Seventeen

Summer after chlorine saturated summer we pretended we were cholitas,   twelve year old lambs in disguise.   I wore swap-meet Adidas breakaways over unshaved legs and blue gray Venice Dolphin’s swimsuit.   Seventeen, our lieutenant, tiptoed lightly, a damp towel tightly wrapped around her curves,   sang Mariah Carey’s Fantasy. She’s Mary’s baby, her adopted baby.   Seventeen, thick …

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Johanna Lane

To the Man Who Was to Be My Gardening Companion for Fifty Years You used to love that I see the fierce beauty in a little chaos. I first cleared that web of woodiness cautiously. I pruned instead of hacked the curious entanglement of Greenbrier and Wisteria. The roots seemed to reach as deep as our own. Coiled arms weaved …

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I Sat Among the Books

I sat among the books and the shelves rattled and shook The covers flying open as the words wrestled their way out, shattering the air with a collective shout, Settling down into a song the words took shape, rising and falling each one struggling to find it’s space The melody began, drifting, dancing Lazily the tune took me like a …

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Save Yourself (Again…)

Self-help book publishers Looking for old answers In new packaging Of crafty cover art Catered to mid-life upstarts Caught up in life’s heist Stealing unpredictable Trust fund diamonds Hiding from the sun’s glare Seeks futility’s self-awareness Posing as repressed confessions Yet still contributes to yearly profits   by Charlie Weeks   Charlie Weeks is the type of guy who writes …

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Kodachrome

In every family photograph I see what isn’t there, the change in my face, my father’s gestures, my mother’s hair. I search through the box of photographs for evidence. The fights we didn’t hear. The book and its damning inscription. Do I imagine the rift in the photograph, the four of us on the couch in Texas at Grandpa’s house? …

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The World Is Braille We Can Read With Our Fingertips

hide with me in the unfinished corner of creation   from Hannibal, Busta Rhymes, and Google   Matthew McConaughey will have no power until sundown.   we will play yahtzhee in the dark, the dice with convex dots so we can feel something   there are lightning bolts in our eyes and we can split trees by looking.   let’s …

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Gephyrophobia (Fear of Crossing Bridges)

I call my friend Alan to talk while I drive up the coast, past a friend’s house in Salem Center, a friend I haven’t seen in almost a year. She is not dead, but I guess, I am dead to her, or she to me since we only speak in space.   The Kernwood Bridge is up, letting a boat …

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Steven Fregeau

A man who confessed to being insane enough   a man who confessed to being insane enough to live with beasts. that’s not fair to the beasts. what he meant was human beings.   you could tell because he was obsessed with fire rising between the trees, & there’s no beast who comprehends this as obsessable— it is to be …

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Jollity

Her laughter escalated into muted hysteria, lasting a second too long, like an unfortunate accident, a gasp, an inhalation with throat muscles constricting, breasts heaving, shoulders shaking. A moment of mirth escaped unawares, triggered by happenstance, initially apologized for, then later subtly savored.   by Gary Glauber Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His …

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Daniele Walker

Getting to know you   How do you feel about thunderstorms? I realize I have no idea how you’d answer. My cheeks burn; the thunder cracks; it must be a sign. I miss a lover I don’t know and the thunder is judging me.   Have you ever tried to write a poem and the poem won’t write but its …

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when I close my eyes

when I close my eyes, my bones quiver like I’m the girl I was last summer, waking up eighteen on the banks of the river, four inches deep in little boys that press themselves flush into the creases of my barefoot callouses   it’s there: honeysuckle, rationed single drop by single drop, nectar touched so gently by our green mother …

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Birds

flibbertigibbets on pulpits, lucid with bliss,   gold, crimson and chartreuse, a tricky weave in thatched looms,   chirps tuned to dulcet grace, coy as they syncopate,   fragile as a drizzle of satyrids, murmur of aria, whirl   and frond.   fantasia of mince, lilt-borne chimes, troupe   of felicity,   young as breeze, buoyant with glee, irresistible aerial …

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