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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2010 - Vol. 7, Issue 1

"Again", "Explanations", and "Responses"

Written By

Kathleen Grieger

Bandages off, I’m allowed

to sit up. I turn one way, seeing no

difference. Inspecting the other,

I gaze into the mirror

Right side curving softly,

curls cover my shoulder

Left side, shaved and stapled

New scar seeming sharp...


Written By

Diane Hoover Bechtler

The anesthesiologist was long gone, slipping others into dreamless night, which was a shame. I wanted to thank her for the easy drift. Where others had knocked me out cold, she made good on her promise to ease me under. The drugs had changed and were much kinder now. I was soon awake and clear-headed. Or so I thought.


Someone said, “Is her mouth drooping?”

"Goose Gobbles Joy" and "Webs and Razors "

Written By

Dorothy Baker

The dream drums,

The wind goose comes

The wire tightens

Winter’s hold.

A war blots out the sun...

"Legislative Awareness Day"

Written By

Erika Jahneke

Ned Corner(R-IN) liked to think of himself as a Fair Man. He pictured that sentence in a history book, or in his eulogy.


“Kelly!,” Corner yelled for his smartest page, “I need you to do some research for me.”




Kelly was prompt, reliable, female, and too serious to have dirty thoughts about. In short, she was the perfect staffer for the post-Foley era. This was a good thing, because whether or not Corner was a fair man, he was a lazy one, called Cutting Corner by his generous House colleagues.


Written By

Sergio Ortiz

There is no simple way

of getting misplaced

in the city: too many signs,

landmarks, and directions...

"Take My Legs. Please."

Written By

Rosalie McClung

What’s the best way to kill yourself? Let’s see. There’s strangulation. I could hang myself with an old pair of pantyhose from the tree in the frontyard. But that’s a bit too public. Everybody driving by could see me wrangle and rot. And then any loose dog might be tempted to nibble my carcass.


Forcing me to suffer through eighties country music might do the trick.

"Where Have All The Ducks Gone?"

Written By

Katy Wimhurst

As she often did these days, Louise walked alone into the urban park, wandering down a wide avenue lined with lime trees. It was raining a little, but sunlight penetrated through gaps in the clouds, giving the park an odd, luminescent glow. The light seemed alien to Louise, like it wasn't real, like it'd somehow been artificially painted onto the gloomy air. She turned left down a narrow pathway and her attention was drawn to a couple standing in the shadows under an oak tree, engrossed in a kiss. She stopped and stared at them, then bit down on her lip and hurried on.

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