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TWO POEMS by Derrick Austin

TIDEWATER PSALM …in heaven it is always Autumn —John Donne, Christmas Sermon, 1624 By sunset, the crickets’ trilling begins in the airless damp, rich with salt and the sulfurous fumes the Gulf flags off. Bristling cattails brush my hands. The light-crested water rises and falls like a chest flecked with blonde hairs. I feel estranged […]

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SELF-PORTRAIT AS HAN TO LEIA, ON HOTH by Amorak Huey

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Another planet battle-scored & near-exterminated: we crave this cave-chase & escape plan, our evacuation inevitable. We have always been outnumbered & every system is remote from somewhere…

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PIVOT by Wendy J Fox

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  In the office, coworkers Sabine and Michael sat quietly at their cubicles. In the office, there was flux. For example, sometimes the temperature waffled between tropical and arctic…

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TWO POEMS by Sally Wen Mao

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MUTANT ODALISQUE
This is not an ode. February’s ice razor scalps the gingko trees, their hair pulled skyward like the ombre roots of young women…

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FOUR POEMS by Tommye Blount

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BAREBACK AUBADE WITH THE DOG

Thicker than its master’s thigh,
I saw that dog gnawing its leash—
and didn’t I know better? Knowing my fear

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THE INTENDED by Rebecca Berg

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Dear Ben,
I wonder how your life is. Are you happy sometimes? Are you well? Do you have a companion, and in your work do you still try to articulate the impossibility of…

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BULLET by Dennis Hinrichsen

That day I shot a piece of paper to death, I gave no thought to the bullets. They                           were pebbles              in the palm, knuckled fingers, integers I snapped                           in the clips,              thumbed to the cylinder. It was the target I wanted dead. Head high in the distance. Tacked to a                           post.              I had an array […]

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TWO POEMS by Carly Joy Miller

girls gone vile gone ballerine              ribbon splintered on the block            already bruised body                                       in sweet crossing time to cut in                                                                             cut in with my dollface                                       lashes spoiled-heroine black my mouth owed                                                                        at least belle du jour trinket me                     my wryneck stalky limbs                     hair in constant pirouette                                       I can’t let the brat down the brat ligatures                                                                     […]

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FIRE AND JEWEL by Sydney Lea

Eighty-foot hemlock, spruce, fir, and pine– They kept lifting off their stumps like so many rockets, Smoke-trails and all. And I Beheld the fire cross-lake from where I drifted. I’d been pounding the water for bass when my eyes were lifted. Fifty years later, I still recall my thoughts, And how I thought that to […]

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HAPTIC PERCEPTION by Athena Kildegaard

The nurse wears blue gloves. Her stool turns on four black wheels. A shot is the first course. I shouldn’t have picked up the bat, wounded, vulnerable in the street. The nurse wears blue gloves. The violence of life, red in tooth and black in death. Silence of the syringe. A shot is the second […]

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THE DAY AFTER A GIRL SPROUTED IN THE FLOWERBED by Kathleen McGookey

Mother  yanked her out.  I  filled my watering can with  milk. In  the  hollow,  we  could   barely  see my  bedroom’s  yellow eye.   I  patted  dirt  over  her  bloody  roots and stood her up again.  When I stroked her cheek, she turned toward me and opened  her  mouth.  And when she sang,  she  sang […]

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MARIA OF THE ROTTING FACE by Emily Jaeger

llena eres de gracia              crouched on a stump,                          feet dug into the red dust, you peel the mandioca              they feed you each day                          to ten white blades. Bless this home              bendita tú eres.                          Your children, their hundred chickens,              fourteen pigs, six cows,                          three hives— you counted them              before words turned                          to blue gum and you […]

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