“Gender Bias” and “The Oak Trees Have Seen Everything”Tori Grant Welhouse
Teachers pat me like a loaf
especially the chalk-dusted
I learn early who has authority
Behaving is more important
than the Theory of Relativity
The length of my hems a critical topic
“I Lost My Faith in God When I Was Nine Years Old” and “Longing”Amyen Fielding
whispers the woman sitting next to me.
I’ve seen her here before–drinking alone,
her skin heavy with loss.
This close, the taste of her regret is pungent,
and is swallowed with each sip of my vodka-tonic.
“Birds of Prey” and “San Pedro, Los Angeles County”Angela Gaito-Lagnese
I was nine. My parents came home hollow from the hospital.
My mother sobbed in wild animal cries, violent splotches
of purple spread from under her skin, her chest
her cheekbones tainted; my father silent
slumped in his easy chair, his neck gray-yellow
half of his face buried in clenched raw knuckles.
“Eclipse”Debra Groves Harman
My love and I drive south
For seven minutes of darkness.
During solar eclipse, the sun proposes,
A sparkling rim and white-hot stone,
We drive for margaritas, the blue Pacific,
to make love when Orion rises...
“Gather at Colvos Passage” and “Legacy”Vina Mogg
In summer months
sun and moon rise from the same spot,
a point northeast of my porch, the place I welcome morning.
“Sky Too Large to Know,” “Habitability” and “Once More Crouching”Keith Moul
A hawk rises on a prairie thermal,
its diminishing black shadow below,
its eye wed in magic to a single spot.
I step in to feel promptly like the prey,
wobbly with hypnosis by gazing above
me, a disfavored adversary to a predator.
“Road” and “Chimney Swifts at Dusk”Steve Brammell
Once we followed the others on all fours,
contributing trails through grass and brush
to favorite trees and watering holes
before our spines thrust us up on two feet...
“The Wine-Dark Sea” and “The Weighing of the Heart”Kathleen Holliday
A sea wife,
my mother didn’t have time
to pace a widow’s walk,
searching for a sail on the horizon.
She was too busy
pinning up sheets to dry,
weeding the garden...
“The Phantoms”Vincent Vecchio
Here they come, on they go,
One by one, in a row,
Drifting by me on the street…
No warmth to meet…
Incense del Dia de Muertos
“Cold Water” and “Not Her Real Name”James Miller
We have no heat left for showers
and the washing up. The instructions
to relight the pilot are detailed,
patient—but leave us no warmer.
Grease hangs on our pans.
How quickly we dry ourselves...
“Consciousness” and “Creole in St. Barth’s”Katherine Lutz
in a half-empty
subway car, reading news
on my phone, an article
on two competing
theories of consciousness,
triggers a memory...
“Approaching Middle Age” and “The Climber”Dorothy Neagle
Last night the new moon broke open across my shoulders.
Then dawn came through the trees
in pinpoints of varying sizes
like starlight glowing among the leaves.
“She said, ‘Lift.’ ” and “She said, ‘Let go—I’m a memory. I’m not real.’ ”Dom Fonce
I remember being told to soak
myself in unreason—that words
fall to pieces because the wind
needs her role; not everything
must be a weight to grunt over.
I want to meet
night as a friend
who welcomes and comforts
offers solace and replenishment.
I want night to
become a place
to deliver, to surrender, to belong.
“Time Flies” and “Global Climate Strike”Madison Gill
Two restless houseflies
buzz around my living room,
stirring the August heat on this
dog day of a summer afternoon
They land for a moment, then
take off again
“Of Man” and “The Nature of Living”Marcus Lindsey
As children we mocked
The earthworm’s ambitious move
From safety assured
As children we laughed
At their madness
Their vulnerable bodies
Called by the drumming
“An Imaginary Letter to My Friend, Irina, in Moscow” and “Can’t Google This”Nika Cavat
I drank Merlot last night from the wine glass you gave me
and thought about how we’d met when our children were
chubby angels, marriage still appeared the answer and the
Twin Towers still raised up above Manhattan like trusted sentinels.
“An Ode to Bukowski”Carvel Tefft
Hell is a terrible place to tell a joke said the
man with the beard, as if God poured him
his cup of wine every night and whispered
the water into his rivers. and I’ve never
known how to love what i can’t see, you can
ask her and her and her, so your words
crawl to me. they don’t look me in the eyes...
“A Powerful Corpse”Jacob Klein
People of Thebes! who walk in the debris
Left by the Seven and mourn
The Dragon who lies in the dust,
His teeth chipped, murmuring
About mothers and sons.
“Contro Verse 3” and “Executive Presentation”Philip Kienholz
moose at the forest edge
cross the meadow in the sun
munching browse little trees
head up sniffing on the breeze
easy easy ecotone easy
filament barnacle billabong
troubadour trouble away...
“I Like Ike”Robert Rubino
When I was your age
the subway cost fifteen cents
gas cost thirty-two cents a gallon
television was free
& so was Saturday confession
in preparation for Sunday communion
when I was your age...