Poetry | Hektoen International


Evgeniya Larionova Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States    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 […]

Tending Babe Ruth’s grave

Jacob M. Appel New York City, New York, United States (Spring 2018)   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 […]

Death notices

Jacob M. Appel New York City, New York, United States (Spring 2018)   The Suicide by Édouard Manet 1877–1881 Browsing the obituaries over Sunday brunch — one never knows what nugget one may find, a former grade school teacher or some biddy from one’s mother’s mahjongg klatch — I stumble upon the wedded name of the girl I’d […]


Edgar Miller Baltimore, Maryland, United States (Spring 2018)   The author’s grandparents, both physicians, on rounds at Shanta Bhawan Mission Hospital in Nepal around 1960. Rounds In the round The pale orange Cloud-like couches Filled with suits and ties And men Who sit in reserve Awaiting an opening to offer an opinion To rehash the […]

Upon viewing Félix Vallotton’s La Malade

Lois Leveen Portland, Oregon, United States (Spring 2018)   La Malade (1892) by Félix Vallotton The sick girl turns her back to me The maid won’t meet my eye The near-bare walls hold one dim print The chair sits crookedly The medicines are kept bedside The table can expand That’s how we all know what’s unsaid— […]


Eden Almasude Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (Spring 2018)     Sipping Scotch and watching fava beans Spurt new life from the earth I ruminate: a dead man’s ribcage, mutilated The skin of his scalp, Limp without a skull beneath for: science and medicine? Or curiosity? I smell the morgue In sweat from my run and wonder […]


Lisa Baron Conshohocken, PA    Stillness Heals photo by Ross Lance Mitchell On the Women’s Porch, Crest Sanatorium, 1917 The nurse says, nothing on our nightstands, and nothing on our walls. We are urged to keep our minds and bodies uncluttered for the silent fighting. But we all have our little stacks of black-and-white photos […]


Eden Almasude Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (Spring 2018)   I don’t remember your name, Only fasciculating muscles beginning to waste Nerves with unknown lesions A toe up, a reflex down The neurologist quietly notes, Bulbar involvement entails a poor prognosis Meaning: if you can’t talk, you can’t breathe Each new symptom foreboding Slow, stepwise death We […]

Finding Peace

Zachary G. Jacobs San Francisco, California, United States (Spring 2018)   Finding Peace Photograph taken and edited by Zachary Jacobs The ocean wind gusts, heady and thick, chapped lips speckled with briny grit. Gulls yammer in protest of the breeze, fits of throaty birdsong amid the whisper of the sea. She sits. Sand conforms lovingly to […]

Welcome aboard

Myron F. Weiner Dallas, TX (Fall 2017)   Charon carries souls across the river Styx Greetings! Welcome to your afterlife! I am Charon, your boatman; your guide from life to death. Life differs for everyone who is born. Death is the same. Although, stooped, I am strong enough To convey you to See the river […]