SUMMER TRIANGLE by M.J. Bender

Deneb in the Swan; Altair in the Eagle; Vega in the Lyre—he brought home a woman at three in the morning and told me to get out of bed and go sit on the front porch. I listened to her having an orgasm— a chord, a jazz chord: three thirds on top of the root. […]

THE NATURE OF LOVE by Aaron Belz

I disagree with you about the nature of love and by extension about art or rather the role of form in art for while abstraction can delight the senses it is not sustainable or repeatable and what humans need is more like a glass of water not only upon waking but one at lunchtime and […]

TWO POEMS by Marlin M. Jenkins

DRINKING GAME

When the pastor spits
while sputtering any
variation of God’s name.

TWO POEMS by Tyree Daye

SAME OAKS, SAME YEAR
My cousin kept me and his little brother saved me from our uncle’s pit bull, then spent seven years in prison for his set. Every other word he said was blood.

HURT MUSIC by Melissa Cundieff-Pexa

The bell’s emptied space has no name. I would like to call it my never-born. I’m there and the metal clapper and bowl are asleep. My never-born is awake, very quiet. I don’t want to reach for him. I don’t want to fall from the rope’s fray or draw nothing from the naming. I call, […]

TWO POEMS by Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams

LETTER IN EXCHANGE FOR Painting all the spines of the books blue, for example. Tasting me so absolutely as to know the monsoon of my sickness. Licking my lips clean of disturbance while hunting for the trees I want at every window, that wanton green. What if, in reciprocation, you gave me every song you […]

TWO POEMS by Leslie Harrison

[No. 118] How snow and distance equal absence the page untouched the page a white blankness the way ink recedes from these cold vistas its absence a kind of reverence how the moon is also an absence untouched as if he knew it was beyond mere wood mere blade how burdened the humans are in […]

UNDERSTANDING HEAVY METAL by W. Todd Kaneko

Begin with a savage cry,                                                         a spray of cardinals             gouting gorgeous             from gut to tonsil,                                                         from a boy’s lips, glossed in crimson & fire—                                                         teen angst dashed by             bat wings, mouthfuls             of graveyard sugar,                                                         bruise shine & stars— in leather & choke chain,                                                         a boy can separate into             curses a man will one day             remember […]

MISSION CREEP by Jeffrey Morgan

How a groove is a prayer for a needle and a hollow is a prayer for birds, how music fills a space and makes you aware of emptiness, somewhere my brother is not where my brother is supposed to be. I tell the sky how and the sky replies in sunlight on the river meaning […]

LETTER TO YASHA IN MY THIRD PERIOD AP LANG CLASS MORNING AFTER THAT GIRL SHE LIKES BLOCKED HER ON INSTAGRAM by Mamie Morgan

There must be something that can fix me, you say, but in sixteen years nothing has. Lexapro, Oleptro, Thiopropazate. Eighth grade, Hal Stoddard chased me into the Rosewood Lane cul­-de­-sac by the butt­ end of his BB gun yelling, C’mon piggy­piggy, open up you whale, while I recited every word that had ever made me […]

CREATION by Gerardo Pacheco Matus

They made me with bones,
white, yellow, brown & dusty bones,
heavy & hollow, broken & shuttered,

they made me with bones
no one has ever claimed,
bones no one will ever bury…

ARGUMENT FOR LOVING FROM A DISTANCE by Katie Condon

Raining this morning & the foothills are dusted
with the gray light that comes with bad weather…