Hand & Hip

Courtney K. Bambrick

The thin wisp of warmth
evaporates after a moment,
gone until a small breath

catches you in whatever place

Reading Her Skull

Natalie Ford

because it’s close now
under her thrust pale skin,
catching every stranger’s eye
before they refocus
and rush to greet us
passing in the street

Standing Still (Excerpt)

Kelly Simmons

In all things, I blame the husband.

Women who sleep with teenage boys, women who shoplift collectibles, Yes. Their rotten husbands drove them to it.

And that is why, when the kidnapper cracks open our new skylight like an oyster and slithers in, I don’t blame the defective latch, the alarm system, or the thin bronze shell of the new tin roof. The dotted line of fault doesn’t lead to my architect or contractor or engineer.

And oddly, lastly, I do not blame my intruder. And that explains everything that follows, doesn’t it?

“The Kiss Me Stone”

Barry Dinerman

In a previous life, my husband was an alley cat in Rome who lived in the Colosseum and whose purrs originated in his scrotum. Now he finds love in the belly of compost heaps and in the folds of Burpee Seed envelopes—fixed and declawed as he is. These thoughts are typical of the private games I play each morning before I visit Karen’s grave. The content of my mental life is the Swiss-army knife of daily cemetery goers: it snips, scrapes, uncorks, screws, and whittles its way to consecrated ground.

Crow in a Puddle

Brian Patrick Heston

A city boy, I was used to potholes
filled with rainwater. But this was Durham

New Hampshire. A single crow
splashed like a kid in a plastic

The (O)ther Kahn

Ona Russell

He was not the one disfigured in youth, the one who rose to fame, the one whose story has been told in books and film. He was not the celebrated architect, Louis I. Kahn. He was Lou’s brother, Oscar, a man whose unsung life was unexpectedly cut short, a man I never met but for whom I was named. He was my grandfather, and after all these silent, shadowy years, his faded image is starting to clear.

From the Editors

Carla Spataro and Christine Weiser

Spring and summer brought many firsts to Philadelphia Stories: our first contest, the Rosemont Writer’ s Retreat, and the launch of PS Books, our new regional books division.