On Finding a Spoon in My Lover’s Pants Pocket

Looking for spare change, I find

a spoon in my lover’s pants pocket


and it smells like liquor. I shake

his khakis and out falls more noise


than a quarter and dime should make.

What hits the floor can shake a place,


like upstairs neighbors fighting

last night. Pots and pans, and I imagine,


elbows and knees slammed above me.

Gravity does not hold a ceiling to a wall,


one lover to another. Did our builder

count out his nails? Loose hinges


cause doors to dangle, and the cat

sneaks out. Random pieces of grass


get stuck in a wandering shoe.

Maybe our neighbors threw the spoon


out the window and my lover found

it on his way home. I run my tongue


along its cool, arched back, taste

not quite Bourbon, not white


wine. I slide both hands in his pockets

to see what else I might find.



Beth Oast Williams


Beth Oast Williams is a student with the Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Her poetry has appeared in West Texas Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Glass Mountain, The Bookends Review, and Willard and Maple, among others. She was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize in poetry, received second place in the 2019 Poetry Matters Project and was a semi-finalist for Poet’s Billow’s 2018 Atlantis Award. Her workshop experience includes Bread Loaf and VQR Writers Conferences.


What is it about

sky’s darkening hue

in early evening

in summer


that evinces a oneness

both staggering

and healing?

Whenever I return home


I feel deeply loved.

Meanwhile outside

I stand in holy contentment

by a gate smothered in Bougainvillea.


Saunter slowly

like cool fingering breeze

wait for lone hawk

to rattle up from the ground.


Whatever else fills my days—

music, fashioning verse

wherever else I live—

with evanescence longings


I anchor myself deeply

in this ineffable, intimate place

this earth,

which itself is breathing.


Tonight, I feel a hum of delight

circling through me

shattering limiting languishes.

Time seems to lengthen.


A few steps from my door

a gaggle of magpies

black and white and saucy

as a masquerade party


have taken over the yard.

And the moon’s thin white smile

sends a passionate coax

to step out again and again.



Marianne Lyon


Marianne has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California.

Spoken Word

In a shared taxi, beet yellow in the

Carolina sun, an old woman describes

her exodus from a town overrun with

Jews.  They trampled the Angel Oaks,

she crows, lining their

pockets with real estate deals.


In stopped-time, we could craft a retort:

That’s rather offensive, or Would you

like to finish Hitler’s work? or (with

a sidelong glance)  Don’t you realize

you are riding in here alongside filthy Jews?


In her defense, the tropes drone on: we

are bankers, hypnotists, engines of overthrow.

Flame-wars grow fierce over statements by

Congresspeople. It’s blood libel and

bulbous-nosed caricatures all over again.


In a hospital in Ohio, bedpans clinking,

death rattles just around the bend, while

a doctor tweets a promise to pass the wrong

medicine to her Jewish patients.  Firemen

hesitate to spray because all houses matter,

sirens of the muezzins, their truck a long red

tongue licking the wounds of the street.



Alisha Goldblatt


Alisha Goldblatt is an English teacher and writer living in Portland, Maine with her two wonderful children and one lovely husband. She has published poems in Midstream Magazine, Georgetown Review, Mockingheart Review, the Common Ground Review, Literary Mama, and Portland Press Herald: Deep Water, as well as essays in the Stonecoast Review, The Wisconsin Review, and MothersAlwaysWrite. She was a featured poet in this fall’s Belfast Poetry Festival. Alisha also released a children’s book, Finding a Way, about her son’s rare chromosomal disorder and the beauty of acceptance.

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