the waves receded in december

Raena Shirali & abandoned the jellyfish on the beach. no messages were etched in the sand— no lovers or children dragging twigs through the grains. we were left with cargo ships rounding the harbor, left standing amidst a plume of the dead, sunlight stinting off bodies the color of melting glass. i admit it was… More

Canopies

Martin Balgach For Jack Myers On my way to Arkansas for work this job has me selling books to strangers and I’m reading you on the plane drunk in your canopy of hurt when I think of my wife and son back home where I left them in winter’s morning, single digits, everything frozen white… More

Autumnal Sycamore

Kathy Fagan Spring’s go-go green’s flung over for harvest season’s 70s kitchen colors just in time. Cultivated thornless For the burbs, honey locusts heap their leaves up Like gold pieces for the common folk, a school Of minnows the cat might dream of, stretching, Flexing his paws, all Japanese maple & symmetrical Velvet. Worker worm… More

Sycamore in Jericho

Kathy Fagan Year 33 of Agnus Dei, Zac the tax man shimmies up to better see the Christ Parade: Parable Mirabilis, Parabola Miraculous. I knew the stories: the blind sighted, the dead alive, the cult of boys all soon-to-be-snoring at the soon-gored side. So I say: Little man, it is easier for a hundred needles… More

How Far

Jim Tolan Among the pines in summer, a fragrance before the rain At nightfall, a silence between the boughs. Even the insects of the high branches are without a sound. We are only partly dressed as wind begins to stir the grass around our knees. Where is my left shoe? How far are we from… More

Like a photo

Ely Shipley Beach sand and ocean blossom at high tide. We claw the cliff toward our hotel drunk. We tear off clothes. Our skin soaked with night. Squares of light from windows frame face, thigh, elbow. Stars seep in. Still as sun dial, the room shadows around me. My eyes close. A bud retracts color.… More

Shadows of birds in sun spots

Ely Shipley a movie unfolding from my ceiling, silent except the soundtrack a chirp. Black and white except the giant yellow blossom where the ceiling bleeds during storms. A kind of corsage a god brings. It hovers. A lamp, perched bird, eye of moon keeping watch. We undress beneath warm breath we blow against each… More

Shortly after dying

Ely Shipley I wanted to come back but the world didn’t want me. Your face was a blank bullet that still terrifies a blanket that hides a face erased page sheet we might have slept beneath without touching. Before I died, I cradled an infant. I sang it lull-a-byes. Aren’t all songs? But it kept… More

Wash

Denise Duhamel It’s the first sunny day after weeks of rain so the line for the car wash is twenty-six deep. But I wait anyway, reading a book in my lap, looking up after every sentence or so to see if I can move, if there is progress. I’m number twelve when a Lexus SUV… More