Laws of Motion

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Annabelle constructed her dreams in a globe,
glass surrounding the dream-world like a cell’s membrane.
What do you make of this world?
Do you think it’s truly impermeable? Do you think anything
is truly impermeable?

Annabelle constructed her dreams deliberately, precisely
following the rules of uniformity with each daily addition.
Inside the globular world were fairies, and ambitions, and
the perfectly quantified fruits of her mind. In this dream world,
nothing was left to interpretation.

Annabelle constructed her dreams with her own hands
for the fear that someone else’s would corrupt them.
Addition by addition, part by part, she assembled the pieces,
the starry ambitions, the broken thoughts, the half-hearted wishes.
Soon, she had something to put on display.

Annabelle constructed her dreams with the purpose of putting
them on display. Contained in the globe, they would never break;
she was sure of it. Once her hands had finished constructing,
she exposed the globular dream-world to the human world.
Only her hands, grasping from the outside,

could make the fragile world
and only her hands
could break the fragile world

Shattered, broken, permeable–
world of dreams.

II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force Fis F= ma. Acceleration and force are vectors; in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

How else would you put it?
The force vector and acceleration vector
progress in the same direction:

Annabelle grew sick and tired
of the word. Forward. As if direction
were something quantifiable;
as if forward were the only
means to success

What would happen
if in this law
the direction of the force vector and acceleration vector
moved in was backward?
Would anyone object? Who would
dare say it was not the direction
of a world moving at the speed of light (299792458 m/s)?

Who would object to the pausing of output,
to the ceasing of heartless production,
to the prevention of time’s relentless effects?

But time, according to the laws of motion, continues
to gain F as the mass of the world increases
and soon our hearts get a little heavier
and Annabelle’s thighs are creased with stretch marks,
and her skin fades into nothingness,
and her lips evaporate into thin air,
and her eyes metabolize into liquid
and she no longer knows how old she is, how old she was, how old she will be,
and time keeps on going,
keeps on accelerating, and is the only variable we know.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Picture Annabelle:
She is seventy-two,
lying breathlessly on the ground.

Dissect her:
Tell me what you find.
Perhaps you find a broken globular dream-world, perhaps you find remnants of an accelerating life.

Rummage through her:
Veins, stories, cartridges
of dying ink.

Picture her birth:
Bright, calm, serene.

Picture her death:
Dark, quiet, passing.

Annabelle is being born,
fresh and new and alive,
and somewhere too
Annabelle is dying.

by Meghana Mysore

Meghana Mysore is a junior at Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she is Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine and Opinions Editor of the newspaper. Her work has been published in Crashtest, Canvas Lit, Stepping Stones, VoiceCatcher, The Writers’ Slate and more and recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards.


I know what you mean

about the whiteness of paper,

the inevitability of the sharpened pencil

and the exactitude of the forgotten

line that curves

to the contours of the robin’s egg

discovered beneath a hammock

resting on the freshly cut grass,

speckled for all it’s worth.


You talk about the weight

we all must learn to bear

and the nutmeg

you heard as a child

before you smelled it.


Because so much is lost

in translation

at least in theory,

the way the knuckleball

flutters and resists

understanding and gravity.

The way each Thursday

figures me

in the sparse shade provided by the simile

of a date palm.


by Christopher T. Keaveney

K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald, Featured Author

Spilling Ink


caught in moments

we theorize new reflections

arithmetic in strange places

empty subway stations

and park benches


strangers collide in ever-

limbo spaces, for never

do you know the next

encountering that changes



time un-thought will

likely reach you, each

echoed beat and pulse

vibration, rattling like

the rattled station


and thoughts un-certain

will probably break you

but passing lives will

make you stop and softly

laugh and cough and think

and who we were will in

that moment, mingle

as if spilling ink.


by K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald


Immortal Moth


a daring V

a twitching silhouette

draped like Halloween cobweb in

lines too invisible to comprehend

a minute, then cacophony of


valiant, triumphant this


unfettered by the fears that chain

circumstance to mortality.


Brushed clouds, like clotted cream

unpasteurized, provide soliloquy to

this impressionist scene

somber joy framed by dusk and sky

and trees

the foreground: moth, finally learning how to die

no tears, just knowing that behind

are butterflies.


by K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald


Old Timber


clock ticks into day grown cold

old timber sings inside the lull

pulled by thoughts and things unseen

alone with aging memories.


the staircase circles candlelight

an iron pendulum clock keeps time

perpendicular parallels intertwine

like cords of shredded fishing line.


on balcony a girl in white,

drunk, darts her head like clock ticks time

and warm and comforted she seems

in feeling what the fireplace brings.


it darts and dares your eyes to weep

or scream but never both, you reaped

your choice like words reap written wrongs

your miles wail like country songs.


and in the corner a piano pings

its umber cadence harmonizing

with the wood and the warmth and

the girl who, like the clockwork, sings.


she echoes through the empty hall

a timing ticked inside us all

its passage calls in chains above

the room, the way old timber does.


by K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald




I have to screw my head back on

it’s grown unkempt tonight

it rushes like water from a

bleeding fountain and bristles

like crabgrass getting ready

for a fight.


the minutemen parade inside

a pessimistic blight

a painful deep thrombosis pulls

and pushes like a tug-of-war

and complicates what it means

to be right.


for sanity comes surgically

like diamond ember lines

a twisted belief that raps at

your window like a pregnant

mosquito drawn towards peeling

empty light.


but I have to screw my head back

on, and screw back on my sight

it falls like leaves so red and

crisp and rattles just like

skeletons whose heads are screwed

too tight.


by K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald

K.C. Bryce Fitzgerald has been writing stories since he learned to read. A native of Los Angeles, he is inspired by the daily truths of the world around him. Currently unpublished, he is hard at work on a debut novel, countless short stories, a book of poetry, and several screenplays.

The Devil Has Your Face

Hell is a

cold place

where we

stand in a line

with strangers,

awaiting an

unknown fate.


You hold my

hands but

can never warm them,

and tell me a

slew of

grotesque true

stories, drenched

in blood —


Bodies hurtled

through air,

death by blunt

force trauma.

I plead with you

to stop.

I don’t want

to hear.


Around us,

faces veiled

in red shadows


“Kiss, Kiss, Kiss!”


by Emilia Koka

Emilia lives in Massachusetts with her family. She is a full-time Biology student by day and guitar-playing, poetry-reading enthusiast by night. This is her first publication.

Catharine Lucas

Burning Leaves

for Marianne Leppmann, at 90, 1989


The soul yearns outward

the body turns to salt, this slow pillar-making

punishment enough for looking back.

How release the ready heart?

Images flood the night

a flush of false dawn, breath of spring

beat of memory like birdwing, a letter in his hands,

“From an admirer, someone in love with you…”

(Already taken by the finest of them all,

you’re pleased he knows another thinks you

finest of them all)


New biographies unbury your oldest friends:

“girlish letters no one’s business”

“a man’s confessions of unmanly need”—

this, you will not allow. Each night, by candlelight,

you unrecord the history of a love

that’s only yours, not time’s

nor progeny’s


October, the smell of burning leaves—

letters unfolded give off his scent

fine German script imprints the air

black flakes breathe to ash


I protest—

“Maybe burn only the love letters?”


“They are all love letters.”

You have not looked shy like this since he was alive.


In 1940, you dreamed the black, devouring cloud, Europe

in flames. Joachim, the engineer, welcomed by the Turks,

traveled ahead; you, the doctor, followed with the children

Survivors. Stunned, as the pages turned.


Four score years along, once more he travelled out ahead,

destination: no known country.

Survivor, you wear his absence like a presence, trust

he waits for you, a place prepared


This time, you travel light—

grow lighter still, this slow and careful way,

each day one letter gone


I remember how the smell of burning leaves

in childhood carried the scent of winter;

it was how we prepared—a blaze, a drifting

plume of smoke,

a Festival dance—


A young girl runs across the floor

to meet her love


by Catharine Lucas




(for my son at 16)


A white string zips along my path

I clutch at grass and gravel—too late!

someone’s yellow kite hops the shoreline

            jonquil gone crazy

            staggers like a sunny drunk

            out into low rushing fog,

dips, water bound—

                                    —but no!

a gust tosses it higher to where another wind

plays it up into clear blue


I console myself—

Who knows how much of sea

how many birds and heaving whales

it will salute before its certain death?



I was always taught that kites are programmed

to plummet when the string is lost, that safe

flight depends on one who stands

rooted, pays out the line, winds it home


But this aerodynamically impossible kite

suggests a new world order:

some days, some winds

                        some kites      unanchored           soar


by Catharine Lucas

Catherine Lucas’ creative writing will appear or is forthcoming in Zone 3, Digital Paper (University of California, Berkeley), Magazine (San Francisco State University), and Asilomar Poets, 1974-1980 (Equinox Press). Her academic writing is published under the name Catharine Lucas Keech. Catherine has taught undergraduate writers, graduates in composition studies, and teachers of writing. She studied poetry at UC Berkeley in the seventies with Josephine Miles, and in the eighties at Mills College, Oakland, CA with Rosalie Moore. She participates year-round in a writing group with several published authors and recently attended a master class at Hedgebrook Writers Retreat.

Speaking Through A Mirror

Would you look at my beautiful

Skeleton broken in two, twice

The shell of a skeleton in a mirror?


You who cannot recognize the you

In me underneath my skeleton mirror,

The belly I am no longer approved in.


Swallow familiar shadows- not seen

Before my eyes; look down as your sex

Swallows me entirely, leaving me whole.


Look hard to see the secret hidden stars

When you find darkness in a shadow mirror,

Mirrored by twice the shell of a skeleton.


by Paige Simkins

Paige is a poet who lives with her dog, Sir Simon, in Tampa, Florida. She holds a Bachelor degree in English (Creative Writing) and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. She works as a Public Librarian and is very passionate about poetry, libraries, VW Beetles, and visual art.

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