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The Natural World

Fiction

A Sandwich Is A Concept

Our biggest fear was dogs. Ronnie and I looked up dog facts like maniacs. Can dogs smell through plastic? Does the USPS use drug dogs? How do you trick drug dogs? How effective are drug dogs? Are drug dogs a scam that the government uses to justify illegal searches?

By Elie Piha January 2023
Poetry

At The Market

It’s Sunday at noon, and the open-air / vendors are planted in their usual spots — picklers / pressed against the outer edge while growers / forest the pathways with kale, collard greens, / and patches of lavender.

By Lori Romero January 2023
The Dog-Eared Page

Selected Poems (And A Conversation)

As part of our ongoing celebration of the magazine’s fiftieth year in print, we asked Ellen Bass and Danusha Laméris to choose a poem by the other for this month’s Dog-Eared Page. We start with a conversation in which they discuss their shared history and why they selected the poems that follow.

The Big Picture
Ellen Bass

I try to look at the big picture. / The sun, ardent tongue / licking us like a mother besotted / with her new cub, will wear itself out. / Everything is transitory.

The Cat
Danusha Laméris

After my brother died, his wife was sure he was living / inside their cat, Rocky. He’s in there, she’d say, staring into / those blank, yellow eyes. Isma’il? Isma’il? Can you hear me?

By Ellen Bass & Danusha Laméris January 2023
Fiction

Frights

Ellie was a bedroom ghost: a dream-visitant, a gentle levitator, a classic cold-sweat presence-in-the-corner, but she felt under-sung. It’s not like the old days, she told us. They attribute everything I do to Ambien—

By Allegra Hyde December 2022
Poetry

Vanished

Where do those lost socks / go? The ones that vanish / between washer and dryer, / submerge in suds and never / surface again?

By Rebecca Baggett December 2022
Poetry

I Feel Sorry For Aliens

Lonely nights I walk to the old / elevator that used to hold Montana / grain: beams rusted, train tracks / ripped out, a patchwork of missing / roof panels framing perfect squares / of starlight

By Anders Carlson-Wee December 2022
Photography

A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.

Photograph By Cole Thompson December 2022
The Sun Interview

Out There

Seth Shostak On The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence

I doubt any aliens we might encounter are going to be biological. I think they’re all going to be machines.

By David Mahaffey December 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

Carl Sagan

December 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fighting The Tree

There were too many trees out back, some so high they were dangerous. If one of those passing storms came, the kind that tore off roofs and stripped shingles, a sky-high pine could definitely rip out its roots and crash down on our home.

By Davon Loeb December 2022