our patterns make legs, Alan Bromwell


our patterns make legs 

(i like to close my eyes 

and forget which limbs are  

mine) and secretly we  

both know that our skin 

robes are plastic hoods 

unpeeling were it not 

for their shrill separatist duty. 


my symbols are hers too 

(like a flittering whim or 

a paltry dusk or a silly  

shroud of ‘afternoon’) 

and intimately we craft 

reasons for the slipping 

away of the evening. 


our patterns make legs
(i like to close my eyes
and forget which limbs are
mine) and secretly we
both know that our skin
robes are plastic hoods
unpeeling were it not
for their shrill separatist duty.
my symbols are hers too
(like a flittering whim or
a paltry dusk or a silly
shroud of ‘afternoon’)
and intimately we craft
reasons for the slipping
away of the evening
our patterns make legs
(i like to close my eyes
and forget which limbs are
mine) and secretly we
both know that our skin
robes are plastic hoods
unpeeling were it not
for their shrill separatist duty.
my symbols are hers too
(like a flittering whim or
a paltry dusk or a silly
shroud of ‘afternoon’)
and intimately we craft
reasons for the slipping
away of the evening

now I had seen in her, Alan Bromwell


now I had seen in her 

thin shivering legs (lemon 

corduroy) a certain red 

flailing hello, and in her 

crackling wet windows too 

I watched her spritely 

rhythm nod.  


before my mind, a 

flimsy cabinet of 

paper-cup telephones 

and splintery twine, had 

seen in her face five 

lopsided prior. 


it was a lovely pink 



Aurora (II), Alexandra Fresch


Aurora (II)

Aurora you were not my first house but now you are

Aurora all I remember are your vacant lots alive with dead

yellow foxtails and weather-gnawed trash and tiny paper rat skulls and grasshoppers springing from my feet

Aurora I was so young and you had no children for me

Aurora I had to play alone ranging over your Kentucky bluegrass lawns wobbling in the heat

in the dirt where I dug deserts in puddles where I set earthworms to suffocate while I unaware

of their simple long-brained fear watched them arrow through the water, elongating like pointed Slinkys

in the summer-melted tar on the streetedge where I built leaf sailboats and staked pillbugs on pyrocanthia thorns for the birds passing uncatchable like gods

Aurora your Highline Canal ran wet and dry like a wound where downstream crops nursed greedily in summer where the mallards

glided scolding to themselves like brooding hens and I threw stones to make them shout and scatter and fear me where I

stabbed branches to break the tiled soil and boil over anthills like giant red-jawed water molecules

Aurora your Highline Canal where my parents told me never to linger after dark, for fear of the very things that I always wanted to be

four-pawed dangerous eyes glowing like lanterned slashes in a rice-paper screen

Aurora your streets held a squirrel curled up too stiff to be asleep, a comma of foam at the corner of its mouth

Aurora your nights shattered with that hoarse cri du chat not even my parents knew; they told me to shut my window

against whatever it was, a bobcat or a cougar or a madman hunting smooth-gaited through the bushes

Aurora your days were long enough for me to think like the peppermint rioting by the drainspout—that I would know nothing else

no friend to ever roam with me, my uncatchable self

Aurora but your insects and your swarming sun

Apples, Jennifer Burnham




Summer is here  

Dust lounges on my tongue 

 I hold my case in damp hands 

Rap on the scorched screen door 

The sun sears 

I listen 

Fat sipper footsteps, a weary metronome 

I see him now 

Segregated through a patched screen door 

Yellow eyes blink  in rheumy sensual excitement 

My feet itch 

ripe apples waft 

The door opens 

 I squint 

walk into the dim foyer 


 Hello Grandfather 


Stop Light, Jennifer Burnham


Stop Light 

The pavement looks 

like whale skin tonight 


From the recesses 

of crosswalks and corners 


Mouths gaping, 

opening and closing 



I wonder if the 

doors are locked 


A Vastness - Georgia, Jesse Edwards


A Vastness—Georgia 


  • the time before me is the sun is crammed  

  • is fishing for a reaction 

  • and moving on  

  • and left outside 

  • small wheels still spinning 


  • every house had a mud room 

  • every mother had peroxide  


  • Evan walks the waterwheel, 

  • pockets the emblem 

  • from a bootleg truck rusting, 

as everything does not  

the cadence  

of a dog 

marking its territory 


and a pack of Virginia Slims 

because we didn’t know what to buy 

  • buzzing in dead leaves 

  • the cops came  

  • Evan explained  

  • our patchouli wasn’t dope 

  • and I forgot his twin’s birthday 


  • my dog bit my mouth 

  • and puncture and wound and don’t look 

  • I never properly cried  

  • till five years later 


when dad showed me a cotton plant 

  • I told him  

  • my friend doesn’t know if he’s straight or gay 


and in high school I cried for 

  • the Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center 

  • built over 

  • my Wounded Knee 



  • and mine over another’s 


Broken Bells, Sarah Elsea


Broken Bells 

You gave me these things to read: a book 

Of sonnets, directions  

From my roof, my own peeling 

Skin. The river pregnant with 

Dead grass and dirty water 

I had nightmares I couldn’t remember 

In the morning. 


I kept working at the knots 

in my jaw line untangling the words 

I would’ve hung like bells on your ankles. I know 

her legs to be tall tales and failings I know her long  

snakes spinning knots into her hair. 

I know her voice to be a citronella candle. 

My voice was just burning out  

the backdoor streetlight. 


Your rusty veins ran sideways 

Through your arms around your traintracks: 

There are cracks in your knuckles from 

Baptisms and sweat, the things I 

didn’t ask you. 


Sickle, Sarah Elsea




in the couch cracks 


mannitol, polyethylene 

glycol propylene 


twisted fork tendrils 

at the throat back 

float weekend 

weekday bookend 



things that will kill you 

trying to hard 


uncooked chicken 

thyroid disease 



fork in your throat 

sidewalk throat 

fingers down your 

float bookending 



flying chairs. 


Dear Sir or Madam, Mickey Bakas


Dear Sir or Madam:


It broke through the skin of my gums,

the tooth.

Two cusps.


I open my candy-cane jaw,

and kiss your missing eye.


Dear Friends, Mickey Bakas


Dear Friends,


About the hidden sidewalks:

I hate it when you look at me.


I wrote down the season,

the situation of the leaves.


Dear Children, Mickey Bakas



Dear Children,


Never meddling with the surface of the couch,

or brushing the bathtub horse with a dirty sponge.


You too will grow up to be horrified at night.

Cold and shoeless on the elliptical,

and alone. 


Loved Ones, Hannah Warner



The last time I saw you, you had wet yourself and curled your legs into your stomach.




We stood together, waiting, watching –


We’re in the hospital again and

you’ve covered your hands with butter,

the repetitive motions,

daily life in delirium –


we gave you the full two doses this time and

you spread it over my eyes    faintly Vaseline,

the halos of oil





standing at edge of the

the overwhelming sky

the fence

the rolling earth


Lingering soft undertones coming from your bed –

your body

such a small body,

those disjointed sheets,


you are less     and      less      and

                                                less and




I am a child, a little plaything


I remember going in to wake you in the mornings

you would grab me and tickle me.


I remember

I would loose air

trying              trying

to scream

how much how much

how much air for


much and

many    many times you wouldn’t

trying trying

you wouldn’t the sound

shouting and you

never wouldn’t

air air air

woudn’t you can’t


you can’t hear me.




You are dying of lung cancer.



I’m trying.



looking at him like this


nakedness, vulnerable

I see you shrinking up

looking for pants

needing pants.


the things that build up on bodies.


I can see the sunspots    sores

on you

the markings


you are so much smaller than me now

I search for something to say that will unburden you


I know that it’s always been like this

this heavy clothing


I can feel myself reducing


keeping you company

ignoring the fences

the fences

the fences        we are

the perils of life



I know you are unaware

searching for your pants

trying to get home.




waiting for lost insurance

the other grandchildren

and sons

and and the daughters

all the others


we are the boxing motions of all these

missing items...


I am

absent family packages

it’s fogged detachable eyes.


I don’t recognize you

after all that’s

spilt     all this

some point      some motion,

we’re rocking back,


again the distaste of –


my dad kept you alive, waiting for the rest of them to arrive


the recognizable night

pulling at your oxygen mask

sliding it down your face


you’re waiting for that family portrait

it is endless,




regardless, we continue


we are kicking the same bucket

everywhere     just to be

almost over

to be







Grandma clings to the wooden box etched with Aspen trees.


I’m trying to understand shrinking

I am grown but my size stays uncertain

waiting to

diminish back down

recoiling into that




how you go on reducing after death,

how even you

even though you were fully grown,

you are miniscule and ash.