“Going to a Wedding,” “A Last Look,” and “At the Holocaust Museum”
by Linda Laderman
We climb the steps of the synagogue when Annie asks, What is Jewish?
She is the child of a Jew, a son I raised to tell a story
with the fanfare of a performer on The Moth Radio Hour. Read more.
“A Stranger’s Peace” and “In the Moment”
by Steve Snyder
The smell of sawdust I breathe in
As I work on the assembly line.
The monotonous, mechanized creation of orange crates
Gives my spirit peace – a stranger’s peace.
“Academy Cemetery,” “D. H. Lawrence Ranch,” “A Eucalyptus Grove, South of San Juan Batista on Highway 101”
by Stephen Barile
And rolling grasslands
All wildflowers in the spring
Dotted with graves
Backed up to the foothills
Blue mountain peaks
Uplifted behind them. Read more.
“Eisenhower’s Highway, 1960,” “Pain,” and “Upon Finding the Birth Quilt My Great Grandma Made for Me in My Mothers Attic”
by Steve Brammell
It changes names as it rushes east
– Toll Road, Turnpike, Thruway –
supernatural, this ribbon of concrete,
where our brand new Buick,
swept back with its fins,
can fly, leaving the flat lands behind. Read more.
“Interval 189,” “Étude 15,” and “A Disappearance”
by Ray Malone
it whispers its way through to me, the night,
in the dying light of day, the things done,
the slow dissolve of sense, the list of smiles
ticked one by one from memory, a frown
or inimical face, best forgotten: Read more.
“The Flight Attendant,” “The Librarian,” and “The Lighthouse Keeper”
by John Peter Beck
Stay in your seats
and remain calm.
I am sure St. Bona of Pisa
said the same things afloat
when leading crusaders
to the Promised Land. Read more.
“Alone” and “The Night After I Stumbled Upon My Blood Owning Slaves”
by Nancy Meyer
I hear in jail they beat you
with soap in a sock so the bruises
don’t show. I ride South
on the Greyhound
to Bloody Sunday, Bull Connor, Read more.
“wakeup,” “Popular,” and “Landlocked Lament”
by Julie Benesh
with a hodgepodge pile of stuff
to make a bouillabaisse or salad of leaves
build a mansion or lean-to shack
protect from elements and enemies
fashion a tiara or a sassy sash
so as not to scare the children Read more.
“when the barn owl hoots no more,” “no trace,” and “again”
by Christa Lubatkin
when the night’s
dark eyes won’t lift their lids
won’t cheer the day awake
lose their breath
forget their flow Read more.
“Clauses,” “Complements,” and “Moods”
by John Davis
The subordinate clause clattered to the asphalt:
Because I didn’t want to be a house flower.
He fluttered his fingers like a hitchhiker. He hoped
to thumb a ride from a dependent clause, Read more.
“dep sesh,” “sadhu,” and “Missus Oxygen Kisses Mister Dynamite’s Heart”
by Gerard Sarnat
loci of suffering’s
my measly attempt
to lower stress level
a crying need warns
me off phantasmagoric
pathologist’s post-mortem Read more.
“labyrinthia,” “laestrygonia,” and “ogygia”
by Michele Evans
when i was a child,
momma told me:
sticks and stones
may break my bones
will never hurt me. Read more.
“Hineini” and “Lover Found/Lost (Renée)”
by Lisa Delan
i am neither the seed
nor the fruit –
me in the in
between love and
where i hide,
“Grief,” “Clouds in the Sky,” and “Recalculating”
by Cindy Buchanan
A month after our daughter was born,
we planted a white dogwood. I didn’t know
the legend of the crucifixion wood.
I just liked the symmetry
of the four-petaled flowers, plump white crosses
with bright green pistils in the middle. Read more.
“Coming to Freedom,” “Noguchi,” and “Gypsy”
by Dorothy Johnson-Laird
dressed in white
your deep eyes pierced the daylight
*Araminta, defender of the people
when you crossed the line to freedom, the stars opened up all around you
something in your heart made you pause, turn around, breathing Read more.
“Cantúa Creek,” “Joaquin,” and “Mustang Running”
by Stephen Barile
First explored by Spanish Army troops
From Mission San Juan Baptista,
Led by Jose de Guadalupe Cantua,
Son of a prominent Californio Ranchero
In the 19th-century Mexican era
Of early California history Read more.
“In the Tidal Pool,” “Weathering,” and “A Vespa Ride”
by Oanh Nguyen
First at sunrise,
Then at sunset
You ebb away
leaving me suspended.
My kaleidoscopic charms
laid bare at the altar
of jumbled cowries,
flowers of the sea, Read more.
“Rambling Rose,” “Jake: The Best Dog in the World,” and “Truly Madly Deeply”
by Debra Rose Brillati
The car I grew up in
Was a 1960 Pontiac Star Chief
Four-door sedan hardtop
In a color my Crayola 64 box called Flesh.
Even at a time when most cars
Came in a wide variety of vibrant colors,
This one stood out. Read more.
“Aut Pax Aut Bellum,” “Three Sisters,” and “Quiet the Celebration”
by Michele Parker Randall
Mother needles & threads her way into conversations,
as she does with everything,
& there, piercing
the cotton weave of our family, her place secure. Read more.
“I will not die,” “Wednesday,” and “calendar”
by Esme DeVault
last Wednesday night
on the phone
I want my kids
to know you
as you leaned toward
the darkened future Read more.
“Death Means Not Sleeping,” “Ghazal from a Bottle,” and “On Tuesdays”
by Fran Abrams
How do you keep on getting out of bed each morning?
A bed that is half empty since the day your husband died.
A life that seems like a flight of stairs missing a step
and you always seem to trip on that one. Read more.
“The Long March,” “Sunday Sunday,” and “Marie”
by Jack Harvey
Bound on some skillful retreat,
a long march
north and west;
cut off from the rest
we end up foraging
in some scanty orchard,
the two of us. Read more.
“Duncan’s Point Along Highway 1,” “A Poem Without Poetry,” and “Nightfall”
by Nick Vasquez
Purple delosperma frozen on stone cliffs
Permanent calligraphy on blue canvas
only tides change.
Carved into a driftwood bench
three names now forgotten. Read more.
“oh physics,” “Messages,” and “Elfie’s Quantum Thoughts”
by Malcolm Glass
of warped gluons in the matrix chromosomes
molding children with necks and knees
disjoint and attenuate physics of the transport
of chlorophyll far more certain
than law or reason
and the stopped blood of embryos Read more.