Poetry – Issue No.4

The Purported Last Words of Ruth Blay

The Purported Last Words of Ruth Blay 3755 1819 Erin Emily Ann Vance

Tell me where I’ll be hanged. The elm? The gallows? The balcony of my lover’s home? Don’t let my students watch, don’t let the girls see. I haven’t yet taught…

Oscoda

Oscoda 2500 1600 Lisa Folkmire

It was my first skeleton, the once birch forest now bare Look, the command like water dripping from our mother’s mouth as we all turned our heads to drink from…

Mother of Blood and Bone

Mother of Blood and Bone 3024 4032 Aremu Adams Adebisi

When father wanted to take a new wife, he sang mother her panegyrics, bought her the finest boubous from a local shop, traced her wrinkled face, her feverish hands, then…

On Suffering, From a Mother of Four to St. Catherine of Sienna

On Suffering, From a Mother of Four to St. Catherine of Sienna 1697 2263 Renee Emerson

“I have always long to suffer for God and His Church” – St. Catherine of Sienna When you told the Pope to “be a man,” what did you know of…

Night Parings

Night Parings 4032 3024 Frances Boyle

Scattered peels of shine that lie on glassy water, shiver out of reach. Blue light filters neighbourhood rooms as you walk the dog, shadows lamppost to lamppost. Napped dark against…

Ursa Minor

Ursa Minor 2058 1536 SK Grout

There is a scar on your inner thigh, that looks like a bear, and when I traipse my index finger too close, you go rowr. Always Ray, always. I walked…

Pacman at the Arcade Casino

Pacman at the Arcade Casino 3870 2590 Tyler Howell

The gamblin’ Granny next to me pulls levers lets the wheels roll, smack BAR BAR BAR or the cherries she prays for. My cherries are in the maze. Let me…

Kintsugi

Kintsugi 2048 1563 Devon R. Ortega

When you are broken, you can feel the cracks and fissures with the tip of your tongue, you run your fingertips over the gaps reading the braille of what’s hurt…

in memory of someone who may not be dead

in memory of someone who may not be dead 2000 1125 alyssa hanna

for lillaree she was getting her doctorate on the last island she owns in my memory’s receding fogbank. it’s been thirteen years and i’d always figured she’d be dead by…

Ghazal with reference to Sylvia Plath

Ghazal with reference to Sylvia Plath 3314 2276 Sneha Subramanian Kanta

A part of your body ached, the doctor pressed it. Said—fine here, take these, Sylvia. But you replaced the pills with music. Fine. You knew enough to be a woman,…

But It Did Happen

But It Did Happen 1920 1390 Kristin Garth

and they will bring you medicine, bald spots beige suits, the other ones, averting eyes, grind teeth between pink cotton polka dots. You sniff their bouquets poppies, powderized to chase…

Upon a Time

Upon a Time 2000 1125 Jessie Lynn McMains

I’ll tell you a tale that begins upon a time when I was a wee slip like you, loves, the backyards and vacant lots dripped lousy with lightningbugs. I called…

Patriarchal

Patriarchal 1746 759 Rachel Nix

He used to come up behind me, tell me I’d make some man a fine wife. Didn’t know the kind of man I wanted, if I wanted a man at…

Apologia, America

Apologia, America 2993 2245 Todd Smith

Listen: it’s raining ash. The one holding his nose tight in blueish kleenex is your dead neighbor’s only certified son,   heir to eleven thumbs and a language made of…

Better Days are Coming

Better Days are Coming 2017 1407 Adele Winston

Mamma says when tears salt my face and every slap of ocean rises up to close my eyes. She squeezes me tight. So tight I taste the sweat of breast…

Ecce Angus Dei

Ecce Angus Dei 2493 1381 Jennifer Wilson

Behold the Lamb of God as chasing downhill butterflies behind its own lolloping head it croons in yellow tides like flowers flushed red when pressed, when cut. White wool turns…

Grandmother, Baking Bread

Grandmother, Baking Bread 2000 1125 Sara Anderson

Up to your elbows in yeast and flour, you smiled, hummed followed no recipe texture of the dough your own small empire My father bit his tongue though the muscles…

Seasons

Seasons 2448 1462 Matthew Yates

having come far you feel half-begun the tree’s leaves bud & bloom just as they had to all along i hadn’t eaten subsequence in ages i hadn’t aged since i…

-cide

-cide 4000 3000 Sprout Conner

I know my mother loves me. She tucks me in each night, puts the thick wool blankets over my face, her voice wasp-like as she reads The Little Match Girl.…

Anxiety in a High-Rise

Anxiety in a High-Rise 5248 2952 Jeanna Paden

the stairwell smells like a barbeque joint tonight and also a joint; lightbulb on the last flight of stairs is out and if the broken doorknob at the bottom of…

Creed

Creed 2500 1406 Laurie Koensgen

We hold the slender threads we find, spin and triple-twine them –– mitten strings from the abandoned nurseries, tails of ditched kites, cement-stayed vines. We take comfort. We make comforters…

Still

Still 3872 2592 Courtney LeBlanc

We sat side by side, a feather of air between us, the first time together in months. I wondered if you were imagining the salt of my tongue, the bite…

The Doctor of Electric Dreams

The Doctor of Electric Dreams 2500 1406 Jake Bailey

After Wallace Stevens’ “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” Call the roller of straightjackets, The muscular one, and bid him sling In Dixie cups cylindric pills. Let the nurses needle in such…

Triad

Triad 2500 1600 Kim Fahner

Glance, without words, but with averted eyes. Clouds, with wind, but without silvered rain. Longing, without logic, but with blood singing. Header photograph © Andrew Hall.

Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes 2500 1006 Trinity Herr

Our smallest hands pulled rattlesnakes from the weeds. They were infants like us. Pads of our index fingers patted their doglike heads, we laughed. They hugged their bodies ‘round our…