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Tara Bray

The warbler’s folded in my tongue
like a lemon drop. What joy
it is to trap a festival inside,

Chard deNiord

In steps at your command/down the plank of a tall
fast ship with the salt/of sex across its lips.

Katherine Hollander

These creatures with breathing blue
necks. Arch and bristle. Forelock and star.

Katherine Hollander

Round-headed, round-eyed, curious, astonished, like an owl or a sea lion, but white as moonlight: a lynx with feathered feet, a little snow-colored kit, bounding. Hullo, you silence. Hullo you secret joy. Take flight into the blackest forest, where the wild boar still roots with a coral-pink snout. Let him find you his one prize, […]

Jessica Goodfellow

In origami the mountain fold
folds down—constructing
an obstacle. The valley fold
folds up: receptacle.
The difference between
structure and stricture,
between paperweight
and wastepaper basket.

Nancy Eimers

Frog eyes glimmer in water then douse themselves and shiny turtles topple off a log down to the water’s under-black when I step out skin    form    and sun hauled out of layers of trees spring wood      summer wood the bark and pith to walk and stand at shore and trying not to move […]

WAITING Monday April 16th At the barre at Miss Allie’s I lean and dream: onstage alone where the spotlight glows, fears of an audience scatter like stage dust. Music flows through me – it always does like air and blood moving my limbs to dance in ways that push me out so close to the […]

Carol Tyx

The teacher did not like the poem,

but seemed unable to say why, his face

seeping dismay or disgust.

William Olsen

Wherefore the marram grass settled the land there also sprang the children who are as the sand in the sea, and houses on stilts as good as gone.

David Moolten

For they everted the irreversible,
Proved all that time my life went door slam
Door slam done an epic waste for the sake
Of argument.

Majda Talal Gama

I’ve seen you in souks that spill with people,

On streets that reek of three continents,

Found you filling cut-glass crystal with the scent

Of nine woods and the rose petals of three cities.

Jessica Goodfellow

The brain, Aristotle ruled,

was a system meant to cool

the heart. Hot heart.

William Olsen

Gust smattered gobs of snow glommed to spruce
limbs
shingled white, then, through snow fume, a hint
of living green

Michael J Pagán

Unghost, the leftover residue across the surfaces of the sea, after a receding

wave or a skimming of the hands.

Majda Talal Gama

No sweeter air than the breeze that brushes the ankles
of the Lebanese women in their shift dresses

Frannie Lindsay

What else is she ever going to be
but one of the wind’s outgrown costumes
stuck in the swingset’s tangled chains

Dante Di Stefano

The dead don’t bivouac by the riverside.
I reckon love ain’t two fifths consolation,
but a pint of bastard light through the gut.

Matt Yurdana

Some admire the old bull’s cracked horns and peeling hooves, the second skin of ancient

mud as wrecked and crumbling as this narrow road

Gary Moore

I wanted the prize but the prize looked the other way
It was the other prize…

Frannie Lindsey

Sometimes you visit bringing the lilacs’ stifle and chill
sometimes the earthworms’ benevolent gleam

Laura Budofsky Wisniewski

You can dress my naked genome up.
You can teach it art and poetry,
but it will pace the corners of the night
grunting, ‘Something else. There’s something else.’

Nancy Eimers

Under the skin, that’s where I am afraid—
I found it in the mirror tonight
between my breasts and just below
where halves of the ribcage meet…

Joel Brouwer

We should be glad our safety and security
are someone’s top priority, yet we
can’t help but hope for fresh announcements

Chard deNiord

In a sea beneath a sea without a name
where waters gathered to a clarity
that was also sorrow.

Annie Lighthart

The body keeps us ordinary. It says Sleep, and we must,
it says Eat, and we do.

Mike Wright

The office tower is glass,
so cars float on its wall as ghosts,
and I’m a phantom too, my shadow split
as three figments onto the marble floor.

francine j harris

i have walked with half a skull and i have walked
with a blanch shell. i have walked, legs
split hungry, and i have walked too old.

Laura Budofsky Wisniewski

Only half the deadwood’s down.
A man’s maul releases
the sour smell of poplar,
severs the gnarled scars of oak,
bites through yellow beech.

Gary Moore

I wanted the prize but the prize looked the other way
It was the other prize

Chard deNiord

Her son’s dreadful bodies, buried by that mass, drenched the Earth/
with streams of blood, and they say she warmed it to new life,/
so that a trace of her children might remain, transforming it

Julie Cadwallader Staub

This goat kicked me only once,
as if to say she knows
I’m an amateur

Kari Smith

like chrysanthemums, like tulips;
like the droopy pink heads of peonies
that filled our kitchen windowsill, spilling
over mason jars and plastic cups…

Lisa Breger

I don’t want to leave this world:
My friends are in it, and there’s so much beauty.

Pussy (cropped) by Toby Gonzalez
John James

Impalpable, transparent, a big man /
In a rabbit-coat turns twice, turns three times…

Laura Budofsky Wisniewski

one day the skin will fold like a velvet curtain
the limbs will knot and bend
the old fears will work their way to the surface

Neil Shepard

Exit upward toward commuter blue, clouds billowing
in enormous sky. Here, fields open wide, slanting upward
toward antediluvian barns, barn-board and stone leaning, leaning…

Neil Shepard

And charity is a spare that will spare us the night broken down.

Daneen Bergland

I imagined looking down at my fingers to find
they were feathers. I have been that useless.
I have felt the moon beating on our roof,

Daneen Bergland

I wish this waiting felt more like work. I’m so tired
of cataloging all the things we’ll miss. Plastic, pollen,

Daneen Bergland

to read the bees. All the while
the unfinished business of discovery,
fingertips perched on their tiny platforms

Marcus Myers

Before the weight
of our thing overtook us, we undressed.

Matthew Hotham

The miss(ed) anticipation of needs:
a hesitance to object—or,
readiness to complain.

Matthew Hotham

the hops of licit love curl the tongue to bitter

Lisa Furmanski

the eras are deep vaults, peeking and seeping beyond.
And the ridge line is the skyline is pure water.

Jessica Melilli-Hand

The first three rosaries that ever were were black black
for grief for beauty for burnt mustard seeds and what the smoke released.
Some say the threads snapped when God and Lucifer played tug-of-war,
best two out of three. Some say God never was…

Peter Cooley

There’s no way you can see all six at once.
Even walking around them, they’re too much again.
Today, as always, I fasten on just one.

Peter Cooley

Dead singularity of all things seen

in isolation, —

I take one sculpture with me this morning.

Peter Cooley

Crossing the God-line, I am in a space,
I tell myself,–lying–I made myself.
It’s always new, there’s always this re-birth
so long as I remember why I’m here

Mary Fitzpatrick

On this walk
the bones of the beach

glow. They choose their light
from moon’s candle…

Lauren Hilger

I as Leda loved you,

we had read the myth,

with indecorum…

Lauren Hilger

Tolstoy is in the cold of Madison Avenue, Christmas lit.
Still a scent of horses, men in ties, a marble intensity.

Pigeons come too close,
scatter wind off the wing
and lovelessness.

Cody Todd

In America, it is always
the car and the road, the gun
and the girl, the grasp beating the reach,
the inevitable death in a bank vault.

Susan Cohen

In gorges, gibbons howled and Li Po
drank the wine of wandering.
Forever drunk, I face rock-born moon, he sang

Harold Whit Williams

Some evenings, it’s the Tejano thump from a Chevy
Tricked-out, all lowdown & shit, slow slinking up

Our dead tree street, reverberating the 120 bpm
Into our thin-walled fifties bungalow. Other times

Harold Whit Williams

I’ve been paying more & more attention to all the voices
Inside my head – the Swedish chef Muppet; Faulkner reading

Short stories in 1958, pie-pen-dih-culah & plant-ay-shun;

Dante Di Stefano

The dead don’t bivouac by the riverside.
I reckon love ain’t two fifths consolation,
but a pint of bastard light through the gut.

Eric Berlin

The day my dad came back to get his stuff,
he brought a guy I’d never met, some goon
named Dirk who whispered (when my dad was off
yanking shirts from hangers in his old room)
how hard these things can be…

francine j. harris

i have walked with half a skull and i have walked
with a blanch shell. i have walked, legs
split hungry, and i have walked too old.

Emily Casey

In the kitchen, the wolves

curl down between us

among the wooden legs of chairs

where the baby crawls

Anna Llewellyn Coe

I ask her what changes when I turn off the light
and she says, Go ahead.
I ask what else and
she says, According to whom?

Thomas March

She chose an inconvenient time to die
but chose the warmest place there was, away
from the mossy tree where we kept her chained
for safety, so she wouldn’t run away.

Katrin Tschirgi

I was a gerund,
filling the holes like water for lakes.

Russ Madison

The black glass of your jaw,
Benny, cracked. Across
The bruised isthmus of your mouth-
Piece, black-capped teeth
Smiled away ten rounds…

Rosemary Kitchen

We move away
from the shop counter, where knives
clack against cutting boards, cleaving spines
from carp, stripping scales from white flesh…

Catherine Freeling

Men with strong arms, tall ladders, aprons full of tools
asked me, Is there anything you want to save?

Ellen LaFleche

The nuns are not allowed to look at their own image

Still,
Sister Beatrice craves reflection.

Emily Pulfer-Terino

…Praise our stories, bread, our hands, our brains, our crazed
and flimsy hearts, praise all that ever lead us reeling towards this world
we couldn’t, haven’t, but we still might, someday, understand.

Rochelle Hurt

The sun throws down its red light, draping
the asphalt. I know your show, I say, how
you love the swish of the curtain’s close.

Emily Pulfer-Terino

I knew about birth that it happens unbidden
by us, the born, the living.

April Goldman

Our bodies did not comply,
with our one-piece suits, the type

that carve a girl
into a shapely S.

Ashley Seitz Kramer

At first you were lonely
then I was lonely. Then
we fell through the hammock
in our sloping yard.

Nancy K. Pearson

When I broke through the woods I was clear

to the marsh. The frayed scrapes.
The lost tongues.

Nancy K. Pearson

…My father is a lime green leaf that gets up

and walks away when you touch it
because he’s really a katydid. I can’t remember the name for this kind

of camouflage.

David Cooke

I don’t know where to start. Far before the moon pulled the tide
to your chin. Before your groin became a grotto. Before the brine
washed away the haloes your feet squeeze into the sand.

Ravi Shankar

In post-Artemis posture, with red thigh-highs,
spangled bustier, lasso of truth and unbreakable

tiara, Wonder Woman was invented…

Georganna Millman

When the thumb of summer presses down
and the creek dries up,
a subterranean babble rises from under bed-rocks,
lapping at the roof of a mouth.

Delali Ayivor

I was nine years old when my mother came to me,
told me of her
designs for the modern black woman.
“No more pain,” she said.

Delali Ayivor

It’s 4:15 am
and I have woken (again)
to read a chapter
of Lolita and the Metamorphosis, two books
that were never meant
to be read together

Mishka Hoosen

Dear Susannah like a bird
I am going to drive out today
to the desert, you know the place

Joanne Clarkson

Among barnacles and agates
as tides leak up the beach
she picks through litter
to choose a new labyrinth…

Doug Ramspeck

Hard to tell the birds from their voices
in the darkening field where hemoglobin

clouds drift low to the earth, bleeding
along their underbellies

Shelley Girdner

Greedy doll, so greedy you swallowed
four more like you, each with a rosebud mouth
matching floral blouse and hair kerchief too.

Lisa Rosinsky

Well I was definitely a cat, in one of them,
and I think I might have also been the captive
of a pirate or a robber, someone swashbuckling…

Joseph Bruchac

Who sang

the first song?

What human throat

first set free a note

Paul Carroll

It has stared at us for thirty years,
the scar they drew when your heart
objected to the material world.

Paul Carroll

You could see that she was caught
but wanted no escape, the way she tapped
her chest and refused the hammock chair…

Gary Moore

The stars pulled me closer
And unzipped their little silver jackets
And pressed their breasts side-to-side on my chest…

Sandra Stone

Nimble and knobby, high-stepping it is how flamingos do it, courting adagio under the kliegs, pretending dark. Their smile Flora confirmed for herself after climbing into the pen before she was pulled from it (giddy, gleeful) at the zoo, conservatory for the taxidermist. Everything is inclined that way—to mating. Flora had read this in a […]

George Kalamaras

I make easy emptiness of all the washing.
There is a washer woman in my ear. A very large sky. Remove the bees.

It is your name, solid around me, like a scar.
I would forever be grateful if you would call me Japanese scroll.

Wendy Miles

A spool of smoke unwinds across the sky. Crow clack, cicada, bodies open to the sky. In 79 AD ash and roasting heat seal an envelope around Herculaneum; they look but find no sky. But the heart remains. See it telescope the chest, long for the moon’s pull, that flight to the sky. Cyrano knew […]

Trina Burke

This fever is coming to its crisis. Body prostrate
for much of the day. Why not bite
a bullet or a dowel to weather the throes
of chill and bone torture tactics?

Trina Burke

Faded earth-toned photograph
at 45 RPMs preserves the speed of the roll-away
Davenport and infant me balanced on your knees…

Holly Virginia Clark

If I’m afraid of the hall of earthless burials,
the taxidermied bodies of beasts
we’ve brought down or dug up…

W.M. Lobko

First week of school all my pens clench up.
Faulty by the boxful, snapped pencil points.
What few words there are are warped.

Sally Rosen Kindred

This was back when meaning was trapped
in pebbled covers the color of his suit.
This was back when meaning
was the engine up the drive…

Sally Rosen Kindred

Grief wants her lean and pink
taking the sidewalk in warm sandals
and a summer dress. Her tenth June
is a hard plum’s shine. The sun is cotton.

Sara Michas-Martin

Hello internal assembly team.
I am un-singular today in this rash of faces.
I sense the careful in me trolling.
An itch welling at the crown.

Sarah Stanton

jackstraw,
where are you
wobbling—cap off
and tum fat, the sum
of grain?

Sarah Stanton

girl, go slowly in the yellow evening:
old man thunder’s got a grumble on
downtown and the hot drops of rain
are ready falling with a whip-smack…

Michael David Madonick

My wife does not believe me, in fact
she has started to mock me, to register

in her discourse and demeanor a kind of
flippant disregard for my sincerity…