photo of discarded grocery list on the ground

Two Poems by Jim Zola

Missing I ignore the peeling trim, bare spots on the lawn. A grocery list: beer, detergent. No warm dinner waits. I eat two bowls of Cheerios, drink the last beer, step outside to smoke. Stars blink. The dog paws the dirt and barks at nothing. By morning, I practice concern. Should I shave? What to…

photo of window with exterior view of snowdrifts at night

Ministry of Winter by Daniel Smart

At the mercy of such pristine majesty, everything manmade simplifies, like some haphazard fraction. No terrific, mottled Appaloosas—only the innocent infinity of their barnyards everywhere; simultaneous lengths of all time and roads compacted, creaking, and anonymously on display. Even at the bracing smokewhite of daybreak, all seems equally dazzling and incidental, slowed to a dead…

photo of chocolate cupcake with white icing and lit candle on top

Two Years, Ablative by Michael Fertik

There are still spots on the carpet where you dripped blood My Dupont textured Saxony cut pile carpet, Off-white, like clotted cream oxygenated for an hour. Three spots left, of the seven You scrubbed vigorously. You see? you said. Abluted! You were shaking, cackling. I can see three when I bend my neck, And the…

photo of red jell-o shot

Two Poems by Robert Beveridge

The Bearer’s Pint Flash of tongue trails over pink lip matches your top flowered, loose in all the right places not quite to your jeans. The kiss can be deadly but is oh so delicious. Roman legions, it is said, used it as a rite of passage a toast of manhood. The Gelatissassin (after Hendrixson)…

photo of a cow

Stolen Pleasures by Lise Colas

Taken from the larder on a sultry summer’s day, generous pats of best Epping butter, delivered by Mr Thackeray every second Tuesday in the month. Sly taste of salty gold on the tip of a rounded silver blade. Spread thick, without thought of the dwindling scraps left behind in the dinky blue and white butter…

photo of a bear

Two Poems by Jeff Whitney

Perpetual Country (Blood) It’s ok to be out of rivers and weak. Even today, wind troubling the lake’s thin chemise, two green birds kissing on a soldier’s cap, a Kansas calf’s warm blood misting the bullet   made miraculous by speed. We fail so perfectly as if it were designed. Sugar and sex the closest…

photo of girl with dark hair covering her face

Borealis by William C. Blome

The Indian girl in the bright green dress from down, down Madras way; the Indian girl with an overbite, hairy arms, and brassy coins; the Indian girl who’s somewhat tiresome at the zoo with her “let’s-stay-here-till-closing-time” chant in front of the great sandbox turtles and a rhino call home; oh the Indian girl whose voice…

photo of snake skeleton

Being by Michael O’Neill

It was cold the day you touched me. Your hands entering just below the ribs, opening the drawer inside me, pulling it loose from its tracks, emptying the contents on the floor and rifling through the chalk white bones in search of the constellation spiraling through the atmosphere of my carcass.   We are all…

photo of medicine bottle containing happy pills

Two Poems by C.J. Miles

Preface  [Redacted] walks through walls. [Redacted] butters her toast on both sides. [Redacted] bleeds bees. [Redacted] calls me collect from the afterlife. [Redacted] takes photographs of [Redacted] in a bed of cotton balls. [Redacted] is a scar on my right elbow. [Redacted] is born on the edge of a cliff. [Redacted] falls off the cliff,…