commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | spring 2008  
Like Joe Hill, Khrushchev Was Not Dead | John M. Anderson

But was wearing out his days with his ancient wife
below the church in the little Colorado town
where I grew up. The dedication

of his grave site was being held, by his wishes,
while he was yet well enough to attend, tall,
bald, wearing a pressed blue Soviet suit. His wife

whispered to us when his back was turned, "Nikita
is so sick, they're using oenotherapy to keep him
bottled? pickled, is it?" The old man looked 

unsettled at the gravestone, the stonecutter's
tools, sketch and template lying beside it.
"They left out date," he muttered and threw his leg

over the cast iron half-fence like an altar rail
around the grave. "Because he's alive," the wife
explained, everyone watching. He carved

without experience but swiftly, confidently, the Russian
numerals, swoop and serif. Then still unsettled, attended
to the borders, carving cherries the birds might peck at, lost,

absorbed in his work, cherries that seemed to darken into red. 

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Like Joe Hill | John M. Anderson
Taking Back Cambodia | Vincent Reusch
Things We Find | Virginia Bell
American Dreamtime | Robert Warrington
After Reading Bernhard | Edward Mc Whinney
A Spring Sunday | Heywood Broun
Three Poems | Amy Groshek

Contradiction | from the editor

James Harpur, Laura Solomon,
Heywood Broun, David Pierce, Bruce Barcott,
Bill Holm, Jonathan Raban

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