Issue One

Front Matter


What matters are the writers and their work, without their dedication and creativity, Scintilla, wouldn’t exist.  The inspiration for the magazine came from my love of writing and a desire to work with writers.  I looked around at publications I loved and thought, I wish I could be involved.  It’s easy to put up barriers and… Read more »


After the Rainbow

Colors. Imogene heard colors, or rather, she saw them—little bursts of bright yellows, pea greens, and aquamarines. With every sound that filtered through her eardrum, Imogene saw a color to match. She first noticed her power as a little girl: With the back and forth, sway and repeat of the wooden swing in the backyard,… Read more »


“Moose. Indian.”

–The last words of Henry David Thoreau Why not “It’s been a good life. I sucked out lots of marrow”? Why not “The cabin was cold, but I got a book out of it”? Or how about “Wolf. Settler.” “Honeybee. Loner.” Or “Why all those beans?” Or “My god, I kept track of everything except… Read more »

A Little Relief

The sky this morning won’t give up its rain. The trees stand perfectly still, leaves up, praying for it. The flowers bow down in the grayness while birds do what birds always do. The air feels wet as if the molecules could spontaneously burst into droplets. We’ve let the asparagus grow wild, a good two… Read more »

A Man I Know

A man I know walks down the road behind his house. All year, he wears a scarf and stocking cap. When he nears our place, the dogs bark. I know there is always grape jelly on his shelf. He told me. And he also told me at night he thinks about birds. Sometimes he decides… Read more »

Adirondack Poem

The big blue chairs rise from the weeds. Majestic in their ease of triumph. Backs straight, aligned, they define the day’s light with their shadows.

After The Storm

The stillness fills with all the sounds that were covered by the wind: the slow trickle of water seeping between roots gathering, dripping from leaves, the celebration songs of frogs in the field, the lilting call of the robin in the darkness, and the massive silence of the skies still flowing with patches of black… Read more »

Bright Wind

—after Darwish Bright wind in a fleeting summer and the leaves are white, white and the sun is a ball of plated gold. Don’t say that I know a field of high cotton. I know nothing of my country that has stumbled from the mountains to the sea except my father’s coat and the spine… Read more »

Coil and Synonyms

“In this way, the length of our life is metaphorically the length of thread that is coiled on a spool.” —Wikipedia definition for ‘Mortal Coil’ To cull— as in wheat from the chaff, the best from the lot, the weak in a herd of livestock. To turn— leaves and then the year. I turn to… Read more »


In the shadows of the backyard, swung vertical, on edge, like a topsail puffed taut in a wind, the hammock has unloaded a pillow, half-glasses, and an autobiography. They lie scattered at my father’s feet. He died a year ago, strung between retirement and the monitors that told his family the waiting was over. Now… Read more »


My mother once said that the women went mad from the sound of the wind on the rocks. She warned me: never wait for that scream at the door. But still I lie awake in the dark, imagining each howl a silhouette on my stoop, a stranger’s step, your hand a-sail up my leg. The… Read more »

In Green Alaska

That particular silver light slanting off the aspen leaves, evoking olive groves rinsed in Iberian sunlight and spread out to dry against the windy frame of plowed red fields, utterly out of place in the subarctic, is left in the wake of leaf miners scraping meals from the green of whole groves and hills, weakening… Read more »

Novel Longing

Take me with you into the bath the water so hot hives rise from some dark epitome— read my Braille with your scalloped fingers, all the secrets of my skin revealed in every shiver and chill, all the inky secrets of my soul bleeding through my thin vellum— grip me like the Harlequin a hungry… Read more »

On A Hot Day, I Sweat

They say don’t sweat the small stuff But of course that begs the question, Of what, to sweat, is big? The oceans and the sky Are big by global standards, Lake Michigan from a rowboat, Your cock, if it’s in my mouth. My orthodontist said I have a small mouth, So definitely don’t sweat it…. Read more »

Report from the End of the Twentieth Century

Last night our house settled deep into swells burnished by moonlight Our sleep was the sleep of mollusks I’m walking sidewalks imprinted with years, hands, and animal tracks The concrete ages like coral torn from the sea A red day-lily blossom floats in grassy leaves browning toward winter Rose petals fold back into hips One… Read more »

The Sweater

It fit me like a barrel, the thicket of woven wool with a teddy bear sewn on front. It was the kind of sweater you hoped never to get. I picked it out myself both from the store and tonight, for the dance. I spied K’s circle of girls at mid-court in low and strobe… Read more »

Weekend Breakfast

With the sound of a buzzer, breakfast is done. The onions, peppers that were cut, the eggs that were broken, the bread that was sliced is now toasted. We sit back together, cloth napkins in our laps, and take that first aromatic sip of tea. For the next half hour, nothing comes between us. No… Read more »