April sets us on the scent of summer, opens up a trail
but it’s covered in mud. Buds on the branches but also mold
begins to stain the plaster walls. Patter of rainfall lulls me,
pulls me under after a week awake, weightless as I watch
the minutes flicker. We long for what comes next but never learn,
never learn to hold a moment in its wholeness, show our hand
at the table and take what comes, to know it comes regardless
so there’s hardly sense in hoping for an outcome we can live
with—unchecked wealth and recession, infinite stars expanding
to collapse, matter folding inward to absorb all light as
focused mass, a blossom that opened hours before it wilts
under frost, love and its loss. We long for each season as if
its being brings finale. We barter our lions for lambs,
empty limbs for leaves and blooms, but soon discover the pollen
slipped into the package and there’s no way of giving it back.
ANOTHER WORLD GATHERS
I sleep in a bedroom once a horse
stable for a monastery.
The monks have all turned
& the cork trees stripped to red.
I am a weak thing. A body down,
an eaten up mosquito net.
A white candle drives out fear,
a red one drives out lust.
THIS IS WHY I NEED A GODDESS
winos, picking up empties,
their laughter of firework.
The city’s full and nuts
but I can’t hear
its usual neon,
thrum of its barges.
No, it’s quiet
and the devil blinks,
Tonight hurts. Fights.
Drops. Sleeps. It’s 3 am—
the Atlantic midnight
for a poet.
Come on, cruel finger
with your cruel
and refusing shake.
Come to me, finger
and not the bottle.
Go paint the bulge on this white
page. Write about hell
factories and cemeteries,
how they dance blurry
pieces of flames.
But instead you give me
the sea. My feet.
You throw love out
like an old sack.
A loaded mouth grinning,
a downer for dead
and night’s ripeness
inching toward wreckage
See, he’s got you too.
Finger, fix it and make it right.
Like a seeing-eye dog,
the lord will see you good.
Jesus Devil Curse by Lisa Lewis
Five Poems by Rachel Brownson
Morning Ablution by Khaty Xiong
Exhibit by Leah Falk
Letting Evening Come On by Joshua Gottlieb-Miller
Two Poems by Brian Tierney
Stick and Poke Tattoo by Lucian Mattison
Mother at the Beginning of Time by Brian Russell
Three Poems by Caroline M. Mar
Two Poems by Angela Penaredondo
Almanac by Brian Simoneau
Lambing by George Kalamaras
The Lungfish by Michelle Gillett
Browning Up Nicely by S.M. Brodie
Five Stories by Karen Brennan
Judith Brassard Brown
grew legs and arms, sucked in air and named ourselves,
is who we are— bone and gut, God’s face before we invented it:
stone-like, wide mouth feeding on every element.