Current Issue

Letter from the Poetry Editor

Philadelphia Stories is excited to share the winning poem in this year’s Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry: Caitlin Kossmann’s “Airborne.”

Airborne

While they are sitting with the empty seats between them I am cleaning the flies stuck, dead, to the toilet seat in the apartment no one has touched for four months.

On a Day’s Pause from the Rigors of Metastases We Walk Through Laurel Hill Cemetery, You and I

We have returned to see the lion, his human-like fingers of stone gripping stone where he sits above the river in the rain, high above us on a massive pedestal.

Plural

are the ants and the petals the smooth red turned orange turned the beginnings

Why I Never Talk About My Mother

When my father remembers my mother has died, when he realizes he had forgotten, and he cries

A Black Body Stuffed in a Villanelle

One day, I’m going to be a star. Immortalized on a t-shirt at a justice walk, Momma pray that I make it to the squad car.

Warning, Do Not Eat Your Fortune: 40 Dating Reminders Every Woman Over 40+ Needs to Hear Now!

1. You are not a ghost.

DAD, BECAUSE YOU MADE ME DESTROYER OF WORLDS, YOURS, TOO

To you, connoisseur of cave mushrooms, imperious orderer of the underground,

Sunrise

I knocked on my aunt’s door as insistently as my cold knuckles and army gloves would let me. The sound was pathetic and I’d be surprised if she could hear it. But just in case she could, I took a step back to wait.

Summer’s End

Don’t talk about them. Don’t talk about that family at the end of the street, don’t talk about the house with the woods beside it. Just ignore them, and don’t talk about them.

Making Eggplant Disappear

Every day for two weeks, my refrigerator vegetable drawer, stocked full on grocery day, slowly emptied.

Dearly Beloved, You are my people, Do not pass on this story

As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” Romans 9:25

Review: Carlos Andres Gomez, “Fractures”

In this rigorously introspective collection, poet Carlos Andrés Gómez looks at masculinity, family, language, and responsibility from the perspective of someone who recognizes the dangers of leaving corrosive attitudes unexamined.

Review: Dilruba Ahmed, “Bring Now the Angels: Poems”

I approached Ahmed’s second full length book Bring Now the Angels as if the title were a command, but I was wrong—it is an appeal, almost a cue.

Review: Joanne Leva, “Eve Heads Back”

Eve Heads Back (2021) is Joanne Leva’s sophisticated follow-up to Eve Would Know (2017, also from Kelsay Books).