Lamaze

The instructor said to loosen my knees, to wallow in my pain, to low, even. My head and forearms on her counter, I was shaking it slow for my wife watching with the rest. I felt exactly like a man trying to act like a woman to be thought of as the kind of man… More

I must be honest with myself: sometime

in the future will be violence, sometime a gun will appear in a public place and bodies will fall, for here, where my daughter four days old on my chest sleeps, her fontanel against my chin, is America. I’ve known it all along. Sometime bullets will rip through sheetrock, and someone’s neighbor will enter a… More

Enough Muscular Grace

1. How strangely satisfied I am constructing containment as I assemble my child’s crib. Side-rail A’s tongue judders into the headboard’s groove, and a bolt spins in. Torquing the Allen wrench, I’m godlike: it disappears in my squeeze, burrows another bolt. But step two requires translation. Language—another of so many cribs, the human tongue honed… More

Mazza’s Vignette #101

If the marrow was fireworks and alcohol, the quick promises that never bother to shrug when they run out of technique, then we should have never worried when the last five years looked eerily similar to a dog humping the air to completion. Darren C. Demaree‘s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in The South… More

Soul Life

I wake and walk in a body that demands daily but suffers not. Neither saint nor ruler angel nor power neither things present past or to come shall be my water. For as necessary as air and as unnoticed as my beating heart I go forth from within, boundaryless, infinite. Yvonne Higgins Leach‘s work has… More

Three Starlings

In the bare upper branches of a still-standing, colonial-era hanging tree recruited, reputedly, for intransigent young blacks, perch three starlings, widely spaced, still as the winter afternoon, silent as a boy left lynched, stiff in a hunkered-down way that suggests they will not fly away from this strangled place until— as they bear hard witness… More

Vocation (noun): occupation, calling, field, business: Poetry

Where in the world is there room for this: the daisy could stay forgotten, pressed between pages until disintegration, no one remembering to care. So you memorize this: how we placed the daisy so gently under the passage we together read, how we placed the book in its dusty place on a shelf. By day… More