The Infiltrator


Oh, bigot cry morning,

but it is too late to change, poor children,

for their words only echo what you have taught.



Reluctant one, coarse and grate,

go mend your ditches and drink your harvest,

it is your prejudice that disturb the heart’s contentment.



Together with two dark boys on foot under a sharp Chicago sky,

they wander in and out of consciousness (but warrant no response),

only to be ridiculed from behind the closed window.



Struck down by conversations teeming with acronyms.

Our weak ears forced to listen to the difficulties,

by which you happily donate to the schoolyard, beat by beat.



A childhood robbed of its pleasures, deprived of running and playing,

merely arguable by the fate of our daily bread.

I heard the sound of your voice, casually suggesting accusations.



Befriending a crime is your chosen approach,

for you must take in order to banish the rocks from your path,

while upholding the nothingness, which you consider to be life.



Your hoary head rears, spewing unattractive complaints,

the luckless and weary ones begrudgingly listen.

Deluged and left divided by the reasoning that you project.



You cast your fears outward like a claw, only to intrude upon us.

Laying open your tasks corrects the despair of rejection and dismissal,

but you announce with sincere intention the inferior ones.



We are haunted by your performance, casting its spell,

Presumptuous and volatile and ever the inescapable liar,

attired in the necessary costume to scale a bloody Kansas wall.



Little ones sent to say: You just don’t know how hard it is to have two.

Why you ask of the given aggressiveness­—just like a peevish child.

Ah, sing your song, you fool, I will love you tomorrow, I will love you tomorrow.


Kim Kolarich

Kim Kolarich is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her fiction was long-listed for The Fish International Short Story Prize, and a finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Her stories have appeared in the Bridport Prize Anthology, FreeFall, Julien’s Journal, 3711 Atlantic, 34th Parallel, Karamu, Rollick Magazine, After Hours, The Gap Tooth Madness, Streetwrite, Intrinsick Magazine, Paragraph Planet, The Furious Gazelle, Two Hawks Quarterly, and Third Coast Magazine

Outlaw Boxcar

If I had a white horse
with a mane you imagine
a horse should have when
riding it into the sheen
of what’s left of the moon
after a storm had taken
to it with electric carving
knives & a boom box
I would then ride into
my father’s building & say
Good boy Outlaw Boxcar
as that’s the kind of name
you give a horse when

you’re making amends
for being a punk instead
of a responsible son
& you take the fire stairs
five at a time the sound
of Boxcar’s iron shoes
on the cement like a tap
dancing competition broad-
cast into a tiled bathroom
& when you dismount
outside your fathers office
& knock like a gentleman
& say Dad it’s me I’m here
to be the son you never had
but wanted the corridor
going on into dark wood
& shadow then your father
is there filling the frame
of the door with a breaking
smile as he offers Boxcar
a palmful of coffee sugar

crystals then rubs his nose
& looks at me like a father
who knows his son has
come not home but into
the world of men You are

welcome here anytime
he says and then as if
an afterthought had set
off a roadside device
in his ear And next time
take the lift it’s big enough
for a clopper with a flame
for a mane and a son
with a horse-sized heart.

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence has published sixteen books of poems, the most recent being ‘Headwaters’ (Pitt Street Poetry, 2016), which won the 2017 Prime Ministers Award for Poetry. He teaches Writing Poetry and Creative Writing at Griffith university, Queensland, and lives on Moreton Bay.


Two Indian waiters in snug tuxedos

sit on steps a few doors down from


their deserted restaurant—I just passed it—

sharing a smoke and quiet talk, talk that could


be about the coming end of their run there,

about what other jobs might appear, about


whom they should call or visit:

a strategy session.


Yet so spare and emphatic is their conversation,

its silences inhabited by blue clouds of smoke,


that between their middle-aged declarations

of determination they each may be feeling


an unsparing circle closing in; feeling the

dread approach of the night they fear most:


the night they take their tuxedos off and

never have cause to put them back on—


no more trips to the dry cleaners, no more

updating the bow tie; instead, back to wearing


the loose, patterned shirtsleeves of cab drivers

pulling 12-hour shifts spelled only when parked


to eat curry out of plastic containers from the Bengali deli;

hours logged making drop-offs at trendy, Pan-Asian restaurants


whose young, stylishly dressed doormen—the age of

their own sons?—come right to the cab to open then—


after the fares step out—turn away while

slamming the door.


Mark Belair

Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit

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