While strangers come and go at the estate sale a town of sparrows overtakes a fallen limb twittering their news pecking for position dominating and submitting. The birds stay like a restlessness can stay until the light leaps from the house tears over the trees and the hills. I walk as a ghost in the yellow house touch the china on their table stand beside the bed they sailed in buy one of their many books on theosophy. I fall in love with the lovers and their old-fashioned names take up my place on their bench watching their house for its story.

     The Buddha watches emptiness. He is unemployed a beggar possibly crazy. He lives outside the law on public land against the principle that state and church are separate. No wonder he keeps getting arrested and removed.
From the Archives: Celebrating Black History Month
   Quisa’s thoughts never walked in a single direction, and she took this personally too. She breathed the dirty, humid air of her city. When she opened her eyes, life seemed tedious and long, unreasonably precious. Nothing was wrong with her. Her hair was glossy and strong. Her bills were mostly paid. She taught herself to walk with such a lightness that from the right distance, you wouldn’t guess that Quisa was Quisa. But at some point, for some reason, she had stopped looking people in the eye. Then she got to the point where she could no longer speak without resenting the tongue in her mouth. So, Quisa wound up making a second version of herself by faking the real her all the time.

    Unfortunately, Second Quisa wasn’t much better. 
Humans have a genius for fear. Its range and registers are as vast and old as life itself. And fear—whether founded or irrational—is present in the myths, songs, arts, literatures, and historic legacies of every culture. 

Our spring 2022 issue, Conjunctions 78: Fear Itself, will explore fear in its countless guises. Fear Itself will feature new work from Akil Kumarasamy, Shane McCrae, Rebecca Lilly, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Ford, Elizabeth Robinson, Julia Elliott, Barbara Tomash, Bin Ramke, Troy Jollimore, and more. Subscribe or preorder today at the special price of $15 to receive this issue straight off the presses in May 2022.
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Every dollar donated helps us continue to connect fearless writers with adventurous readers.
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