The Isolationist by Alex LeGrys

she drinks too muchon Friday nightsand she makesme cocktails forher lectures beforeopening her favorite self-helpbook she’s muchthinner than I am andher hair is fairer with opal eyes to match I tried corralling her with Schopenhauer or Camus or Beckettyet she never seemed impressed–shesays she wantsto be happy once I told her miseryis motivation–she laughed andhad me turnoff the BBC whilefunneling a cosmopolitandown my gullet she says you can makeyour own world–the trouble … Continue reading The Isolationist by Alex LeGrys

The Ones You Love by Celia Meade

after Aaron Caycedo-Kimura What if you promisedyou would kill methe night before I was takento the care home, or to the hospice? What if I asked you togrind a pill into my evening glass of milk—is that love? Something so burdensome,all that grindingand surreptitiousslipping of powder. You spoke of the motherwho asked her sonto carry her to the mountainand leave her in an earthen hollow. Your own … Continue reading The Ones You Love by Celia Meade

In the Waiting Room by Laura King

Half of us neurotic, jet-laggedwe sit in a living room with a vinyl floor.One paces, glances at his smartwatchat thirty-second intervals.The woman on a sofa won’t make eye contactbecause this is not her country.Another hums a lullaby, says she’s dreamedof being a mother, calls herself Infertile Myrtle,tells of dead embryos.One man asks for a cup of coffee.A young woman says she’s brought a cameraand a … Continue reading In the Waiting Room by Laura King

Trees by Betsy Martin

a pithy fall day the hill stippled withpeach, rose, yellowa friend and I stride over it among other walkers, maples oaks, ripple of leaves with breeze brisk on our cheeks we talkabout youth, the old streetsfamilies, secrets, seedswhisked by decades of winds and about necks how to wind a scarfto hide the furrowswe talk about beeches with gray bark-fleshstill bearing initials and heartscarved into themwhen they were young __________________________________________________________________Betsy Martin … Continue reading Trees by Betsy Martin

No eye contact is to be had by Susie Gharib

I walk the streets since I’m still part of the herd,which our ancestors had called humankind, but no eye contact is to be had,only an ocean of heaving, bowed heads, absorbed in the contents of their possessive hands. Little, local gossips have swelled into global slander of the first class.Domestic, personal festivities are available for pernicious sneers and heated debates.Each ego is inflated with the aid of … Continue reading No eye contact is to be had by Susie Gharib

Fill ‘Er Up by Betsy Martin

there ought to belove stations where people could go who weren’t nurtured enough in their early years you’d approach and be metby outstretched arms  and into you would come an outpouring of what you’d been yearning for:self-esteem, social grace, courage,calm a more civilized society would provide this instead of filling stations for cars parents toohaving had parents themselveswould be encouragedto use the love stations __________________________________________________________________Betsy Martin is the author of … Continue reading Fill ‘Er Up by Betsy Martin

“… if you’re lost enough to find yourself …” by Carolyn Martin

… if you’re lost enough to find yourself …–Robert Frost, “Directive” Before we knew pollution was a word, we played beneath yellow skies. Down the roadbelching stacks didn’t seem troubling.Nor did the miracles of DDT, plastic bottles and bags, or gas-guzzlerstestifying to our white picket dreams.We snubbed the signs in hurricanes, fires and droughts. Discounted leaded paint and pipes.Muted the whimpering of bees. Ignorancehad a way of keeping … Continue reading “… if you’re lost enough to find yourself …” by Carolyn Martin

Hippocampus by Alex LeGrys

The angel of acedia is drunkfrom a chalice that neverruns dry–she livesin the grandest chamberof the mind. she is lying naked ona black leather couch, reading a book of Beckett’sor Woolf’s and the onlything she pays heedto is her jade planteach morning she has thick blackhair that she neverbothers brushing andher eyes are so dark theycould never shimmerat children or kittens asyours do she is beautiful … Continue reading Hippocampus by Alex LeGrys