Fall 2016

Edited by Barry Kitterman | Andrea Spofford | Amy Wright


October 2001

​Anuradha Bhowmik

Trick or treating was cancelled. Anthrax in

powder form could crawl under letter flaps,

hide in split Pixie sticks, slip inside slits

of candy wrappers, the folds of treat sacks. 


We once went doot-to-door with plastic bags:

pink with drawstrings, saved from bus station gift 

shops that sold I Spy books with bargain tags,

bought after trips to the Newark Asylum Office.


I had learned English from cable TV: 

from Rupert, Little Bear, Sunday cartoons.

Americans saw my face on burning 

twin buildings, televised all afternoon. 


Before I found out what asylum meant,

Dada and I signed our Bangali names 

in cardboard book covers, with block letters.

Soon I'd learn, I Spy wasn't just a game. 


It was a shame. To find the threat of attack

(the terror) the horror on Halloween,

weren't acts of the anthrax boogeyman.

It was me: the sari princess they'd seen. 




Anuradha Bhowmik is a Bangladeshi-American poet and writer from South Jersey. She is an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech and the poetry editor for the minnesota review. She is a Pushcart nominee and has received scholarships from the New York State Summer Writers Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Frost Place, the Indiana University Writers’ Conference, and the Juniper Summer Writing Instiute. Her poetry and prose are forthcoming or have appeared in Slice Magazine, The Normal School, Copper Nickel, Ninth Letter Online, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Anuradha can be found at www.anuradhabhowmik.com.

Back to the Issue Catalog

Related Selections


Verbal Binary Presence in Early Childhood Development,  that Infamously Difficult Poetic Form the Villanelle,  and the Spiritual Quotidian

In the womb it’s neither no nor yes. 


You do, however, gather physical strength. You are, however, unprepared for the binary presence that awaits you on the shores of the amniotic sea in which you swim.

continue reading >


Letter to Flint Parents by Kristie Betts Letter

Children should be tested as soon as possible

continue reading >


from Leafmold, Disguised as an Exercise by F. Daniel Rzicznek

Disguised as an exercise, he taught the non-relation of one thing to another.

continue reading >