“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.
“Self Portrait as Poet,” “Work Friends,” and “Now Playing”
by Julie Benesh
Poet, you mama’s girl, so bad at volleyball, first dates, job interviews, your albatross of asymmetry flung floorward like an eloquent glove, ironic as that yellow pedestrian yield sign on Chestnut Street, permanently pavement-flattened. Read more.
“Early Envy (1956)” and “Fantasy Football”
by Robert Eugene Rubino
When he’s eight he envies neighbor/buddy Bobby his airline pilot father
who drives his eye-popping harlequin Ford Thunderbird
with gears-a-poppin’ engine roarin’ to and from Idlewild
before and after taking off into the wild blue yonder. Read more.
“Traveling with Natalie,” “Subjunctive Mood,” and “We Walked Three Miles in Snow”
by Joan Mazza
Propped on three pillows, another
under my knees, I am following
Natalie Goldberg as she travels
to Japan and France, sits zazen
with her students, through walking
meditation, writing longhand
in a café, always in a spiral notebook
with a pen that lets me write fast… Read more.
“thirty days after,” “Pivot,” and “Sour”
by Margaret Sayers
the time for grieving ends
grief does not
so I unfurl what is no longer and smooth out the
my soul loosens and leans in to the unwanted hereafter
the before murmurs just beyond my hearing
my heart skips in a dissonant rhythm
comfort strikes a truce with disquiet Read more.
“Inverse Blankets,” “Bloat Textures,” and “Grope Commerce”
by Anon Baisch
barrier the solitude
cold air :: we are aware
that skin is unsuitable ::
we are a perfection :: the mass
of an ego returns
#DIV/0! :: and we understand
we are not portioned :: Read more.
“Partly Because of Your Love for Yogurt,” “Half Dark,” and “You asked if we would always be friends”
by Abigail Chorley
it was the way you stood in the dark kitchen long after
the oven had already cooled, slurping
just out of date yogurt but also because the first
time we talked, you listened, swaying me gently
in constant commas shifting slightly
(while everyone else played poker for crisps)… Read more.
“A humble little diddy about creation and all that came after” and “Answer the question”
by Casey Killingsworth
My new thing is to look up the final scores
of baseball games before I decide whether
or not to watch the highlights because
who wants to follow a game you know
your team is going to lose anyway.
This is not a statement about my age; it’s not
even about having the luxury to piss away all
the idle time I have left. It’s about recognizing… Read more.
“Windsong: Solo Flute,” “The Dig,” and “Sudden Gasp”
by Russell Willis
The flutes of those
not just in,
Even accidental noise
blown by untrained lips
echoes the haunting, ethereal
whistle of wind
through limbs and grass, crops and structures. Read more.
“By Saturday,” “Aqualung,” and “Tumble and Fall”
by Melody Wilson
something settles. Next week’s
oatmeal eases into simmer,
the wide slow mouths of the first
few bubbles no longer startle
and pop as the surface smooths,
heaves with the humility
of normal mornings. It’s a chore—
the boil, filtering through
what I know, what is new. Read more.
“A City Dweller Dwells on Nature,” “A Spirit in the Woods,” and “Of Writing and Flying”
by Olga Dugan
I read somewhere nature doesn’t matter
to city dwellers—not so, did you know
flowers appeared 140 million years ago
Tulips out-valued gold in some places
Orchids draw their nutrients from thin air
and flowers, they really do have powers— Read more.
“Who are you?”
by Christopher Riesco
Once, in an angular concrete hotel in Antibes,
you stood before the black curtain
with the massive sunlight on the other side
and a heartbeat in your chest.
You reached up, then dropped your hands.
You tapped your hands on your naked hips.
You reached up again and pulled the curtains wide. Read more.
“Peace, Peace will Come” and “Minor Losses”
by Steven Deutsch
It is often
easier to write
without the pollution
wild with color Read more.
“Bone Dry,” “The Rose Water Incident of 2022,” and “Weary Be the Wanton”
by Monica Viera
It was lonely having
An anorexic mother
Who was often more concerned
About fitness and image
Then tending to the ache of my feelings
She exercised all the time, and ate light
She strove to be light,
And perhaps thought as her daughter,
I shouldn’t have such heavy feelings Read more.
“Megafauna,” “The bird in my voice is a song,” and “Harvest Moon is a Command”
by Tia Cowger
I read somewhere there’s an
orchid whose flower is shaped
like the female of a long dead
species of bee.
Big, bitter fruits that no-one eats,
drop to the ground and rot Read more.
“The Buzzer,” “On my bike,” and “Waiting at the Women’s Health Centre”
by Stephanie Trenchard
I almost fold your laundry, the numb air
of garments settling, the last breadth of the dryer,
call to me to care for your hot things
Marie Condo says to ask the clothes
how they should be folded
to listen to the fabric, go with the seams Read more.
“When fear rises,” “What counts,” and “A Forecast of Severe Storms Today”
by Karen Carter
I’m driving through a fog.
Home to public school, I
travel up and down hills,
like an obstacle course
to test resolve.
I need this cloudy patch,
not as a puffy mattress,
but as an iron shield Read more.
“Memories of You,” “Uprooted Dreams,” and “Tulile, a Strange Fruit”
by Patrick Sylvain
I thought of you this afternoon,
laughing with your entire body
slightly curling over as you let
yourself lay bare its expression
of unconfined happiness. You were
intoxicated with life despite not having
much. Read more.
“orchid eye,” “requiem for smoke, for ashes,” and “leaning against the fog”
by Jennifer Platts-Fanning
look into my orchid eye
and I’ll tell you a story about psilocybin sex,
how to melt into another
with full chimera absorption.
honeycombed echo’s of deep earth
as red sandstone soil covered
buried treasure Read more.
“Baby,” “Bourbon Street, New Orleans, the night before the Chicago Bears won the 1986 Super Bowl, 46-10,” and “Ghosts”
by Patrick T. Reardon
My sister held the baby as he died.
She held the nose-tube baby
as his mother exercised at the Y,
exorcized, for moments, grief,
setting fragile, ebbing boy in soft arms. Read more.
“Déjà vu,” “Among the Remains,” and “In an Instant”
by Louise Moises
Threat of late Spring rain,
against the chalk scrawled blackboard,
shower of bullets.
Teachers throw bodies
splashing over stunned students
last lectures of love. Read more.
“Salt,” “Saturn Waning,” and “Impressions”
by Alex Stanley
The moon is a sliver tonight,
or at least it looks it
through the buildings and the trees.
Planted, four, in a row
like towers on a grid,
I wonder if trees can love.
“On the Way to Conception” and “Different Folks”
by Julie Benesh
My parents loved each other but it’s unlikely no one was harmed
on the long, broad path to my conception, and as for fidelity,
my mitochondrial DNA is British all the way to the damsel
du chambre of Queen Philippa, born in Tonbridge Castle,
mother unknown, fathered by Edward’s ambidextrous favorite. Read more.
“New River, Pandemic,” “Lines from New York, On the Massachusetts,” and “De-Winter”
by Ryan Harper
It will take your breath,
the endless wall,
but you will call again.
Lean out, plant the feet:
cinch of gravity at the waist,
below the wash, the rapid. Read more.