Poetry | Hektoen International


Slavena Salve Nissan New York, New York, USA   “a baby girl in a pink hat with her grandfather” this is the third time this week a baby girl in a pink hat with her grandfather in the lobby of the cancer building me at the table next to them tuna sandwich unwrapped but suddenly […]

Thinking of my dying grandmother at the Natural History Museum

Roxana Cazan Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA   Bosnian landscape. Photo by Melisa Javier-Wetklow.   At the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, I am promised “the assemblage of nature’s ultimate machine,” its precise lurking, one foot crossing the Silurian, its simian lurch trapped behind shatterproof glass. I zigzag through the dinosaur world, the tender bend of […]

Five Untitled Poems

Simon Perchik East Hampton, New York, USA   Mark Rothko, No. 61 (Rust and Blue), 1953, 115 cm × 92 cm (45 in × 36 in). Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles   * Slowly the glass, half filled, half melting down for a slipper not yet hardened into light   is flickering the way […]

On the banks of the ganges

Susan M. Beck Fort Collins, Colorado, USA   Listen. She told me how her brother died in a screaming instant of metal and splintering windshield. She told me in the silence of the exam room, my brain let go of Latin names, syndromes, the architecture of molecules, which way sodium, and potassium flow across the […]

Christian cutting at Vancouver General

Amber Moore Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   Vancouver General Hospital She calls it “Christian cutting,” and laughs dryly, as if trying to soak the secret back up. It’s futile; in the Psychiatry Assessment Unit at Vancouver General, everything spills out eventually anyway- it gushes. Carving crucifixes in her skin, she prays to Mary because Jesus […]

We mortals

Daniel  Moran Webster, New Hampshire, United States   We long for the perfection in these things of the world, Life certain in its bilateral symmetry, Generations strung like pearls on an imagined wire. We squint at the sun. We marvel at the plaintive syllables of songbirds. We admire tallness and clarity. Feeling the vibrations of […]

Life savings

Daniel Moran Webster, New Hampshire, United States   Aging is the bank which accepts deposits, and will not ever give them back. But it does have its tiny catalogue of compensations.I recall those ancient days when opening that account might earn you a new toaster or blender, a set of steak knives. This week, after […]


Daniel Moran Webster, New Hampshire, United States I love the world. When it does not encroach. When people do not knock at my door. I want to know what is happening. Out there between commercials. I want to worship. But I find nothing sacred.So I am contented with bottomless thinking. About the blossom of daylight, […]


Evgeniya Larionova Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA    Photography by Michael Dykstra She, brought in by ambulance, that winter day The tiny snowflakes peacefully falling their blind way Broken, betrayed; Fresh track marks on her arms… “Will I never get saved from doing self-harm?” From the abyss of hell she never felt kindness She left AMA… How to […]

Tending Babe Ruth’s grave

Jacob M. Appel New York City, New York, USA   Babe Ruth’s grave in Gate of Heaven Cemetery   We’ve got our share of notables and has-beens, Mobsters and vaudeville stars and even Bess Houdini, Harry’s widow, tucked under polished Barre granite, But the Babe’s our star attraction. Old-time fans And kids stuffed into vintage […]