The Shock of the Now by John Grey

I learn of your death in the newspaper obits.No facts. Just names of family.But died at thirty-two is a fact unto its own.Unlike ninety-three or eighty-five,the years a woman expects to get. It doesn’t say suicidethough the last poem I read of yours did.Nor is there mention of an accident.Or some deadly sickness.The first, I could believe.Even on the road, you sometimesused your heart for … Continue reading The Shock of the Now by John Grey

Outrage by Xavier Jones

“Anything in your pockets we should know about?”I wish I could have said “My pen”If they ever read this I’ll bet they’ll wishThey actually had the order of the public prosecutor to stop and frisk Three against one, but unassailable in my innocenceAll of us wearing masks to protect ourselves from one virusAnd yet three germs from another surround meI knew I would never know … Continue reading Outrage by Xavier Jones

Hope Everlasting by Anna Kapungu

I miss every second you walked out of my doorThe time we spentTears of hilarity You were the cupid to my heartCupid to this state of mindHappiness drove us aboundI shone like the moonlightFire was the spirit within usEndless, those were the days with youStill I sit and wait for your return Sit and wait for your returnTales of the forces that drove us apartNature never seemed … Continue reading Hope Everlasting by Anna Kapungu

The Genie and I by John Grey

It’s not really a lamp.more of an urn,but it’s old,its body egg-shaped,its neck pencil-narrow.  No doubt somegenie is imprisoned within. But I’m reluctant to rub it.I know what happens.That Jinn emerges,promises to fulfill three wishes but tricks me, in my eagerness,to say the wrong thing,turn my requests back on myself,as it loudly laughs its way to freedom. I’ve no need for greedthat oversteps its bounds,desires that masquerades as wants,dreams … Continue reading The Genie and I by John Grey

Irreparable by Syed Zaman

A spherical sculpture—formed byShards of broken mirrors sewnTogether with mimetic memoirs—Where dazzling reflections areConcealed within the sphereItself—becomes invisible to theSpectator—Alluding to the fire that shedsLight on the fragility of thePermanence of—theImpermanent—Suffering suffused in the chainOf the enduring presence of theWounds we bear from the past—The sensation that a missing partRemains connected to bothIntimate and material injuries—A myriad of memories—Harking back to the ghosts ofTheir demands … Continue reading Irreparable by Syed Zaman

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