Poetry

After I Couldn’t Grind With Sylvia Ramos by Joe Benevento

After I Couldn’t Grind With Sylvia Ramos by Joe Benevento

in Kerry Cannon’s basement, his cut-up-glow-paper walls surrounding us with so many smug stars and planets, while the Friends of Distinction slow-sung “Going in Circles” to emphasize the irony: I a freshman at Cathedral Prep in a dark room recognizing no priesthood beyond what I might sanctify by pressing Sylvia’s present willingness tight through...
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After The Old Guy Actually Applauded My Landing of a Five Pound Rainbow by Joe Benevento

After The Old Guy Actually Applauded My Landing of a Five Pound Rainbow by Joe Benevento

I called back my thanks, still focused on the fish I had pulled out by putting my hand inside its mouth, where what passes for teeth in trout conspired with my pink and silver treble-hooked spoon to complicate my rushing joy for one that had not gotten away. In my haste to show my...
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Dr. Frankenstein’s Lament by Dorene O’Brien

Dr. Frankenstein’s Lament by Dorene O’Brien

Blame that last flash and clap, tumultuous, explosive, as if the skies themselves feared what he did not yet see: the yellowed eyes, the protruding brow, green skin stretched like rough canvas over a hasty marriage of joint and bone. When that light rent the night’s dark skirts the stars themselves hid from the...
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Costume Closet by Sarah White

Costume Closet by Sarah White

I throw away the slacks of solitude socks of solitude leggings bloomers crinoline chemise lace bib buckram ruff jerkin over-blouse of solitude sash cummerbund foulard raincoat great-coat cape poncho parka shawl shawl top hat tiara beret fedora cloche of solitude girdle garters corset half-slip pajama robe kimono night-gown wrapper slipper sandal Stop I’ll keep...
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Gacela of Moonshine by Tanya Ko

Gacela of Moonshine by Tanya Ko

I want to dance like her on the crowded floor I want to writhe in music guiltless as a child I want eternal blood circulating like a halo I want to dance like a rising sun in Death Valley. I do not want to live like a shadow in my life I refuse to...
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One Foreign Summer Day by Tanya Ko

One Foreign Summer Day by Tanya Ko

The sun is going down—disappearing like me. I, holding on to the light, the last capture of my sight.  Soon my blood will spurt like a burst pipe over the warm summer field. The greedy animal will satisfy his thirst. Go ahead, eat me, eat all of me. Do not tranquilize me. Do not...
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Second Period by Tanya Ko

Second Period by Tanya Ko

I got called in to a little dark room, windowless. Mrs. Lopez showed me a picture book. Khang, I say. No, river, she says. Liver, I say. Not liver, it’s river, she says. That’s what I said, river, river, river, khang— It’s a khang! She shook her head. Look at my mouth, she says,...
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Perfidy Recipe by Teresa Tulipano

Perfidy Recipe by Teresa Tulipano

When baking something fluffy like divinity you always want to allow the eggs to get old first let them sit out of the fridge for a couple days Although I am sure there’s a reactive chemical explanation, I don’t understand the science of it, but it’s one of the few truths my mother told...
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The People in the Health Food Store by Kim Dower

The People in the Health Food Store by Kim Dower

The people in the health food store don’t look healthy which is why they’re here. I’m here to get carrot chips, craving crunch, flavor, after visiting my mother at the home where flavor only appears in faint whiffs of memory, where people in wheelchairs suspiciously eye the applesauce on their trays delivered...
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Inertia by Kim Dower

Kim Dower_0126

She sits on her bed all day every day, wearing nothing but a stained smock from yesterday’s closet. She holds a long white candle under her chin but never lights it. She is out of matches. No evidence of nourishment, she’s sustained by watching clouds hump like the oversized white cushions...
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Bud by Magdalawit Makonnen

Bud by Magdalawit Makonnen

Get inside a sequined dream. Quiet girl on whose quiet back, on whose upright lips— a line to break open. Fissure of words against memory’s stone— a song in one ear.
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Fish by Magdalawit Makonnen

Fish by Magdalawit Makonnen

You will soon cleave away from your night like a fish, in the direction of your father who has eaten from grief, who leapt inside his fish. And you forget your mother blue who feels in her kitchen, who prays for you. While you collect dust like an old figurine; your heart...
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Once She Determines Her Life Should Be Foldable by Lisa Cheby

Once She Determines Her Life Should Be Foldable by Lisa Cheby

She starts with bookcases, ingenious designs that hinge on the shelves, the sides, ready to fold on a moment’s notice. Her lover holds disdain, like the shelves hold books she reads each night, and folds dreams in their pages. She covets a foam bed that folds into a couch. Even her...
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Resistance by Lisa Cheby

Resistance by Lisa Cheby

Native to the bush are black boys, now called grass trees, that grow two centimeters a year. In private, my aunt still uses their old name.   Inland, dust combusts. Fires preserve the continent’s aboriginal species: Australian bush, California brush.   Oceans spew updrafts, too weak to hold accumulated weight of rain that pelts...
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Go Children Slow by Paul Hostovsky

Go Children Slow by Paul Hostovsky

I imagine the Office of Signage within the Department of Public Works has a book of haiku lying open on a table with an interesting shape, and the Director, a thoughtful man of very few words, is steering a hot cup of tea with both hands up to his lips, staring meditatively out a...
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Girl in Mexico by Massiel Ladrón De Guevara

Girl in Mexico by Massiel Ladrón De Guevara

There’s a girl in Mexico I’ve never met Who wears my clothes And I’m told cries with joy Each time the old man From her church Drives up her dirt road And delivers paper bags Filled with clothes From across the border We are the same Blouse and shoe size Same pant size too...
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The Difference In Mass by Jean Berrett

The Difference In Mass by Jean Berrett

As a myth worthy of belief, the dusk will do.   A last glittering in the marsh where the wind has finally died and night stretches out like a long body breathing over the grassy water.   In Milwaukee this afternoon, an old woman who had packed her only life in two plastic sacks...
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Where the Hutchinson Parkway Turns into the Merritt by Christine Aletti

Where the Hutchinson Parkway Turns into the Merritt by Christine Aletti

I drove into the wall just to feel something concrete.  My sedan erupted into a darkening field, where purple loosestrife begged   for wind. Paranoid drained of body, who else is there  to stand on?   I stand to agree with soil— We miss our wetness and  are sick of waiting for beetles to...
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Old White Farmer by Cynthia Ruffin

Old White Farmer by Cynthia Ruffin

I stand behind you My pelvis flush against your backside To hold unsteady legs in place The two of us squeezed in the can My hands, experienced at working in the dark, Unbutton your Wrangler jeans Faded from glory days long past Days when farmers didn’t wear sunscreen And a good day’s work paid...
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Studying for the MCAT by Sharon Venezio

Studying for the MCAT by Sharon Venezio

Lungs, you say, are the unimagined house inside the body, the breathing universe with the breadth of snow and silence and the Trachea is a lonely brown thrasher singing the longest love song in history. We lie in bed, gaze at the phosphorescent stars stuck to the ceiling and wall, constellations collide with the...
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