Category Archives: Poetry

An Ending by Adam Day

Photo of a galaxy
 

                                   after Mark Bibbins Rays burrowing in sand like hearing someone typing an endless suicide note in a room at the end of a carpeted hall, we go on believing that nothing can touch us here, though loss is like wearing a blouse made of a thousand needles, remembering the weight of the phone in your hand when the call came in, the body a snowshoe hare   curled like a closed hand. Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, … Continue reading An Ending by Adam Day

Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer

Red-heavy photo of silhouetted figures
 

In the pulsing heat, in the black cathedral of war, the amber-tinted silver of infra-red illuminates a man. Nimble in the moment between the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of the rifle, he crouches and fires: stalker and stalked at one in the fluttering night. Quickly, the breath still held, a song arises, unbidden and sweet, and the pulsing heat and the heart conspire to draw from the murmuring air an echo, smiling, of a fond face. Drawn on the rim of this well of resonance in the foul, sweltering dark, other forms … Continue reading Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer

Bloodroot in March by Gary Grossman

white bloodroot flower
 

1. Regardless of the year, it’s the first flower seen on my daily hikes, pushing through every November’s abandoned duvet of tan and umber—a patchwork of ash, oak, maple, and hickory. I pause, eyelids unspooled, like a tired window blind, and inhale the forest’s green anticipation. 2. Willingly, this could be my last breath— absorbing the effortless geometry of these eight ivory petals, rising from leaves mimicking round Japanese fans from the 1840s. 3. How is it that small perfections can both both break, and reassemble us— as if we were Adam or Eve on … Continue reading Bloodroot in March by Gary Grossman

a cricket’s delight by IIma Quereshi

blurred branches with half moon blue light
 

one tree- with its small hands and another with its star-laced fingers brush against the sky the sky that looks like a sea drained of water offering its long tresses to the milky moon and the coal-black darkness clothes the sky this, however, does not prevent crickets, from shivering with joy i sit here, thinking of the faint line between life and death while their party thickens and blooms crickets do not carry the burden of making sense of life they lick life here, letting out their song here, letting out their cries IIma Quereshi … Continue reading a cricket’s delight by IIma Quereshi

Cockatiel not you by Sean Lause

tree in black and white beyond a wire window
 

Cockatiel, not you, a yellow and orange assertion. Bright with her own meanings, clatters round the outside of her cage, without fear, flourishing her freedom. Her eyes, seeds of darkness, see all that is not you, see you too, see dual worlds, one on each side, her head a ball turret, tail a trailing spear. feather in her cap. She whistles “Whataru?” won’t wait for an answer, explores the floor, foraging as she goes, mounts the top of an armchair renowned for its emptiness, spreads her wings and sings her triumph, not yours. Outside the … Continue reading Cockatiel not you by Sean Lause

Laundry by Charlie Brice

Photo of woman hanging colorful blankets drier
 

Fat Auntie Ursal with her coffee-breath, baggy pink house dress, and worried rosary beads would haul a basket of linen to the backyard, pick clothespins out of her mouth, and staple sheets to the line. When it rained, I rushed to watch Auntie panic-waddle into our backyard, eyes wide, rosary flying, as she pulled down the pristine sheets as if lowering the mainsail in a gale. Later, she’d plead with Uncle Pete to buy a dryer, but he couldn’t hear her over the sound he made while sucking food bits out of the crevasses between … Continue reading Laundry by Charlie Brice

God by Mel Kenne


 

God must be, I dare now to say, like a cat, with His / Her / Its impertinence and delays in ordering our lives, loves and ways of being whoever we think we are, or might be. I’ve learned this from my own clever pet, Kestane, who is happily (I suppose) grooming herself as she lies curled up in the wicker chair across from where I sit in my rocker, having my penultimate drink of the evening and trying again to understand what drives us in our conceptions of divinity. She’s not, or, perhaps, she … Continue reading God by Mel Kenne

17 Year Cicada by David B. Prather

translucent green wing
 

  —Magicicada septendecim I never thought I could love you, arguing with leaves under midday sun, your body a prune with polymer wings that look like they might shatter at a touch. When my father told my mother he was in love with another woman, everything breakable flew off shelves, shook loose from frames, fell free from cupboards. I was breathless, my lungs heavy with humidity, a death rattle shaking in my throat, which reminds me of you, your song a pall through afternoon and on into evening. If only I’d known your name was … Continue reading 17 Year Cicada by David B. Prather

In the Nature of Chickens, There is Little Room for Gentleness by Emma Fenton

Two chickens, blue building, overgrown chickenyard, rustic look
 

On Thursday, there are three chickens in the backyard pecking at each other, plucked feathers scattered on the ground like a gruesome crime scene. You could make a fourth chicken out of this, I think and rescue the yellow one with a bleeding wing. She scrambles in my arms, talons clawing at exposed flesh. I drop her. She returns to pecking, happier in the violence which is more comfortable to her than in my arms: safe but unknown. I do not know how to save them if they do not want to be saved, only … Continue reading In the Nature of Chickens, There is Little Room for Gentleness by Emma Fenton

grown girl: she thinks of the dead by Liz Femi

Photo of alley between brick buildings with graffiti
 

it surely is the same wrinkled sky from years ago when i lived in dense forest towns when cold winds chafed Iroko bark like prayers chafe fingers. i smoothed my first grinding stone with rocks rocks picked from streets maddened from stoning thieves. i peered down wells and called to the nameless to find out for myself: guards of the wide road where mothers have gone mad where faint rhymes tuck into palms, love poems in vapors, breastmilk curdles with ghosts, and from mounds poured for the forgotten, i walked, anyhow, anyhow myself Liz Femi … Continue reading grown girl: she thinks of the dead by Liz Femi