Current Issue

Night Walks

Sometimes I feel like someone’s going to shoot me, right between my shoulder blades, when I’m walking alone at night. It’s just me, the sidewalk, and the occasional dog shit most of the time, but other times I get the sense that someone is focusing right in that space on my spine.


The child was dead before Irina Putavich plunged her hands into the scalding water and lifted him startled-faced to the air. The baby was limp. As his round nose and the fat cheeks with which he so powerfully suckled rose above the shining scrim of clear water, he did not open his small heart-shaped mouth [...]

Lost Novella

In 2004 I stopped reading books. I had just stopped smoking. I’d stopped smoking because I’d nearly completed writing a novella when my laptop sputtered and died. The data, despite some effort, was unrecoverable. I grieved like someone dear had died.

Oh This Route―Not 66

A chauffeured Jaguar, white, awaits. For now I tend my own modest rose. Poems at the door, early, late, gather. A dream ladder climbs. Ten wishes rise.


Beauty was hard for me to find on a spare cot or in the back of a truck, when I had no home. & then I did,

The Oldest Daughter Flies to Dublin

Over northern Canada, she may feel most alone, although it is the longest day of the year


I’m surrounded by you, Indiana. You’re heavy in the trees tonight.

The Epic of Senge

We moved to Philadelphia from an Indian village & shipped our big old tomcat, Senge.

Isaiah 54:5 (A Self-Portrait)

He packed up the years in one suitcase at summer’s bloom left everything undone I stood still & wooden in the empty yard exhausted by the sudden drought

A Turn in the Path

I leave you standing on the curb step over the border of river rocks—


When I was younger, I was always leaving my shoes behind, always, though, with a good excuse.

Peace Is a Dream

Pete was thin, just muscle, dark skin and anger, stuffed inside an ancient Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast t-shirt,

Sing, Philadelphia, Sing

Hello! This gorgeous issue marks the second collaboration between Philadelphia Stories and the Free Library’s annual One Book, One Philadelphia program.