand why. It’s deep and reverberates
nasally gasp of her breathing. through the house reminding you of
“Mom?” You rub your eyes, but Christmas mornings and pancake
she doesn’t say anything. Instead she Sundays, only it feels out of place in
pokes two of her fingers through this context. You’re not sure where
the blinds and you realize there are your other brother went, but Mom
red and blue lights pulsing across is screaming and the sound is high-
the street. “Mom,” you say again. pitched and curdled.
“What’s going on?” Words are thrown across the
She whips her head back, a sharp living room, along with a lamp and
gesture, and you notice her eyes some metal coasters. She says some-
seem dark, too, chaotic. You pull thing about her van being gone,
the glitter-pink blanket up to your how they’ll be taken away if they
shoulders. With your feet, you search don’t return it! All you can hear is
for the fat, white cat that likes to that laughing though, that dull beep,
sleep near your knees. and then abruptly, the sound of a
“Go back to bed,” Mom bites. thud. You realize you’ve been here
glassworks 40
before and fling the door open to see the square plastic edge of the book-
your mom holding her cheek. Your mark and its soft, pink tassel. Your
other brother lurches backwards, his hand hits something cold and metal,
blond hair wet with sweat, his eyes sharp. Carefully you coil your hand
frenzied. You curl your tiny hands around the edge and pull. Surprised,
into fists, your teddy bear nightgown you drop a knife, the blade wid-
still too big for you, and pound on er than your forearm. You can see
his thigh because it’s the only thing what looks like hair on the blade
you can reach. You scream at him and a smattering of blood. Quickly
not to hurt Mom. He’s gentle with you shove it back under the bed and
you; he says you don’t understand. feel the warm glow of the afternoon
You see the red and blue lights out turn blue and icy.
the window, the ones you’re used to ~
by now. When you were three, you’d
~ watched your dad pack a suitcase.
In summer, you like to read You’d screamed for him to stay,
about monsters. Halfway through flung yourself across his ankles, but
your favorite book, you realize you he’d still slid open the gold chain
want a snack. You search for your lock, pushed the flimsy frame of
bookmark but can’t find it, and the the screen door, and after getting
librarian at school has reprimanded into his orange Jeep, reversed sharp-
you more than once for dog-earing ly out of the driveway. You missed
the pages. You remember you were tugging on his dark mustache, how it

“You curl your tiny hands into fists, your teddy bear
nightgown still too big for you, and pound on his thigh
because it’s the only thing you can reach. ”
reading last in Mom’s room, so you seemed thicker than the silky fringe
open her door and sneak into the of his black hair. You missed his
empty bedroom in the middle of the smell, that Old Spice aftershave you
afternoon and drop to your knees to once doused yourself with, crying
look under her bed. Under the bed is as it burned your delicate, new skin.
dark and you don’t have a flashlight, How his gold wedding band always
so you reach your hand out and feel seemed too tight for his short, thick
through the thick, brown carpet for fingers. Today he’s outside waiting
glassworks 41
for you. You already know you won’t your legs. You’re crying. You ha-
see him though. That the closest ven’t stopped crying since Mom
he’ll be is through that thick glass whipped a u-turn, drove what felt
window and the billowy pink fabric like eighty miles an hour, and parked
of the curtains. sideways in the lot. Your wrists
Mom is outside screaming some- burned as she dragged you from
thing. Her hand smacks the hood the car to the front door of num-
of his car. She lunges toward the ber 18 and pounded on the metal,
driver’s side and shoves her fingers her hands, you’re sure, in splinters
through the half open frame. from the force. Your dad’s girlfriend

“Burnt crisp with embarrassment, your tears scorch—

like Dad’s aftershave on your cheeks—and you run to
hide, the bougainvillea plants the closest you find to
solitude. ”
He’s already reversing. The drive- answers. She’s kind and soft, with
way’s short and the window you’re dark feathered hair and a daughter
watching him from faces it. Jerking a few years older than you. Mom
his head left and right, you realize… starts screaming. The words don’t
he’s searching for you. You take a even matter anymore.
step closer, as close as you can— Burnt crisp with embarrass-
the smell of windex sharp in your ment, your tears scorch—like Dad’s
nose because Mom would never let aftershave on your cheeks—and you
glass get dirty, just relationships— run to hide, the bougainvillea plants
and for one second, you catch his the closest you find to solitude. The
eyes. He half smiles at you. girlfriend pokes her head out the
He still leaves you alone in the door and looks for you. Her eyes are
house, with her. gentle and she smiles.
~ “Are you okay?”
It’s October and you’re hid- Mom doesn’t like that. She hurls
ing in the bushes of that old flames at the woman, then sharply
apartment complex Dad lives in. turns and grips your wrists. You go
Your back is pressed against the limp as she drags you back to the car
stucco siding, and the thorns from the because you know it will hurt less
bougainvillea bushes are pricking that way.
glassworks 42
Mom’s still screaming, just at

Chelsea M. Carney | Teeth

you now.
“I am your mother! Do you
understand me?”
You nod because what else can
you do?

glassworks 43
Hibiscus and Happy Hoops
Gerburg Garmann

glassworks 44
Devon Brock

Between stations, where every voice ever,

where every ud and trumpet, where every
drum and rattle and harpsichord resolve
into a hiss—this is music. And the big bang’s
orange hum. And a lily’s slow peal. Oh,
those murmuring starlings swell and plume
over the fens and I am rapt, one eye
to the road, one ear to the radio
where a voice leans out and whispers,
“I’m sure it was you, I’m sure it was you
I heard in the fluid, in the heartbeat,
in the womb.”

glassworks 45
A Thrift Store Cup with Blue Lotus
Devon Brock

Sometimes the weight of it is too much,

the ten thousand mornings I cup between my palms
those ten thousand times your lips touched its rim.

I do not know you. But I know the blue lotus

at the bottom of the well as one more hot grief
passes between us and rolls across my tongue.

I know the shape of your hands

and what a warm stomach becomes
when a sunken flower reveals itself,

so blue and sudden. I know that as a body cools,

the emptiness we find must soon be filled

again on each and countless morning,

again, on every lotus drowned.

glassworks 46
Balconies, Italy
E. O. Connors

Joanna Acevedo

Late August, I channel Marilyn, mother says she feels torn between
then Anne. Recently, I have been us: me bipolar, him sick. “Imagine
quitting. Jobs, friendships, smoking. being one of us,” my father says, and
All my plants have died. I can’t stop wins the Pain Olympics for the day.
listening to Beyoncé; her pain is my It’s not a competition, but it is.
pain, my Instagram posts are vague “Don’t let anyone tell you
and obscure. Tension headaches. your work is too confessional,” a
How do I explain? The red of my woman poet tells me at a poetry
mouth around my gap teeth, watch- reading, mid-August. No one has
ing my face on the FaceTime screen, ever told me that before, and I
the million different ways I love you. have to wonder—is she telling me
It’s hard to never be enough, when I my work is too confessional? I’ve
am so much. It’s hard to simply be. just read a poem about my pseudo-
So my father is cancer free. suicide attempt, from July, and she is
The doctors aren’t using the word looking me dead in the eye like she’s
“remission,” they’re simply saying telling me a secret. “You hear me?
he’s done with treatment. Clean CAT You’re working in a tradition. Anne,
scan. He makes jokes about bringing Sylvia, Robert.” She says these names
our cat, Chickpea, to the scan, de- like they are old friends. I point out
spite the fact that she’ll hiss and bite that I have an Anne Sexton line
at anyone who even tries to pick her tattooed on my chest.
up. We can’t even take her to the vet. I feel like I’ve lost my ability to
He gets his chemo port removed; I relate to people. I recognize people
pick him up from the hospital. Read I know everywhere, the reverse of
a tweet on the train: “Even I don’t face blindness—everyone looks like
know who the ‘you’ in my poems is.” someone I know. I’m always running
Close my phone, my eyes, listen to after someone, saying, “Hey, do you
the hum of the IRT. remember—” They never do. They
There is no language for the after: always look at me, a blank expres-
for when I use the words “cancer sion on their faces in the blue light
scare” when I really mean “he had of their phones. They turn away.
cancer.” It wasn’t a scare, he real- The difference between sick and
ly had it. It really tore into me like well, I’m learning, can be a few
a knife. “He had cancer, and I was days, a few hours, a few moments.
scared,” I tell my mother on the It’s a slim line, and I walk it like the
phone, half-joking, half-serious. My edge of a blade. I’m not well; I am
glassworks 48
hungover, I am anxious, I am Recently have been running out
permanently terrified—but I am not of things to say to people. I’ve been
crazy. Not like I was. The ship has having the feeling like I don’t know
docked in the port after the storm. what to say in normal conversa-
So I schedule my Botox appoint- tions, like everything is just going
ments—the cure for my migraines. over my head. Conversations seem
I joke that it’ll help with the line to be about topics I know nothing
that has etched itself precisely in my about—movies, music, politics—
forehead. Lately I have started to and I can’t keep up. I haven’t seen
look my age, which is twenty-five; Blade Runner in years. “I’ve read the
not a calamity, but a reminder that book,” I tell people when they bring
time passes. I’m no longer the it up. But no one wants to talk about
nineteen-year-old whirlwind I once Phillip K. Dick. No one wants to
was, courting death, crazier than hell. talk to me.
No, I am older and wiser now, and
I am almost afraid of what comes
next, be it good or bad, because I am “No, I am older and wiser
not prepared for more grief.
~ now, and I am almost
Be happy! my partner texts me on
Friday afternoon, out of the blue.
afraid of what comes next,
I’m not unhappy, I text back. I am be it good or bad, because
absentmindedly applying to jobs.
Trying not to think about the future. I am not prepared for

Avoiding work. I have a million oth-
er things I could be doing, but I don’t more grief.
do any of them; I am paralyzed.
Instead I online shop for things
I can’t afford, text my bestie, get a My father has become obsessed
headache from looking at the com- with food, after weeks of not being
puter screen too long, watch Top able to eat because of the chemo.
Chef. Take naps. He takes me out to lunch, where we
I’m not unhappy. I’m not happy, talk about nothing, and everything.
either, but who is? I put Sriracha on My job, his retirement. Our family
everything, even fruit. Tell myself history. We get Mexican food, laugh
I’m going back to my Mexican roots. at the irony. “Do you think they
I can’t stop saying “vibes,” and “love know we’re Mexican?” I ask. He
that for you,” even when I’m not be- laughs. In this way we are father and
ing ironic. My personality has been daughter, peas in a pod. I don’t know
reduced to a series of anecdotes. how to wear my skin any other way.
glassworks 49
Everything in my life has become like the face of a stranger. Often, I
humorous in some way—everything feel my partner is an extension of
is a joke. My partner jokes that ev- myself, like a tentacle or a phantom
erything I wear has some degree of limb, but then he does things that I
irony to it. The big hoop earrings, would never do. Goes dove hunting.
the hokey t-shirts. I’ve become such Buys a Civil War era shotgun. Drinks
a manifestation of myself that I’m a pint of whiskey. I forget that we’re
not even myself anymore. I’m a not the same person, our boundar-
caricature. Everything becomes sur- ies blurring and smearing, and then
real, like a migraine headache, sim- suddenly I remember, like a child
mering under the surface. I go out coming out of sleep.
of body. I watch myself, or someone So I get better. Not all the way
who looks like me, talk to my friends, better, but better enough that I can
make funny comments, perform my go to work, see my friends, spend
life. She is not me. We are not the time alone without actively hurting
same. Then I close my eyes. When myself. My doctor wants me on
I wake up, there’s nothing. Just me, a more robust bipolar cocktail;
staring at a blank wall. preventative measures, he says,
~ just in case, you never know what

“Prosopagnosia—face blindness, the inability to recognize

faces, even ones you’ve met before. I can’t recognize my
own face in the mirror, but I recognize everyone else. ”
Actually, the problem is that could happen. My current cock-
I’m self-obsessed. I can’t see past tail is quite a few pills, but I relent,
my own windshield. Couldn’t stop and play medication guinea pig with
thinking about my own birthday him anyway. I feel like a bug under a
while my father had surgery for his microscope, desperate and wanting
cancer. Yes it’s true, I’m Icarus. When to scurry away, little legs churning.
I turned twenty-five, I spent my day He means well. I don’t know how
in a hospital room. Lately, I’ve been to do this, to be a good sick person.
underdeveloped. Not processing my When sick, I am cranky, frustrated,
own emotions. Drowning in work, bitter, well-educated. I am snappy to
or maybe simply drowning. answer and quick to dismiss. I am
His face is the one I recognize the arrogant. In short, I am everything
most easily, but sometimes, it looks that I am while not sick, but also
glassworks 50
batshit crazy to boot.

Joanna Acevedo | Prosopagnosia

In a way, I am resentful. Some
people are only sick for a period of
time, like my father. He was sick and
now he is well. I will always be sick,
and even though I will have periods
of wellness, the sickness will still lin-
ger. It will always be a part of me.
I will never be cured.
Prosopagnosia—face blindness, the
inability to recognize faces, even
ones you’ve met before. I can’t rec-
ognize my own face in the mirror,
but I recognize everyone else—
potential friends, lovers, enemies.
Everyone seems like an old friend.
I want to chase them down the
street, ask them questions. At least
once a day, I question if I’ve slept
with this or that stranger, and only
don’t remember. Everyone is recog-
nizable. And when I really do r
ecognize someone, from TV or,
more recently, from a fashion blog I
read in the mid-2000s, they greet me
with gusto. Maybe I really do know
everyone. Maybe they’re just waiting
to know me.

glassworks 51
Missing Us During a Downpour in
Reese Menefee

I admire the storm’s mossed backdrop, mug of lukewarm

coffee in my hands, humidity lolling against my skin.
I’ve crowded my countertops with matches and flashlights,
lit every candle for when the power goes out.

You called me a collector once and I’ll admit it,
I collect love like postage stamps, stuff
my pockets with hailstones and voicemails.
I want to text you:
Meet me at our storm-wrecked house.
I’ll catch guttered rain in my mouth
until I’m all rust and water, all hurricane.

You and I are as mold-eaten
as our old bedroom, a portrait of lightning
reflecting every cracked window.

I’ll replace your indifference with quiet
mornings and the sound of stale
cereal going soggy. I’ll press my ear
to the faucet and listen for saltwater,
the wash of your voice seeping through my pipes.

I’ll fall asleep on the couch, and remember
how our mildewed mattress hugged the curb,
sopped puddles, held us together.

glassworks 52
Feather, Ireland
E. O. Connors

glassworks 53
L is for
Judith H. Montgomery

Laura, wrapped in April green—

her stay against winter invading spring
in fevered shivers, unfurling its viral spume.

And L is for loss. Cell phone stilled,

words spilling from her lips—an old friend
who has brought her self to a halt, stopping

breath and pulse to exit a world

too ready for budburst. And L for
linger, a second friend wishing only to live,

but whose crackling lungs cannot

draw breath, who gasps white-sheeted,
deep in an ICU, breath sticking, stuck. L is for

love. And for Laura, who must re-

cast her day, her life, abandon ink and pen,
to comfort and curb, pack this fresh wound—

mourning—into the thinnest box,

to manage, to empty herself, to muster
enough to meet each new need. Who must be

the light, burning and burning the oil

of her self, called again to take up the necessary
summons of love.

glassworks 54
Elegy for a Burnt House
Judith H. Montgomery

This purple fist of lavender—remnant

of my hard-won high desert garden.
Last vestige of the home licked black

by accidental flame, its fragile cedar

shell unraftered, windows blasted loose
by heat. Once, this lavender shimmered

in its blue vase just above white porcelain,

kitchen sink where I rinsed tomatoes,
basil, lettuce heads. It must be cluttered

now with ash, burnt Ponderosa needles,

slop of curdled river water. And what
else? Our cloud-blue bedroom, hung

smoke-stunk, the north deck sunk

under twisted strips of roof ? Sole relic,
the chimney’s stolid lava bricks. What

else survived the night’s long red roar?

The pink crabapples? And the white?
Do they spill still into ravished air,

spared by hoses pumping rivers to hiss

the blaze? We left so much behind.
I raise the vase, its saved stems, purple

blooms, color of half-mourning, into

surviving light. The stiff stalks gleam
beneath a year’s dust, as though

distant ash-aftermath had blown here

to remind us of what’s burnt, lost.
All things come to pass.

glassworks 55
E. O. Connors is a writer and award-winning photographer living
in Connecticut. She has a master’s degree in English Literature and
Creative Writing from Harvard University. Her writing has appeared
in The Furious Gazelle, Lowestoft Chronicle, Rutgers College Quarterly, and
Dungeon Magazine. To read her humor and memoir, or to purchase fine
art prints from her online gallery, visit:

Catherine Edgerton has been inking, layering and stitching mixed-

media records in hand-bound books since age fourteen. Her main areas
of focus are race, the sea, and spiritual dis-ease in a sick society. In
expansion of this work, Edgerton invites lens-shifting through stained
glass. She uses transparent objects—bug wings, film slides, brake lights—
to build kaleidoscopes and TV lanterns, juxtaposing the mundane with
play to create surreal visions of patterns and light. Visit her website for

Gerburg Garmann, a native of Germany, is a former professor

of Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies at the University
of Indianapolis, Indiana, and is now fully concentrating on the arts.
Her scholarly publications appear in English, German, and French in
international journals. Her artwork and poems have appeared in various
magazines and anthologies around the world. Her mission is to inspire
joyful resilience. She specializes in creating art for women. For more
information, visit:

Carella Keil is a writer and digital artist who splits her time between
the ethereal world of dreams, and Toronto, Canada, depending on the
weather. Her art has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Columbia
Journal, Skyie Magazine, Wrongdoing Magazine, The Storms, Burningword,
Wander, Existere, Chestnut Review, Door is a Jar, Grub Street, Sheepshead
Review, Moss Puppy, Free Verse Revolution, Troublemaker Firestarter, and
Vocivia. Follow her at:

glassworks 56
Contributors | Issue 26
Faith McNaughton is a student at Rutgers University - New
Brunswick, studying English, sociology, and creative writing. Her
favorite study and writing partner is Luna, her dog, who resides in
South Jersey. Faith enjoys pulling from themes of adolescence,
womanhood, and queerness in her writing.

Kathryn Reese lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She works in

medical science. Her writing explores themes of nature, spirituality,
myth and the possibility of shape shift. Her poems are published in
Neoperennial Press Heroines Anthology, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Yellow
Arrow Journal.

Joanna Acevedo (she/they) is the Pushcart nominated author of
the chapbooks List of Demands (Bottlecap Press, 2022) and Outtakes
(WTAW Press, forthcoming) and the books The Pathophysiology of
Longing (Black Centipede Press, 2020) and Unsaid Things (Flexible Press,
2021). She received her MFA in Fiction from New York University
in 2021.

Chelsea M. Carney is a novelist, essayist, and freelance writer,

specializing in narrative essay, young adult, and adult fiction. She has
a BA from The New School and is currently working on an MFA in
creative writing. Her work can be found in Elpha, Glassworks Magazine,
and the 12th Street Journal.

Ted McLoof teaches English at the University of Arizona. His work

has appeared in Minnesota Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Monkeybicycle,
Hobart, DIAGRAM, Kenyon Review, Louisville Review, Ninth Letter, Los
Angeles Review, and elsewhere. His debut collection, ANHEDONIA,
is available from Finishing Line Press; you can find it at Amazon
or, and can follow him on all sorts of social media:

glassworks 57
Devon Brock is a line cook and poet living in South Dakota with his
wife and dog. Find him online at:

Amber Lee Carpenter earned an MFA from Columbia College

Chicago. Her essays and hybrid works have appeared in publications
that include sPARKLE & bLINK, Sinister Wisdom, Two Hawks Quarterly,
and riverSedge. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her wife, two
dogs, and cat. Visit her website:

Rachael Inciarte is the author of the chapbook What Kind of Seed Made
You (Finishing Line Press, 2021), which received a 2022 Eric Hoffer
Award Honorable Mention. They live in California, with family.

Karina Jha is a literary enthusiast from Northampton, Massachusetts.

She is currently working towards a BA in Writing, Literature, and
Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. Her work is centered around
themes of femininity, multi-cultural identity, and the melding of fantasy
and reality. She has won multiple awards for poetry, short story, and flash
fiction. To see more of her work, visit:

Sean Madden works for the California Community Colleges’

Chancellor’s Office. He holds an MFA from the University of Kentucky.
The Emerson Review nominated him for a Pushcart Prize in 2022.
Other poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Copper Nickel, Slant,
Waccamaw, The Nonconformist, Sport Literate, Small Print, The Los Angeles
Review, The John Updike Review, and Hawaii Pacific Review. He lives in the
Sierra Nevada foothills with his wife and sons and is currently at work
on a novel and a story collection. Visit him at:

Mary Makofske’s chapbook The Gambler’s Daughter was published

by The Orchard Street Press in 2022. Her latest full-length books are
World Enough, and Time (Kelsay, 2017) and Traction (Ashland Poetry,
2011), winner of the Richard Snyder Prize. Her poems have appeared
in journals including Poetry East, American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry
Review, Talking River Review, Crosswinds, and The Stillwater Review, and in 20
anthologies. Find her online at:

glassworks 58
Contributors | Issue 26
Claire Hamner Matturro has been a journalist, lawyer, organic
blueberry farmer, and professor at Florida State University College
of Law and University of Oregon School of Law. Raised on tales
of errant, unhinged kith and kin and a few nefarious whoppers, she
counts storytelling as her cultural and genetic inheritance. She is the
author of eight novels, including a series published by HarperCollins,
but has returned lately to her first literary love of poetry. She’s a
long-standing associate editor at Southern Literary Review. She and her
husband and their rescued, cross-eyed black cat live in Florida. Find
her online at:

Reese Menefee is a poet from Kentucky. She is an MFA candidate

at McNeese State University. Her work is forthcoming in The Sun
Magazine and The Threepenny Review.

Kathleen McGookey has published four books of prose poems and

three chapbooks, most recently Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53)
and Nineteen Letters (BatCat Press). She has also published We’ll See, a
book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems.
Her work has appeared in Copper Nickel, December, Field, Glassworks,
Miramar, Ploughshares, Quiddity, The Southern Review, and Sweet. She has
received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the
Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Sam Moe is the first-place winner of Invisible City’s Blurred Genres

contest in 2022, and the 2021 recipient of an Author Fellowship from
Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her first chapbook,
Heart Weeds, is out from Alien Buddha Press and her second chapbook,
Grief Birds, is forthcoming from Bullshit Lit in April 2023. You can
find them on Twitter and Instagram as @SamAnneMoe

Judith H. Montgomery’s poems appear in the Bellingham Review,

Tahoma Literary Review, and Poet Lore, among other journals, and in
a number of anthologies. Her first collection, Passion, received the
Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her fourth collection, Litany for
Wound and Bloom, a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Prize, appeared in
2018 from Uttered Chaos Press. Her prize-winning narrative medicine
chapbook, Mercy, appeared from Wolf Ridge Press in 2019.

glassworks 59
Annette Sisson’s poems can be found in Valparaiso Poetry Review,
Birmingham Poetry Review, Rust and Moth, The Citron Review, The Lascaux
Review, Third Wednesday, Five South Weekly, and others. Her book Small
Fish in High Branches was published by Glass Lyre Press in 2022. She was
a Mark Strand Scholar for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference and
has been a winner or finalist of many poetry contests, including Frontier
Poetry’s New Voices Contest and The Fish Anthology annual contest. In
2022, three of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize
and Best of the Net. Visit her website at:

Jacob Stratman’s first collection of poems, What I Have I Offer With Two
Hands, was released in 2019 through the Poiema Poetry Series (Cascade
Books). His most recent poems can be found (or are forthcoming) in
The Christian Century, Spoon River Poetry Review, Salt Hill, Moria, Ekstasis,
among others. He teaches in the English department at John Brown
University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

glassworks 60
Contributors Fiction
Faith McNaughton
Art Kathryn Reese
E. O. Connors
Catherine Edgerton Nonfiction
Gerburg Garmann Joanna Acevedo
Carella Keil Chelsea M. Carney
Ted McLoof

Devon Brock
Amber Lee Carpenter
Rachael Inciarte
Karina Jha
Sean Madden
Mary Makofske
Claire Hamner Matturro
Reese Menefee
Kathleen McGookey
Sam Moe
Judith H. Montgomery
Annette Sisson
Jacob Stratman

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