Mother’s Day Trip To The Store (A Solo)

Squinting through fresh

joy I can see everything

the sun sees and like a

child full of new words

I wish to name all of us

who are here under this

upended periwinkle bowl

Tow truck! Convertible!

Cell tower! Foot bridge!

Dead raccoon! Another!

The steering wheel is a

warm gift in my palm

At a cellular level I am

aware of not being alone

At a cellular level I know

two raccoons now revel

somewhere having made

the most of embodiment

I am not too busy to

love whichever song

an algorithm chooses

as the sun loves all it

must touch. Today the

pines grow tall enough

to cast dark pools where

deer will graze a safe

distance from traffic

as the sun loves them

enough to feed the grass

and we are all still here

together boat trailer

ambulance red pickup

Even at night when a

tower of weathered logs

is consumed by a slow

controlled explosion

whose amber light I

receive in open hands

the sleeping cat makes

a long spoon of her body

and drinks every drop of

the tree that once held

her favorite red birds

Lauren Endicott

Lauren Endicott is an emerging poet who is grateful for forthcoming publications in West Trade Review, Duck Head Journal, SEISMA, and others. She is also a masters student of social work training in psychotherapy. She lives in the greater Boston area with her spouse, two children, and cat. 

Digital Butterflies, Electric Buzz

  1. Digital butterfly

His hands are rough, like sex, and when he touches me it is delirium and fever and ecstasy, but he is only reading my palms. Butterfly, he says, digital butterfly and traces his fingers along the fate line. Social media influencer, I remind myself, that’s who you are. It makes sense. He has long hair, black, melanin, falling against his shoulders as he dances his pointer finger and then his middle towards the heart line. Yes, there is rage and loss and obsession. Yes, there is desire. Jacaranda, he says and I understand. The petals would fall on Los Angeles sidewalks.

Yes, I remember.

He traces further, white t-shirt, black silk. He feels like cool sands at midnight, like quiet beaches with prescient waves. His fingertips move along my palm and I wonder if I’ve ever been known and then he stops, looks up, his eyes grey but also charcoal. You like wine? He asks. Don’t you know? I think, but he pours a glass and it is dry and friendly.

I drink and my skin grows warm and buzzes. From his couch I can see into the kitchen and there are hand towels printed with small black butterflies.

  1. Dancer

Don’t you wanna hold me down? Touch me? I ask.

He’s sitting on the bed, Motel 6. I’m standing in front of him, florescent pink lace and long legs. Glitter on my eyes. I put my hands in his hair, hair the color of the dark pavement in the parking lot when it rains, the darkest. I run my hands through that black silk, run them down white t-shirt, chest, abdomen, thighs.

No, he says, I only want to touch your hands. His eyes empty beaches late at night, early into the morning before the sun rises.

I place my hands over his face, cradle him, and his lips run along my palms as I bring them down in front of him to hold. He takes the right and then the left. This is the heart line, he says. This is the fate line. On his arm beneath his shoulder is a tattoo of the yin-yang symbol, thick black. The color green, he says and I think of the heels I wore last night, plastic against metal. Philosophy major, and I think UCLA. Dancer, and that is now, how I make my money, how I got here, this motel room. He moves his thumbs along every line.

Beneath his skin I feel electricity like a gentle hum, wings, beating.

Elle Reed

Elle Reed is a writer from California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bombfire, Bullshit Lit, Misery Tourism, White Wall Review, Metonym, and others. She is currently finishing her first novel, about the desert, longing, and friendship.


Vincent Thomas Bridge, San Pedro Harbor, CA


The green bridge is a weighty suspension

of disbelief,

its angle of ascent firing my muscles,

a forced march in country

shadowing my climb up its short suspenders.

Hands heavy on the rotund rail,

its pitted touch flashes a pier railing,

my father demonstrating baiting a hook,

the wriggling body dangling over the side.

Night pulls up its blanket

veiling the wind-stropped containers

stacked like toy blocks below

while nestled in the standing army of alien cranes

a decommissioned battleship sleeps.

The watery bay beckons.

Below a siren wails to climb the rail.

Roger Camp

Roger Camp lives in Seal Beach, CA where he tends his orchids, walks the pier, plays blues piano and spends afternoons with his pal, Harry, over drinks at Saint & 2nd. When he’s not at home, he’s traveling in the Old World. His work has appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, North American Review, Gulf Coast, Southern Poetry Review and Nimrod.

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