Ben Walter’s fiction piece is one large paragraph, the sentences long and winding. “And Closing the Door Behind You” is a beautifully sad story, but giving you too much “about” will take away from the piece; you’ll have to read it yourself. The narrator remembers a hike:
And I think hard about this, the long drive south and the approach from Farmhouse Creek and then suddenly the pain in my back is the ache of a heavy pack bearing down for days and the fire in my legs is the throbbing wail of bones as they slump at the campsite in the spent light, and the tent is alert and watching as we cook across the flames, and Keith is snorting at my face as I sip the rough grog he is handing round the circle, and ahead and above the peak is stabbing, shattering the sky, a fang leaping from the range, and I think of the fear I felt as we climbed that leaping mountain, escorted by the stories of those who had plunged below, the young man who had helped his father down with careful instructions, then stepping back for a better, relaxed vantage . . . and then the relief and the triumph of the summit as we leaned against the inner ring of rocks and stared at each other’s grinning faces just as much as we gazed at the view of ranges and valleys, as though we were all, people and peaks, part of the same company and landscape, and yes, I say to Tony, I reckon we could do it, I think I can still remember the way.This is one sentence, and we meander along in the text, reflecting the long hike she has made, and as soon as we are given that final period of a breath, she, too, can break from her memory—“I think I can still remember the way.”
“They sit with their knuckles touching / in courteous stiff rapture,” starts Ron Pretty’s “Knuckles.” By just looking at the way these two lay their hands on the table, “touched but not committed, / together but not holding on,” the narrator says that you can tell they desire an affair, but the progress is so slow it “might never reach the street.”
Lyn Reeves’s poem is short but powerful, packing a punch in the last stanza with only six lines. How quickly and in such a brief moment your life can change forever:
With the first flutterIn a different way, Michael Sharkey, too, reminds us of the quickness of the world by showing the peace of a morning before the rush. “LVIV,” named for the city in Ukraine that serves as a center of art, literature, music, and theatre, starts “in the calm before the trams squeal round the corner of the square / where I am faced again with poverty of language I possess / and lack of time.” The poem, just as the narrator does, takes time to notice and take in the atmosphere:
of your nascent limbs
my world turned over
the girl I was became
mantled by the word:
but explore yourself, this place says: there’s no radio
or music to abduct you, only streets that fill with thinkers
just like you in time-lapse study of each moment
and no camera but your eyes and ears,
such motion and such life, on this first morning, and the thoughtThe issue also contains more fiction, poetry, essays, and an interview with Australian writer Nathan Curnow. Communion literary journal holds strong promise for continuing work worth reading.
of others like it and the foretaste of the cup, and why not,
do the same tomorrow when the dawn breaks here again.