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“Apple-Cold,” “Not Understanding,” and “If”

by Erich von Hungen

It is that first cold
that brings the apples,
the apple-cold,
the cold that moves the white moon
further, further up the tree,
the cold where the still, clear sky
lifts and stretches out
as if waking and making itself ready
for when the apples
and the moon
and the warm sun are gone,

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“Notes on Starvation”

by Mary Sun

I always thought this poem would be about an ex,
or the child I still wish for sometimes.
Then I realized it was about you
and my bones stopped.

When I told you I had learned not to trust the village,
you cried with me. Held my tears in soft hands
and mixed honey into my tea.
Honey that outlasted us.

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“Primetime Jabberwock, Harry Didn’t Clown Around,” “Septuagenarian’s Stroller Soundtrack,” and “Clownpourri”

by Gerard Sarnat

Let’s not get mathy Cathy or walk
away Resnais but Colonel Tibbets’
Enola Gay thunderous mushroom
fireburst above Hiroshima mon amour
41 days before I’m born instantly
zapped 79,831, perhaps somewhat
more than a third of that once
gorgeous city’s population —
it was filmed for our viewing
pleasure by a companion B-29
ironically named Necessary Evil

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“Be Mine,” “Premium Assortment,” and “The Past and Her Muse: a Blazon”

by Christy Sheffield Sanford

I linger over plump, plush, push-up-bra valentines,
those with glitter and bling, iridescent textured papers,
laser-cut-love in plastic, wood, flammable, frameable
rice paper, limited-edition fabrications to rival-any third
world butterfly. Cards as big as a menu in a decadent
Antoine’s or Galatoire’s of 1960s New Orleans. Will
this memento salve an indiscretion

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“Severe Weather Warning,” “Alive,” and “Mundane”

by Samantha Rafalowski

Droughts are just as dangerous as floods
I’m not an artist I just like holes in my
body
And daydreaming of ink in my veins
Circling in charcoal patterns my father once drew
With strong hands. We shared the old studio.
I’m not emotional I just like the electric color of red eyes
And showering in the dark with someone else’s
Voice echoing my thoughts in the background

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“For Poseidon,” “A Marriage,” and “Sons”

by Brittany Mishra

That night in the temple, when he hurt her,
the asps found her ravaged, her hair tangled;
they buried their tails into her scalp
as tree roots sew into earth and soil.
They kept her safe from his sea, enthralled her,
and pointed with their tongues to her escape.
They guided her through meadow and forest
to a quiet cave high atop a cliff.

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“Crickets,” “The Man in the Coffee Shop,” and “Edgewise”

by Alex King

freed from for a moment my sonic mechanics
and I started to hear a free fiddling buzz it was
that wild clicking din of innumerable tiny tigers
-eye bug-leg violins: crickets!
cruising from the roofs of blades
play vesper serenades for June boys,
vim Julies, whose bodies’ limbs are pinwheeling
vibrato by their sides in halls of tall wheat grasses…

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