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THE BEACH -- Accepted


"The Beach" was accepted by Emerge Literary Journal.

***
THE BEACH
after the tsunami on 3/11/2011 

Grandmother packs dried 
persimmons in a plastic 
bag and walks to the beach. She writes 
Father’s name on a wooden 
stick when his body is buried 
in the sand. I trace 
the wrinkle around his mouth. My nails 
catch a million pieces of crushed 
shells. There are countless 
bodies along the shores. I see 
a picture of Father 
holding me, laughing, on his sixtieth 
birthday. Last February, 
he was here. We ate 
the persimmons together. 

Grandmother says she does not 
dream about him, so 
I don’t. Seagulls cry so 
hard by my ears. I  
remember the way he called 
my name. Before I rebuild 
his house, I will take him to a real 
graveyard. I will buy a lot of 
tombstones. His name 
will be engraved on them. 

Do you remember the neighbor’s yapping dog? 
It is dead too, so 
I will give it a small stone. I know 
Father will finally 
become holy, but I do not have 
a pillow. It would be too 
cold to sleep on the tombstone. 
Grandmother says I cannot sleep until 
he is in the graveyard. I tell her 
I am digging the body 
up right now. And I carry it 
to the hill. The tombstones 
are arriving. I have plenty. 

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RHINO Poetry 2017 this Saturday, April 29, at The Book Stall

3 pm RHINO editors write poems-on-demand! Order a poem-to-go on any topic of your choice. RHINO editor-poets will compose a poen for you on the spot in ild school typewriters for a small donation to the magazine.

4-5 pm Featured reading by RHINO 2017 poets and editors. Copies of the new issue will also be on sale. Grab some RHINO swag--bookmarks and buttons and meet the editors and poets of this 40+ award-winning literary magazine.

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Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University South Bend. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, “Home, No Home”, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Other short collections, “Silver Seasons of Heartache” and “Cochlea”, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in May, 2017. Currently she is working on her graphic poetry co…

Pre-Order "Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" Today!

"Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" (The winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest, selected by Janine Joseph) will be available from Backbone Press (Spring 2018).

Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”

Pre-Order Your Copy Today from Backbone Press!