Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Photo of a baby's feet
 

—for Nicole Marie She asked me to stand by her side, But I wanted to see it all Because I knew that I’d forget— Even as hard as I’d want to remember— The brunt and the bitter Forcing my son into the world. My curiosity was stronger than her contractions, Looking at my son’s soft skull— Draped in silty, mousy-brown hairs— Swirling inside of her As an eyeball blinking her lips Open and shut and open again For the first time Not quite ready to see Who was waiting for him This side of his … Continue reading Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Weight For Me by Claire Scott

rough sketch of woman in grotesque posture
 

A national obsession, a billion dollar industry and here I am participating no pushups or planks, no pills or prayers have helped, though Lord knows I have tried haven’t I, O Lord Not losing weight to bypass diabetes or cancer certainly not be more seductive at Stone’s Throw Tavern sipping Margaritas in skin tight pants or stuffed into size zero to impress my friends or, let’s face it, my barely there anorectic sister At seventy-five who cares, crepe paper skin drooping derriere, boobs flop at my waist, feet fatter and flatter, growing shorter by the … Continue reading Weight For Me by Claire Scott

After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park
 

Eventually I find the shovel upright in the blackened pile of compost behind the garage. It’s hard to see in this light, but everything looks much as I left it last fall–shriveled ears of orange peel, a few egg shell fingernails, corncobs sticking up like bones in an ancient grave. As I turn the mound over a couple of turns for good measure, the moon breaks out of a heavy cloud and brightens momentarily with a grisly smile. The dark goes on rising up around me, turning everything under like the swell you never hear … Continue reading After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer

when i say i, i mean i by Joanna Lee

Color photo of ornate stone bench in a garden
 

because hope is a motherfucker, i went up to each house of the dead and knocked, but no one answered. still, i am haunted: the sun sets a little dimmer ever since the last feeble twitch of that cat’s tail, even while its head lay red & bashed on the dusked asphalt, the traffic passing and passing. because the heat doesn’t work properly, we huddle nose to nose, the trauma of the world reduced to a single stray hair strangled in the neck of your tee, golden in the breath of the bedside lamp; to … Continue reading when i say i, i mean i by Joanna Lee

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

Mothers’ Day, 2016 by Joanna Lee

color photo of fallen bird's nest on asphalt
 

Joanna Lee is a finalist of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.   We found two dead babies on the back granite slab that serves as a stoop, the same we salvaged from up home years ago, decaying in dad’s back yard. Birds. Their legs curled yellow and twisted, contracture of unbecoming; their angry mother with her shiny eye tearing the nails from the roof to get back to the nest we had so carefully sealed. Beside the bodies, the debris of a home: gaping …….hole in the gutters; pale fluffs of matted insulation; a casket-less … Continue reading Mothers’ Day, 2016 by Joanna Lee

And You, Do You Love Too? and Not Really a Game, Not Really, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Photo of child crossing sign ahead and narrow sidewalk
 

AND YOU, DO YOU LOVE TOO? I said I think I said I must have said don’t cross did I know should I have known did I email, call, text stay on the sidewalk he was far away was he ever far from me did I do nothing when I knew I must have known the driver sunblind was it today or Tuesday or last week I called out did I I must have after all he is my son   NOT REALLY A GAME, NOT REALLY DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK chants Kathy running around … Continue reading And You, Do You Love Too? and Not Really a Game, Not Really, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

Photo of stars on sky avove a tree
 

When that technician pointed out two heartbeats and two precious teensy penises on the screen, I was over the moon. Buddy leaned over and kissed me and cried real quiet-like, like he wasn’t actually crying, but I knew he was. Right away the names Elvis and Jesse popped into my head—Mama raised me on Elvis—but I didn’t say that out loud. Buddy would’ve immediately made frying egg sounds and said in a high sissy voice, “This is your brain on baby.” I’d been a total ditz when I was pregnant with Kayla, but so far … Continue reading Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

Memento Mori by Melissa Knox

Photo of person by grave marked with rocks and teddy bear
 

To be no more; sad cure; for who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, To perish rather, swallowed up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, Devoid of sense and motion? John Milton, Paradise Lost   In the middle of the night, my husband sat up; he’d been coughing too much and I’d been lying awake listening to his rasping breathing. His doctors understand as much as anyone about his little-known lung disease, but that’s not saying much. They’d ordered an oxygen tank which … Continue reading Memento Mori by Melissa Knox

First Responder by Joan Mazza

Back of brown envelope
 

Tired of bars and discos where I met men who drank and were in search of easy women, horrified by the scary men I met at church singles groups, I decided to be bold and placed a personal ad in the newspaper. “Are you out there?” the headline read. It was 1979, before the Internet, before Herpes and HIV were in the lexicon. I didn’t tell anyone but my shrink. I made my case: I could specify the kind of guy I wanted: smart, kind, solvent. He had to love books and dogs. Surely, I … Continue reading First Responder by Joan Mazza