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Story in Which I Am Renamed Saint

Read by J. Camp Brown

It’d been so long since we’d touched, you thought I must’ve found God. I caught you in the dark watching a video: a piano on the curb letting itself be touched and touched, singing for any finger that asked. It only survived one night before men with sledgehammers shattered it to tinder, took away each metal part that sang. Each time I caught you watching this–your face glowing in the darkness of our bedroom–you told me you were learning acceptance. After all, this is the world we live in: men can be broken and made whole again. Woman with all her faults remains dismembered: body and body parts forever being torn to pieces. I understand why you wouldn’t wish to risk that, you said, leaving space in bed between us, but growing increasingly jealous of thunder because it alone could rouse me in the night. This is the God you imagined for me: a storm I had no choice but to wake for. Maybe our God is the same. In my head, he has dark hair and olive skin and is far from soft when he bites a crucifix on the back of my neck.

Anna Rose Welch is an editor and violinist in Erie, PA. She holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2014, The Kenyon Review Online, Barrow Street, Crab Orchard Review, Guernica, The Paris-American, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals.