Contributors

Jena Osman
Contributor History

Biography
Jena Osman
Jena Osman’s books of poems include Corporate Relations (Burning Deck), Public Figures (Wesleyan), The Network (Fence, National Poetry Series selection), An Essay in Asterisks (Roof), and The Character (Beacon, winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize). She cofounded and coedited the literary magazine Chain.

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In Print

Vol. 78
Fear Itself
Spring 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

May 25, 2022
Your sister is losing her voice. It feels like it happened overnight, her lips turning into rubber, but it’s been almost four months, and your sister, who would have suffocated you for calling her doll-like, spends her days sitting by the window, looking at everything and nothing, all at once. For what it’s worth, you try to remind her of her human self. You clamp down on the flap of fat on her arms but not a pipe. A deep paper cut exacts only a hiss of air. She has long, dark Rapunzel hair that thins into her calves, and with a pair of garden scissors, you give her the first haircut she has had in sixteen years. All her history is in her hair, and that’s the problem, you think, the weight of it.
May 18, 2022
Still Life With Flying Sombreros

Three sombreros hung on pegs in a cantina, where their owners stood at a bar, soaking in the tequila. The sombreros got to talking and soon discovered they all despised their owners. “My man,” a sombrero said, “came home drunk every night and beat his wife and children with a hard stick he kept just for that purpose.” Another sombrero confessed that his owner sat on a porch and shot cats that had strayed into his garden. He skinned the cats and displayed their pelts over the fireplace.
May 11, 2022
                                  1.

Someone nodding, and the light pressing down
as though it had weight.
And right in the middle of what I want to say
there’s a long row of chairs. There are green,
red, yellow arches that gradually contract
and close, like doors.
Like a disease whose threshold no one can cross,
she says.
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