Grace Maselli: “To Overlook”

To Overlook

She plunges into water, feet first and naked except for her patent leather Mary Janes, shoes she found on corrugated metal in a junk yard, fearless of depth, she swims the water, then gets out to walk the silver sands in her sun-dried Mary Janes to Roadside America and its 8,000 square feet of miniature village, to get more perspective on the world she’s part of, to overlook the little village, to see the world she’s part of from a height of 5’ 8”, fearless of scale she pivots and runs to roses made of headlights, as the heels of her cracked Mary Janes begin to splay from wear, fearless of what disintegrates, as she searches in sunshine, as she searches and draws closer, as she searches and weeps for the angels in all those junk yards, in all those searches for ghosts in junk yards where she hunts to find pieces of the past she’s lost, fearless of that inscription her dead husband writes 12 years earlier, the one with her name and the names of their two kids and his own name, the names he writes in cement 12 years earlier and rings in a heart he draws with the corner angle of a spackle knife, the one he finds on corrugated metal in a junk yard, the heart he draws in wet cement as he rebuilds her kitchen that she overlooks from a height of 5’ 8”, while she stands in her broken-hearted Mary Janes and replays the scene, this time as she extends her hand to him, the one that connects from her pumping heart and through the angel that waits for him sooner than she ever imagines the angel could, to mirror the heart he draws, to mirror love, to mirror the inscription inside the heart in cement he will cover forever in ceramic tile, never to be seen again.

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Grace Maselli‘s work has appeared in Cleaver MagazinePoydras ReviewStreetlight MagazineThe Penmen Review42 Magazine, and Barometric Pressures. Her poem, “Queen of African Violets,” was the 2019 first-place winner in the Jacaranda Poetry Contest sponsored by the Pasco Fine Arts Council and the Cannon Memorial Library at Saint Leo University, St. Leo, FL. She studied in New York City at the Writers Studio founded by poet and author, Philip Schultz. Grace lives in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. She’s at work on a new collection of poetry and flash.

Megan Lee: “A Day In”

A Day In 
 
For twenty-four hours,
everything was strawberries,
 
sweet on my tongue.
Snow blanketed the ground
 
as we ate seasoned meatballs.
I think of Union Square
 
and the best truffle gnocchi
I’ve ever had. 
 
Outside, people shovel their cars
from the depths and drive away,
 
their lights like the heads of flies.
I wonder if they can see me from the window.
 
I could miss so many faces
if I forget to look backwards.
 
I could miss a whole cathedral.
I could forget to miss his face
 
while I talk of love all day.
I’m slowly tricking myself.
 
At least my skin is allowed to be naked.
Tingling like carbonated lemonade under my hands.
 
The forgetting makes me fearful of easy smiles,
scared of feeling cold red flowers
 
resting on my chest.

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Megan Lee is a student studying law. She enjoys writing poetry in her spare time. 

Emalisa Rose: “waterfalling”

waterfalling

up from
the peripheral
streaming the
vertical

pounding the
shutters

your trifecta
pitch perfect
lexicon of
water wisdom

dousing me
window side
in the rococo

the craving to
delve into you

to finger your
braille words

..waterfalling

etching my
tributaries
riding your river
of afterthoughts 

somehow you knew...

i was longing
to slither

back under 
your rain rhythms

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Emalisa Rose is a poet, dollmaker, crafts artist. She has worked in Special Education and animal rescue. She has been published in several online journals. When she is not writing, she is created a bond with her 6 grandkids, trying to instill in them a love for art and an understanding of kindness.

Marjorie Sadin: “Sometimes it’s best to be a little deaf.”

“Sometimes it’s best to be a little deaf.” (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
 
You cough in your sleep and curs
I try to listen to you, but can’t.
You praise me, you scold me or worse.
I’ve grown accustomed to your rants.
 
I try to listen to you, but can’t.
Sometimes it’s best to be a little deaf.
I’ve grown accustomed to your rants.
Despite your complaints I have not left.
 
Sometimes it’s best to be a little deaf.
The truth is I love you
And despite your complaints I have not left.
No matter what you do
 
The truth is I love you
You cough in your sleep and curse.
No matter what you do
Even praise me, scold me or worse.
 

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Marjorie Sadin is a nationally published poet. She has five books of poems in print, including a full-length book, Vision of Lucha, about struggle and survival, love, death, and family. Recently, Marjorie published a new chapbook, In a Closet.  She lives and reads her poetry in the Washington DC area.

James Thurgood: “rum-pot”

rum-pot
 
     how many autumn months 
from its annunciation
     did it ferment
     in under-counter dark
 
revealed Christmas night,
     it drowned cake
     with sweetness
     – we pushed away
sticky bowls – then piled in more,
     half-wittingly grew drunk
by candlelight, as snow
     snuggled up outside
     – my sister and I
with then-spouses (small cousins
     asleep down the hall)
 
                          finally
     amid groans and giggles
hands dropping limp to bellies
     pledges of abstinence,
     the rich mess dumped in,
the pot was capped
 
– to re-emerge
daily the Twelve Days
    – last syrup crumbs
shoved into my mouth
     like medicine,
     the washed pot
was hidden away
 
                after,
mention of ‘rum-pot’
     was a joke –
while we still laughed
     at failed recipes

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James Thurgood was born in Nova Scotia, grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and now lives in Calgary, Alberta.  He has been a labourer, musician, and teacher – not necessarily in that order. His poems have appeared in various journals, anthologies, and in a collection (Icemen/Stoneghosts, Penumbra Press). He is also the author of His Own Misfortune, a work-in-progress.

Jodie Baeyens: “As the Sirens Sing”

As the Sirens Sing
 
I slide out from between the warm sheets
gently lifting his heavy arm off of me
and tiptoe through the strange apartment
to find the kitchen table
and begin to write
of some moment the night
stirred in me
 
Maybe a graze of the nipple
or the way a shirt draped the chair
the singing of the sirens
mixing with the echo of the moans
the moonlight passing through
the glass from the bottle on the nightstand
the way the sound of him snoring fuses
with the smell of Tide to become almost corporeal
 
And I will remember these things
long after I have forgotten his name

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Jodie Baeyens is a professor at American Military University. She was deposited in Arizona from Manhattan, against her will, and now lives in a rural farming community writing poetry, drinking expensive coffee and cheap red wine.

Rey Armenteros: “Falling Again, Again”

Falling Again, Again

Then, he saw her in the company of many good people, talking from the veranda, laughing in the kitchen.
_____She looked at him in a manner — unidentifiable. It made him feel good.
_____They stepped onto the balcony, as he noticed it was now empty, and she kissed him in a tender way, so unlike her.
_____He was falling in love with her again. “This is a dream,” she told him.

The music rolled in his head and turned woodwinds into long brass that plummeted, when he recognized that he was really sleeping, and he tried to push himself back into the dreamworld but the coiling notes were already coming apart.
_____He heard her say, “You will forget this very soon. I will treasure it as a reminder of what we once had, before you went away.”

Loss and regret accompanied him on his way back, and he had no way of knowing he was actually entering another dream.
_____They drove to the side of a road. It was an open field in the darkest night.
_____They walked without the guidance of light through tall grass that had a manner of hiding almost anything that occurred to the mind.
_____Cold, stone tablets appeared suddenly at their feet, spaced like marred tiles at intervals of a few paces.

In the distance, there were statues of things white against tree branches so black, they were feeding fissures into the marbled, pale limbs.
_____But the tablets, as they discovered, had names and numbers cut into the concrete and moss.
_____“Don’t you remember any of this? We were here before.”
_____He was filling up with dread and something like wonder. “I always thought it was a dream.” He insisted. “You just said it was a dream!”

They took a few steps. A pool of still waters appeared, and immersed in the murk, a mausoleum was tilting away from them and then disappeared into the depths.
_____This is where they had kissed the first time even though they were not supposed to.
_____When he turned to mention it, she was looking at him with bloodshot eyes.
_____“Of course I remember. You got drunk. And you passed out. Before I left you, I saw the translucent forms of three women hovering over you, meaning you a great deal of harm. You slept right where you’re standing, and then you thought you woke up.”

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Rey Armenteros is a Los Angeles-based painter and writer who has had his essays and poetry appear in numerous literary journals and art magazines, including The NasionaLunch Ticket, Umbrella Factory Magazine, and Still Point Arts Quarterly.

Maria A. Arana: “Sea Turtle”

Sea Turtle
 
your underbelly
       scaled
       protective
 
you swim
circling waves
       undercurrents
that smooth out
 
your reptilian skin
       spots
       flippers
       sharp bill
       snap shut
 
reef fills with food
       a home
       so sweet
 
like your sapphire eyes

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Maria A. Arana is a teacher, writer, and poet. Her poetry has been published in various journals including Spectrum, The Pangolin Review, The Kleksograph, and Cholla Needles Magazine. You can find her at https://twitter.com/m_a_Arana

Michael H. Brownstein: “Hike”

Hike

near the peak of the mountain
a shadow of warmth
the scent of snow

the breath if light

a hard packed trail head
and every direction, poetry

Michael H. Brownstein‘s latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were recently released (Cholla Needles Press).