J. Scott Bugher
A Cincinnati Boil

J. Scott Bugher - A Cincinnati Boil

J. Scott Bugher is a writer, artist and session musician living in Indianapolis, Indiana. His poetry and short stories have… Read more »
Michael Lavers
Light Years

Michael Lavers - Light Years

Michael Lavers completed an MFA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. His poems and essays have appeared in… Read more »
Ash Bowen
Murder in the Red Barn

Ash Bowen - Murder in the Red Barn

Ash Bowen’s first collection of poems, The Even Years of Marriage, won the 2012 Orphic Book Prize for Poetry and… Read more »
Laura McCullough
Nautical Tattoo

Laura McCullough - Nautical Tattoo

Laura McCullough’s most recent book of poems is Rigger Death & Hoist Another. Her other books are Panic, Speech Acts,… Read more »
Roy Bentley
One Wench in the House between Them

Roy Bentley - One Wench in the House between Them

Roy Bentley’s work has been recognized with fellowships from the NEA, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio… Read more »
Mark Wisniewski
To Bukowski, #43

Mark Wisniewski - To Bukowski, #43

Mark Wisniewski’s second novel, Show Up, Look Good, was praised by Ben Fountain, Kelly Cherry, T.R. Hummer, Jonathan Lethem, and… Read more »
Hilary Sideris

Hilary Sideris - What

Hilary Sideris’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Green Mountains Review, Memoir, Quiddity, The Southampton Review, and Southern Poetry… Read more »
Richard Prins

Richard Prins - Zunguka

Richard Prins is a New Yorker who sometimes lives in Dar es Salaam. He received his MFA degree in poetry… Read more »

A Cincinnati Boil

J. Scott Bugher

When I was trapped and taken away
from the wetlands, it felt like stepping outside
a freezing movie theater in August
somewhere near Death Valley, where airstreams
are the fumes of ten thousand blow dryers
and the sun is within walking distance.
All I could do was panic with the others piled over me
inside the crate. The trapdoor fell open.
We were dropped onto a conveyor belt and transported
to a purging tank where they held us in shallow pools
of water with citric acid and baking soda.
My skin was bleached the color of blood orange.
I had never felt so pure.
Minutes later a group of us were trapped inside
a burlap sack cinched with a drawstring.
There must have been a hundred of us
sacked together, unable to move. We were one hundred
muscle spasms covered in bone, fighting to maintain a pulse.
After our redeye to Cincinnati, we were released
into a cooler of water in the bed… Read more »