Postcard proseIssue 11 | January 2011

Long Distance

by Arlan Hess

The hillside is salted green, nothing too deep or too muted, and we wreathe the ocean at a consistent pace, not changing speed, not faster or slower but lighter than I’ve ever traveled before, alone on a highway in a rented Japanese car. I want to go home, to any home, I ache for a voice at the end of the line: Where are you now? Where are you going? — a distant accent and family out of sync — There is a time delay can you hear it, wait, what? There is a time delay can you hear it, wait, what? In the distance, a man watches me watch him and his dog. A Border Collie, maybe, I can’t tell for sure. The slow landscape folds around us, here and there symmetrical around a farmer and a car. This is his land, I think, his road. I’m trespassing. He stares until I fade around the curve of the bay, eight hundred yards closer to home, as far away as I was when he first spotted me, a chance thread holding us together, until finally he waves and I press my hand to the glass.

About the author

Arlan Hess once took a freighter from Montreal to London—an experience she recommends to all travelers. More recently, she has taken a book binding class in Siena, seen U2 in Dublin, and gone whale watching in Bermuda. You can find her work in Connotation Press, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, and Thirty-First Bird Review.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok