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TWO POEMS by Joy Ladin

EARLY MORNING FLIGHT

Half-empty plane, hot black coffee – it takes so many people
to keep my body soaring.
I must be important, or at least not dead,

and my not being dead must matter, or it wouldn’t be so sunny…

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LIGHT INSTALLATION AT THE HILTON by Iva Ticic

there are galaxies
above what used to be the soft spots
at the top of our heads

we elongate our necks
at an angle
trying to take in

all that neon-filled fullness
of the light-splattered cosmos

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TWO POEMS by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

DEAR AMERICA

I pick you up
& you are a child made of longing
clasped to my neck. Iridescent,
lovely, your inestimable tantrums,
I carry you back & forth
from the underworlds
where your giggles echo,
grow into howls.

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BREATH MEMORY [BREATH ALPHABET] by Cory Hutchinson-Reuss

Zero degrees again. Midwest winters confuse loving with not leaving.
Yes we are made of drifts. Yes we are made of degrees on a map of discontent.

[Aluminum breath, breath of absence and alchemy,
Breath of blood history, breath of aromatic bitters]

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TREES by David Lawrence

The log that fell into the river went for a long swim into a hidden country where logs were the dominant culture and the trees wept as they saw their barky cousins floating home.

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TWO POEMS by Patrick Rosal

TEN YEARS AFTER MY MOM DIES I DANCE

The second time I learned
I could take the pain
my six-year-old niece
—with five cavities
humming in her teeth—
lead me by the finger
to the foyer and told her dad
to turn up the Pretenders
—Tattooed Love Boys—
so she could shimmy with me
to the same jam
eleven times in a row
in her princess pajamas.

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BIRTHDAY by Lauren Hilger

On a stone wall, no one around I stole my mom’s mink stole
I stare the doe in the face self-reflection in a lap pool

March, my month, cold I want this to be the last awful
cake white on white of winter

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Reprise by Kathleen Hellen

Reflex. Automatic. My son with that look when I slapped him.
Something in the genes, the violence of pathways reenacting:
biologies of caterwaul of bottle-fights of fists into the wall.

I saw Mother with her twin colossals jug-drunk dancing jigs.

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PERSISTENT DESIGN by Nate Pritts

Wasps keep circling
the shutters, long stalks
of grass dangling
from thin back legs,
and when they crawl between the slats
into the small dark,
they bring their greeny materials
with them.

There is nothing here
you can’t leave.

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FIRST WINTER by Hala Alyan

Our bodies are urns full of rain,
spilling during the harvest. The elders
speak of clemency. The army marches on.

We watch them across the ocean,
speak their undead name in our sleep.

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TWO POEMS by Lee Sharkey

CIVILIZATION

Even in the most inhospitable circumstances there is always time for a cup of tea.
Say you live in a cup with a hole blasted in its side in a blasted landscape, by a blasted tree
and an empty barrel.

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STACK OF BRIGHTNESS by Rosalynde Vas Dias

What do you know
of the former

beloved/still beloved?
He lives in another

city or speaks
infrequently.

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