As early as last year we were guided in our editorial choices for this issue by a certain tendency towards apocalypse -- the last issue of a year which has groan-inducingly been touted as the last since, well, whenever the last time was that people longed to be at the End of History in ways more literal than metaphorical. The first poem we took for this issue with that in mind was Mike Allen's "The Vigil," and so we're particularly delighted to find that this poem sparked Elisabeth's imagination such that she oriented her artwork along its lines, setting the issue's overall tone with a glance.
But this is not an issue of violent explosions so much as aftermaths; it is not an issue of bangs so much as whispers, crouchings, look-over-your-shoulder-ings.
As a futher delight, csecooney has set her eye and hand to making up a poem out of lines from this issue's pieces. A taste:
I do not feel beautiful
I tasted mysteries at an early age, drank secrets
while father watched like a
moon, from the upstairs window
the Devil likes his blue-eyed boys
I brought him down
In the wreckage of his secrets