photo of sea anemone

Two Poems by Patrick Bower

Adaptations A Brindle Afghan disappears, if she can manage to be still,   before a backdrop of shrubbery like triggerfish into the sargassum   a jaguar into the understory or a human into a plaza,   where hundreds are dancing, swaying together or apart,   like the tentacles of a sea anemone hypnotic, concealing harpoons.…

photo of rainwater droplets on glass

We Are One by Scott Paul Hallam

I always imagined that when one of our hearts would break, the other’s would shatter too. While my sister Evette and I have two separate hearts, we share a chest, a torso, and a vulva. We share most other things as well — like this one-bedroom apartment on the East side, Pollack prints covering exposed…

photo of black coffee cup on a patio table

Buckley Was Wrong by Cameron Dezen Hammon

You don’t want me, and the force of you not wanting me creates a shape; the presence of an absence, like an amputated limb. Here’s the courtyard you aren’t crossing. Here’s the stone step under mossy tree where you don’t sit, pulling me down next to you. You don’t take me to a coffee shop…

photo of sugar cookie

Never Family by Lee Landau

I swear I never wrote about you, days spent cleaning, always ironing the sheets and underwear,   hours cooking and baking for the freezer, never family.   Karen, sly bandito, searched your purse, the cabinets and kitchen drawers. You kept that freezer   locked daring anyone to steal your hard work…always, always for people outside…

photo of a peacock feather

Feather Boy by Toni Marshall

He has peacock feathers. They stick out just above his butt – blues, greens, purples. They shimmer in the light. I like it most when he dances. The feathers shiver like virgins. I watch him in the anorexic moonlight. Every night. When it rains, snows, when the wind screams, and tonight, when the midnight air…

photo of heart-shaped potato

A Small Potato by Brian Robert Flynn

You are a small potato. Bigger potatoes are dancing to fantastic music in outer space, but you can’t go there. You’re a simpleton blown to bits by the cut and thrust of superior tubers, by the gravity of dancing. Your zen is here in the grocery store, moving through life as a good or service,…

photo of red and white pill capsules

Veritas in Dubium by Jordan Ramsey

You wake up and already your Verum Anniversarium letter is in your inbox. For twenty years you have waited for this letter, a glimpse into your future…well, probably. Most likely. Eighty-twenty. For weeks now you have been preparing yourself for this moment, deciding what you were going to believe. In just three hours, the truth…