heaven whatever it may look like is filled with conversation so loud a person can barely hear themselves

By Aidan Dolbashian

Featured Art: Fruits and Vegetables by Bright Kontor Osei

you sit down to dinner with your mother        an ape appears in the kitchen and begins poking
around                i’m looking for the other ape                 he says                the ape pulls out a frying pan
and places it on your head        he asks you if there is another ape under the frying pan
               you and your mother tell him no and little black hairs wriggle out of your arms and your
face wrinkles like a dried apricot and your knuckles rap upon the floor                       no that’s
wrong the ape says      the other ape isn’t like that                        

the ape finds an empty seat at the table with an empty plate and an empty cup        i love pork
chops and applesauce he says and coincidentally this is what you are eating               but i’m not
hungry at the moment          you see               i am much too missing the other ape                  you
understand him         the hairs on your arm grow thicker and blacker         you ask the ape if he
would like to say grace                       the ape bows his head and says           god tells bad jokes      

you all open your eyes to an angel    immaculate and chrome           stuffing its face with pork
             the angel licks a glob of fat from its metallic lips and says      god does not-              but the
ape holds up a hand and says              no that’s wrong            the other ape isn’t like that                    
             and crushes the angel like a sardine tin in his leathery fist                the ape turns to your
mother she nods and little black hairs wriggle out of her arms        you all three settle in to eat     
               but no one is hungry                don’t worry      says the ape   it’s normal                     it’s all
too normal         everything in the room settles             at this             you hear the softness of
footsteps upstairs         wanting only to tell you            all about         who they spoke to today

Aidan Dolbashian is a graduate of University College Dublin’s M.A. Creative Writing program, where he served as the poetry editor for the HCE Review, the UCD M.A. program’s former literary journal. He obtained his B.A. in English from the University of Vermont, where he produced an honors thesis centered on the prose poem. He is the recipient of the Benjamin B. Wainwright award for poetry. His work has been previously published in Bat City Review, Juked, Porridge Magazine, and Oyster River Pages.

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