- Caroline Morales
Allowed to choose again, she’d christen me
baby Tabatha, mother proclaimed.
She loved the name, and, hey, you could say
I was kind of a witch. But let it be clear,
mother dear was no sweet Samantha,
though just as many schemes roiled the seams
inside her sleeves, threaded with jealousies,
ambition, an obsessive/compulsive disposition
with a smattering of ADD, some of it passed
down to me, who as a child began to realize
my true potential. There was the episode,
mom insisted I be placed with the gifted kids,
though all my test scores spelled out
a different answer. Snout twitched into more
of a snarl than wiggle, she faced down the vice
principal, and there I was, snap of the fingers
in Mr. Higgle’s advanced class, where,
let’s face it, I was too dumb to contend. Slumped
in the back row, stewing resentment, humiliation
with applied concepts of retaliation aimed
at the baffled teacher who simply ignored me,
I muttered curses, maledictions, conjured
a wish list of afflictions to befall him.
And when word came the man beloved
by his brightest pupils, revered by colleagues
and staff, left for home after last class, and hung
himself from an attic rafter, I stumbled
from school, lungs constricted, legs buckling
into knotted ropes, throat choked with shame,
sat in view of the TV’s canned groans, wrote down
the name of our favorite show, crossed out
the E’s, the W, the D, and renamed myself.
- Allison Grayhurst
Each day I wear my grief
like metal mesh. I see you
as spirit burdened to speak.
You try to comfort this field
of wounds. You tend the amputees
and bound the screaming with soft song.
But it is hard for you to stay,
to not let go completely into the light.
I let you go. I make this year my bridge.
Though my heart has ruptured and cannot heal,
though forever overcome with this sadness
of our love silenced by brutal, unnamable death,
I will build a new house, dive with both hands
into my yard until the evergreens grow.
I will contain you as more than memory —
in my harvest will bloom many sunflowers
of your great generosity. And your fiery blood
will sprout the roots and flesh of passion fruit.
The maple tree will grow large like you, protecting all
within its strong and tender shadow. And children
will be drawn to this yard, to play there amongst
the tall dramatic grass, and then sit still to watch
with wonder the many shades of sky, reflecting
the warmth of your paternal sun-setting colours.
- Alan Catlin
Winslow Homer: watercolor
Darker shades of
grey on black,
thickening into an
encroachment of night,
on River Thames;
rowers bent about
their last diurnal
task, unaware of
- Alan Catlin
in the manner of Turner
An intensity of
smog & smoke.
clings, the dark
moves its feral
- Alan Catlin
Almost surreal horizon
swathed in midnight sun
light, a halo of primary
colors above white
in the bay the whales
their songs echoing
- Alec Solomita
There goes Godzilla, destroying the city.
Again. The glassed in poster in Davis Square
mirrors a see-through phantom me, looking
kind of squirrely as lesbians rattle by like
smug bumper cars and the tattooed man
in the sideshow is every other guy.
“In the Valley of the Lost,” the movie should be.
Reefer drifting like sweet exhaust.
Texters on the street who walk like dreamers.
The indoor life bruited about on the cellular sidewalk,
“Ah don’ care what that ho’ said! That bitch
is dead to me! You know I mean it!” As do we all,
young man, as do we all. Oh where are we?
Tokyo should be so crowded and who is
lonelier in a crowd than Godzilla?
I begin to grow. I begin to change. Hipsters
become alarmed as I become engorged, enlarged,
enhanced, happy. I swing my arm and the
fusion restaurant across the street crumbles.
Like Japanese extras, the ice cream strollers
scramble for safety, wherever that may be,
stumbling over each other (and their little dogs, too!)
terrified through their interesting eyewear.
Mike’s Pizza is gone with a back kick. And
the little shops I snuff with a thumb—Magpie,
Davis Squared, Buffalo Exchange,
JP Licks, Comikaze, Blue Shirt Café
Every move I make is a catastrophe.
Every step I take is a disaster movie:
blinding dust, heaping bricks, shattered glass,
the screams of the dying, the stench of the dead.
There goes Godzilla, destroying the city. Again.
- Michael Fisher
you should have the wine glasses left smokey with dust
I’ll take the ashtray from Spain
have the love seat, the one ripped side
can be fixed
it won’t cost much
think about the photos
and the set of round black framed
still hung on the south wall
that leaves the wooden cutting board for chicken
I’ll take it I guess
you’re a vegetarian now
the china, a wedding
gift, shipped broken
we never returned, let’s
divide each jagged
piece, each sharp
point, find new use for
- Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco
The second time,
I told myself
that lying held a kind
That night, I watched the thin-
toothed woods sit on the
rough lip of the road.
I couldn’t see
the tree roots reaching
toward some promise
there’d be water.
- Chara Kramer
This isn’t winter.
The winter I know of, you can play outside
without getting hypothermia.
But my raynaud’s is raynauding,
and all of my fingers burn an icy-cold white.
In real winter, the snow falls so delicately
that you can actually taste
half a teaspoon of melted ice—not water—
on your 98.6-degree tongue.
I’m the one with the Elmer Fudd hunting hat,
tie-dyed liners, luke-warm hand warmers,
and bright blue mittens on top—
so that grabbing my keys
is more of a contest than an ability.
Even Hoth wasn’t 19 degrees,
and Han wore a furry hood
like one of those kids in elementary school
who fights their mom on wearing something
so ridiculous to school. Because it’s uncool.
But I guess if Han did it, I could, too.
But now, no hugs or heaters, nor passionate kissing
will heat up the blood that refuses to boil inside my body.
And all I really want is a man with a lightsaber,
willing to slice open a Tauntaun to keep me warm.
- Chara Kramer
It starts slow, tempting;
warm air mixing between you two,
heating each other’s mouths.
Eyes flutter shut.
Lips, smooth and plump—fresh grapes in summer.
He gnaws on each grape.
Once or twice a twinge—he bites too hard,
but you play it off as a moan: he keeps going.
Pulling at your lip,
he draws you even closer.
Slippery tongues battling, dancing, swirling
around each other.
Moist and supple, but coarse.
His tongue drives deep past your lips.
You can’t swallow.
Your jaw aches from the weight
of his pressure, his intensity.
Mouth on mouth violence:
Soak in as much moisture and soft lips as possible until
you finally sever
the slightest bit.
Your mouths, now barely touching,
still graze tender, full lips,
until his hot, heavy breath
forces your eyes open at last.