Blood Demands | Barbara Harroun

~For William

Let us speak of the risen
moon, and the blood stain
of the setting sun on the waters
of anguish and ecstasy; all the rip
tide currents that pull us under Continue reading “Blood Demands | Barbara Harroun”

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3 Poems | Clair Dunlap

Meditation on my catastrophic progression memorialized in fishtails

i.
when i lie down in the brown creek after watermelon wedges,
the pastel spandex of my stomach rises above the murk.
tiniest bugs whirl between the silver-white of my fingers
and minnows, like a quick flash blanket, rise up and over up and over.

ii.
the fingers of salmon we grow from eggs
are all tail. i see their tiny eyes when i look hard enough, imagine
the coho returning to spawn bright and bloody
on the fish ladder, flinging themselves up and over up and over
doing anything just to find familiarity again. Continue reading “3 Poems | Clair Dunlap”

What Little I Wouldn’t Permit in a Dream | Emily Van Duyne

Madness to think this is happening
in someone else’s poem: we’ve been rediscovered
in the late-late work of Larry Levis, dug up from a false-bottomed drawer
stuck in a locked box buried beneath his cowboy boot-sole, some grad student
found a letter with a poem she close read as a treasure map, and

there we are: two blurry women. We are not
the sun, we are the shame
of someone’s dead father’s fading mind, the weight
heavy and hanging over every false move we make, we grasp
for purchaseif you can describe something as mad, does it prove Continue reading “What Little I Wouldn’t Permit in a Dream | Emily Van Duyne”

Hand Me Up, Hand Me Down | Jody Lisberger

From the moment Peggy tries it on, she loves the T-shirt. The three gray dancers, stick-figures, leaping across the white front. The high cut sleeves accentuating her muscular arms. The swooped neck curving right under the ridge of her collarbone. She can’t help but admire herself as she stands in front of her bedroom mirror. “I’ll take it,” she says as if someone were watching her try on clothes from the pile her teen daughters don’t want anymore. Hand-me-ups, she calls them.

A week later she has on this shirt when her ex David pulls up to deliver his alimony check. Must be his upcoming wedding to Maggie, Peggy figures, that makes him forget the check isn’t supposed to be delivered by hand but put into Automatic Deposit. She smiles anyway as he hands it over, and pretends not to see him staring at her shirt. Continue reading “Hand Me Up, Hand Me Down | Jody Lisberger”

Personal Mythologies | Michele Leavitt

I. Birth

Under the flowerless jacaranda tree,

my mother eats me

and throws my bones over the hedge.

Surrounded by clipped hibiscus,

she had made love with her father,

and the stories they needed

spilled beneath them. When rain freshens

parched dirt, old roots swell

with memories, and anything is possible –

me, a green slip of a girl,

made by a monster, in the image of a god.
Continue reading “Personal Mythologies | Michele Leavitt”