New York City Was Snowing by Julie Wenglinski

Black and white photo of NYC blizzard
 

Our beckoning cabby from Tunisia, snaked through preposterous traffic, past the icy neon signs and the greening fragrance of stacked Christmas pines, to the Met where I almost cried, nearly blind from Van Gogh’s iris and his cypress, Henri’s vase of asters, Degas dancers, until I and other spent patrons roosted like pigeons on a rare bench. Outside the cafe windows, beneath the twisted trees, hooded minks walked their dogs in pairs, West Highland White terriers in candy quilted coats, as we inhaled the blackness of our coffee and gazed the sifting snow. Julie is … Continue reading New York City Was Snowing by Julie Wenglinski

The Strangeness of Being Here at All: Franz Wright’s Redemption Story By Alex Joyner

Blurry photo of group of people
 

There are days I wake up in sluggish wonder, newly aware, as a last dream image drifts away, of the marvel of my beloved still beside me in the bed, the fan beating time through the air, and the persistence of this body and mind. Or as the poet Franz Wright would put it in a prayer: You gave me in secret one thing to perceive, the tall blue starry strangeness of being here at all. —The Only Animal “It is strange to be here. The Mystery never leaves you alone.” The Irish priest-poet John … Continue reading The Strangeness of Being Here at All: Franz Wright’s Redemption Story By Alex Joyner

Suspended by Michele Riedel

View through window with mountains
 

……….Hello? Is there anybody in there? ……….Just nod if you can hear me. ……….Is there anyone at home? …………..Comfortably Numb …………..Pink Floyd He lay on his side like a wounded animal eyes open toward the window, the morphine drip pulsing through him, the morning light becoming a thick sponge soaking up his breath— until the last angle of sunlight remained buoyant in the air. His bed a slackline where he lay balancing, arms folded, moving into shadow, could he see the dry leaved trees through the window and how they flushed through the snow? Michele … Continue reading Suspended by Michele Riedel

A Craft Talk by Katherine Smith

Sun shining though hole in red leaf
 

ALLOWING THE LEAF For an ultrasound exam, I ran on a treadmill and then was hooked up to a machine that showed my heart pumping blood. It was an incredible thing to see my heart keeping perfect time, beating with a precision, grace, and power I never knew I possessed. It’s almost embarrassing just to mention the word “heart” in a poem, and yet my heart, indifferent to its embarrassing lack of originality, keeps me alive. Heart Monitor was inspired by my echocardiogram. The heart monitor helped me see what’s always there. At around the … Continue reading A Craft Talk by Katherine Smith

The Mojave, January 1988 and Hamburgers, Macaroni Salad, and Vanilla Ice Cream at Senior Lunch Today, 2 poems by Bruce Pemberton

Color photo of Mojave desert
 

The Mojave, January 1988 Twenty-five months in the Army and who would put a kid like me in charge of a six million dollar tank? I’ve got a crew of tragically obedient soldiers, all teen-age, one who marries his sixteen-year-old second cousin and another who rides his skateboard to first form- ation every morning. They’re all good kids, but most assuredly children. We’ve been training in the desert for two weeks, in cold, sleet, wind, and constant maneuvering, attack, defend, attack again, with an hour of sleep a day that comes in fits and starts, … Continue reading The Mojave, January 1988 and Hamburgers, Macaroni Salad, and Vanilla Ice Cream at Senior Lunch Today, 2 poems by Bruce Pemberton

Comings and Goings by Roselyn Elliott

Colors in calligraphy message
 

These past two years and three months, since May 2017, have been a special period in my life that I hadn’t expected to experience. During my tenure as poetry editor, it has been my honor to share this labor of love with a group of editors who go way beyond the expectations readers may have of a group of volunteers. Yes, Streetlight Magazine, like so many literary magazines, is produced by a 100% volunteer staff who are dedicated to not only publishing a good looking, accessible lit mag, but to growing the website and its … Continue reading Comings and Goings by Roselyn Elliott

Demonitisation: Modi and Me by Brinda Gulati

Photo of a temple in Delhi
 

My father, every time I have gone home during the holidays the past two years, has been proud of his legitimacy as a businessman. He says he pays taxes upward of Rs.1 crore. He shows me his golden certificate from the Income Tax Department of India, “I don’t think anyone in our industry has this.” He is a fifty-four year old businessman, in charge of running four establishments full time—the three factories that produce perfume as part of our family business, our villa in Greater Noida, our house in New Delhi, and me, in England. … Continue reading Demonitisation: Modi and Me by Brinda Gulati

Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Photo looking up at birds in the sky
 

The canary was still. It was too late to run. Too late to escape. Too late to pray for God’s mercy.   Matt had been one of the lucky ones, one of sixteen coal miners chosen to work on a Saturday morning. His boy Luke brought the count to seventeen. Matt expected him to be excited for his first day of work, but Luke had been dawdling all morning. When they finally stepped inside the mine, the other men were already gathered a hundred feet ahead. Their carbide headlamps shone on the uneven, rough-cut earth … Continue reading Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Mental Health Status Exam: Incomplete Sentences by Stuart Gunter

Color photo of berries rotting on a vine
 

Stuart Gunter is a finalist of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.   Finish these sentences to express your true feelings: I always wanted to be intelligent, maybe a college professor, or a poet. Some kind of scientist. I can’t believe I have ended up here: mediocrity. If my father would only rise from the dead. People think of me as intimidating and selfish. Maybe they don’t even think of me. Or they think of me as some kind of rotten fruit in the bottom of the fruit drawer, with a hint of mold and sweet … Continue reading Mental Health Status Exam: Incomplete Sentences by Stuart Gunter

Visiting My Father for the First Time in Five Years by Natalia Prusinska

Jar of dark jam with a knife set against black background
 

Natalia Prusinska is a finalist of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.   I took the jar of jam sealed with heat and wrapped it in old towels. I placed it carefully in my suitcase among the new clothes and carried it home. I walked into an empty apartment and immediately unpacked the jar and placed it on the counter. I tried to open it, but couldn’t. I turned the jar on the counter, every quarter-turn hitting the metal rim with the blade of a knife. I tapped the edge of the jar against the floor, … Continue reading Visiting My Father for the First Time in Five Years by Natalia Prusinska

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