Why must everyone mumble?
I read lips, but peering at a soft-talker
across a cave-dark room, his mouth
concealed by a jungle of facial hair…
I feel like a doomed glacier— shrinking.
My husband tosses his stained shirt on a chair.
I glance at him in the bathroom mirror, remind him,
You aren’t alone, as I pluck gray hairs
from my comb. I shed like a Persian cat.
Bones as brittle as yesterday’s toast.
I’ve shrunk three inches in height,
lost core-strength, grip-strength, memory.
Not just names—even simple words,
common phrases. Has my brain gone soft
like some worn-out bicycle tire?
Ten years from now, will I recognize
my own children, recall where I came from?
If you call my name, will I look up?
For decades I made hand-thrown pottery,
pressed my fingerprints onto vases, teapots, mugs.
Fired to white heat, my pots emerged from the flames
dressed in colors of sun-baked canyons, moon-lit lakes.
Historic artifacts, our pottery outlasts us.
Now I work at my keyboard— archeologist
on a dig into my buried past.
Johanna DeMay grew up in Mexico City, the bilingual child of American parents. In love with the power of language, she began writing poems to bridge the gap between her worlds. Resettled in New Mexico, she made her living for forty years as a studio potter. Now retired, she divides her time between writing and volunteering with the immigrant community. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and two anthologies. “Waypoints,” a full collection of her work, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2022.
Search for Wordle.
Search for five-letter words that begin with s-l-o.
Search for ways for this day to begin with a win.
Search for the name of the black-feathered birds
with flaming red and yellow wings
perched outside the window
whose call vibrates the air
and shakes something loose inside you.
Search for the length of cherry blossoms blooms.
Search for meditation apps.
Search for quiet moments before
the world begins to stir.
Search for resources for aging parents.
Search for nourishing meals during chemo.
Search for protein shakes.
Search for your father’s will to fight.
Search for activities for people with dementia.
Search for large-print puzzle books.
Search for recognition in your mother’s eyes.
Search for quick dinner ideas.
Search for shrimp scampi recipes.
Search for Medicare.
Search for bedside rails for seniors.
Search for home-health aides near you.
Search for help.
Search for a deep breath.
Search for air.
Search for more.
Search for time.
Search for more time.
Search for the strength
to keep searching.
Search for presence.
Search to connect.
Search to hold onto the love that gives these moments weight.
Search for your mother’s hand.
Search for the tender palms your tiny fingers
would get lost in as a little girl.
Search to be lost in her again.
Search for the way time has carved countless new lines
but the soft, fleshy creases of her grip
feel the same.
Search for your father’s laugh.
Search for the way it catches in his throat before rushing out,
a whisper before the roar.
Search for the sound of his laughter reverberating through the room
settling heartbeats with its joy-filled rhythms.
Search to be filled by this communion.
Search to lay down your exhaustion
and be resurrected by effortless togetherness.
This sacred togetherness.
Search for highly rated weighted blankets.
Search for NPR book reviews.
Search for the best time of year to plant sunflowers.
Search for garden gnomes.
Search for a season when you can tend to seeds
and watch life come into its prime.
Search for oil pastel drawing ideas.
Search for natural hair tutorials on YouTube.
Search for why fireflies flicker.
Search for bioluminescent fish.
Search for light.
Search for reminders of the world outside these walls.
Search for glimpses of yourself.
Search for tiny moments
that are yours alone.
Search for wonder
Kimberly Goode is a writer based in Seattle, WA. When she is not creating, she enjoys listening to the songs of birds and the sounds of rain. Her work has appeared in River Teeth, Crosscut, Dillydoun Review, and South Seattle Emerald.
Having ousted all rivals, I take possession
of suburban hostas and road-running squirrels,
and strike rare birds from recorded histories
of ponds. It is time to decommission causeways
now that the marshes have flaked. I design
the cities higher and higher on softening
foundations. I stack the insecurities of wealth,
and endorse both its guardians and armed
intruders. Whenever I like, I lift the streets
to patch the gas lines. I manage a land of millet
ground under a thumb into flour deflowered
by wind, and reroute buckets of effluvia
to a shrinking lake. I pilot the riverboats
that navigate waters between snipered cliffs,
and transport every iteration of spoiled fruit.
I standardize dejection marooned on a rugged
portage, and refit the ships that lost the Pacific
to microscopic plastic. I host a ceremonial dance
of cleats and hatchets that blends ecstatic worship
with the infant mortality rate. I beset the ancient
temples with mudslides. I put minor holidays
up for auction, and unclasp obligations so they fall
like fistfuls of worry beads. I am default, the very
last god who speaks the vernacular language.
Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), a full-length poetry collection, Generous Peril (Cyberwit), and four poetry chapbooks, most recently “Mortal Hours” (SurVision). Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, he is a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.