Selfie with a U-Haul by Lisa Summe

You come to me in a dream, with a U-Haul [insert lesbian joke], and so does that waiter from the gyro place on McMillan, but in the dream the guy is your brother and translator, and the only way I can talk to you is to talk to him first, tell him everything I want … Read more

Coming Out by Lisa Summe

I drive an hour to your apartment, having only met you twice, wondering what a girl like you, 25, a Master’s degree, wants to do with me. I’m 20, been out of my parents’ house a month, out of the closet a week, and I go to college but don’t know why. I shook your … Read more

Theoretical You by Lisa Summe

Back before you existed to me, before I kissed you up against a wall in winter, and our knees touched for the first time, before we took off our socks— most intimate of intimate— you existed to me in theory, in childhood games where I was the prince and you needed rescue, in my journals—drawings … Read more

Humanization by Rosemarie Dombrowski

An owl in the shape of Ben Franklin. A red-tailed fox with its head in the snow.   We careen into the median as though it’s an attack against disruptions, the hoarse croak and shrill whistle of a continental drift, the lemming pierced with a talon, struck in the fatty tissues of a globally ironic … Read more

Creatures of Sleep by Colin Dodds

The man on the beach is another of us creatures of sleep Fed on sleep made of sleep humming half-hostile lullabies on the shores of sleep Traveling only from one night’s sleep to the next forever burying himself in sleep Perhaps intermittently enthralled by the release and realization of some dream of wakefulness But when … Read more

Waitress by Colin Dodds

Like a waitress the angel waits until your mouth is full   to ask what you think of the Glory

The Devil Loves Karaoke by James Blevins

The Devil licks its fingers clean from the breaking of hearts. Fingers wiped on the walls of a karaoke bar. The bar top is wet, but not from what you think. She looked me up and down. Her hair was black like a nest of shadows, all tangled together. She picked up my beer by … Read more

To Fisheyes Who Collected Old Songs by Benjamin Mueller

  If you yell air raid he’ll drop and give you twenty.   His wires they say are all fucked up. His eyes glazed as he reels   his way to the library most days. Some say he was in   Vietnam, others say he hasn’t come back yet. I always   see him by … Read more

Garden Lyric 2 by Anne Babson

I swam every morning in a lagoon. My long hair never tangled as it dried. The sun combed and curled it for me back then. Leeches kept to their own side of the bog. Jasmine petals fell around me as I dove. The man sometimes came to watch me backstroke. The man never noticed I … Read more

Last Night in Helsinki by Kirby Wright

The first snow falls on the city. An ancient Desoto with a pearl roof parks at the curb. Face it, we’re the couple marked for tragedy. You bump into me window shopping — your stiletto heel stabbing my big toe through sneakers. You envision me as a minor actor in a cartoon world, throwing your … Read more

Tall Tony’s Poem by Brian Fanelli

In workshop, Tall Tony rises, bites his bottom lip, confesses, Every night, I dream of living in a house. We listen to him recall the day his dad left, how the thud of the front door rattled kitchen plates. He then raises his gaze, looks at us through smudged glasses, shuffles to his seat in … Read more

American Literature with Tyrone by Brian Fanelli

Tyrone has a walk, a don’t-fuck-with-me gait. Second day of class, he calls Wheatley an Uncle Tom. That poet just followed those aristocrats who enslaved her, adopted their social order, he says. By mid-semester, he dismisses Woolf, rolls his eyes at Plath. Those writers and their suicides, he says. He praises Hansberry, digs A Raisin … Read more

The Spilsbury Curse by Martina Reisz Newberry

The engraver and cartographer, John Spilsbury, of London, is believed to have produced the firstjigsaw puzzle around 1760, using a marquetry saw.  I learned the world as I sat, still as a stone while the sky broke into puzzle pieces and fell on me. “There it is,” I thought, “just waiting for me to put … Read more

Help Line by Martina Reisz Newberry

I have craved and coveted until my throat closed with the exhaustion of it. The same   goes for waiting. I foresaw a certain future which did not take place so I waited   until another future rose up, brought lessons cruising through the bedrooms of my days   like a Continental Town Car (circa … Read more

Vacation by Joan E. Cashin

Remembering that morning, as father stood wavering on the beach, his toe writing about mother in the sand, while the sea and sky converged on his figure like two blades. Remember that afternoon, as he paced by the collapsing waves, and the gulls broke the blank hotel silence, circling over the field of palm stubble … Read more

Manifest by Joan E. Cashin

Regarding the traffic spilling down the streets at dusk, slow pleasure, as the brakes are pressed, released, and pressed again. Regarding the canvas flag in the plaza giving way in the wind, folding up, framing a triangle of sky and snapping to attention again. Regarding the pale stones lining the dark paths in the park, … Read more

Saturday Night by Joan E. Cashin

Twlight in a small town, the boys prowling the street, driving around helpless and full of longing. Two children burst from the shadows and run into a doorway, quivering like moths, their torches arched with joy, as they shout, “S’prised you!” Grandmother steps onto the porch and calls in a level voice, “Home now.”

Providence by Bree Rolfe

There’s a sign in the lobby that reads: Fine in unblinking neon. The day before you arrive, I don’t notice. After you’re gone, it’s there — suddenly constant, freakishly pink. The hotel bartender, from Kansas, tells me he builds large scale sculptures. He’s trying to reconstruct the one room schoolhouse his mother taught in on … Read more

The Lobster by Bree Rolfe

Nigel regrets his rap days. I make mixes of emo songs I loved ten years ago. In Texas, he’s divorced and I’m dying. Back home there’s him in a track suit performing in Kim Shorey’s basement. And then there’s me loving it. I’m Rob Base and I came to get down… This is what adults … Read more

Part of the Family by P M F Johnson

In our shadowed bedroom a small weight leans against me, surprises me awake. The dog’s sigh echoes my wife, both restless in their dreams. She lifts him onto our bed when tom-toms of thunder drive nightmares up the horizon, or on the first thankful night we return home from a trip. This satisfies his need … Read more

Natural Disaster by P M F Johnson

Take the stairway down past strewn and damp-dappled rough hewn planks broken cobbles holding the crush above the weight of ruined rooms feel for each step hopelessness choking thoughts your breath loud proceed over splinters torn photos memories a murmur ahead explains the dampness on your skin the stirring of waters your foot goes suddenly … Read more

Violently Sundered by Steve Wilson

Violently sundered, shattered, we are          ash and debris –    ragged fragments of song now   borne away by the light.