The optic of war in Iraq has given us emblems: gunmen in khaki uniforms against gunmen in flowing robes, beaming girls in army fatigues, their boots resting on naked dark-skinned men tied up on the ground, old men in expensive suits staring defiantly into the camera. Meanwhile small events happen in the interstices of such images: Saadi Simawe documents these.

Pete Balestrieri and the Editor, in-house voices, meditate on their daily work with words.

Two tales of the fantastic, in which a child wishes to mend a broken family: Yan Li's is set in the receding gray-washed dreamscape of a Beijing courtyard, that of Nihad Hasanovič in an iridescent swamp inhabited by a tribe of remorseless golden dragons.

And two poets, Denisa Comanescu and Greg Norminton, close up on a familiar landscape: Iowa, home, a communal kitchen.

Finally, Pieter-Dirk Uys (IWP '82), a self-described "middle-aged, fat, bald Afrikaner Jewish drag queen from Cape Town" and tagged "South Africa's leading satirist," talks about the politics of AIDS, and much else, on Fresh Air.