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Work from Philadelphia-based creatives




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'Haibun After a Tornado in Pennsylvania' by Faith Paulsen

The late summer brings forth baseball, roses, and wreckage. A chainsaw roars. The high school gym roof gapes open and unmasked to the cloudless sky. Guests survey the damage. A prostrate street sign blasts the words Left Lane Must Turn Left pinned to the concrete. A tree limb excalibered deep into soil. Children grasp and tug, then give up on removing it. Smells of wet grass and sawdust. A family drags debris to the curb, first fence posts, then shingles, then a pink plastic doll house. Second-floor bedroom pried open, cross-sectioning bookshelves, wall, insulation.
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'Mr. Salameh Gets Drunk at the Wedding' by Susan Muaddi Darraj

There was a man in the ballroom of the Sheraton wearing a skirt. Mr. Salameh watched the man approach the buffet. He still couldn’t believe he was at a wedding—his son’s wedding—where you had to stand in line and fetch your own food. So many insults, so many things wrong with this wedding. A daughter-in-law who couldn’t pronounce her new husband’s name. A wedding that cost a year’s salary. A fight with his wife. A DJ who played American music that sounded like a video game. A celebration less than forty days after they’d buried his mother. The mass for her soul hadn’t even been said, and here was her only grandson, dancing a strange dance with his skinny wife, flapping their arms like terrified birds.
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'Mama and the Clothesline/Tuckahoe 2001' by Edythe Rodriguez

She bent slowly, grabbin the damp bedsheet from the laundry basket. then stood, arms stretched so nothin touched the ground. Mama snapped the sheet in the wind to scare the wrinkles out, took the splinterin clothespin and stuck it on the thin line runnin cross the parkin lot. all our stuff danced on display but the drawers.
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'Fluttering Heart' by Neil Kennedy

You said we needed a cage. We found one at a thrift store. It was a round cage with a big domed top that reminded me of a mosque or a Russian church. There were three perches inside and plenty of floor space. I’m sure it wasn’t brass, but the bars were that color and set far enough apart to not obscure the view looking in. Nobody wanted it to feel like a prison. We brought it home. It sat on your lap on the ride. It was a nice day and the sun came through the windows and reflected on the bars of the cage. You absolutely tapped your fingers on the bars. When you noticed you were doing it you stopped, looked over to me, and smiled.
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