Poetry | July 2023

First Assist

The robin takes her night tub
within the little pond,
fluttering her feathers
amidst water hyacinths
and fallen dogwood petals;
the picture,
for the second,
sutures the grief,
with a smile.

—Lyla Yastion

The Swap

Generally I lie
About how
Scared I’m.
—Dominik Slusarczyk

Responsible as Charged

Responsible of by no means questioning why he was the one black youngster in my Catholic elementary faculty
Responsible of by no means questioning if he actually was as imply as others mentioned or simply too tall and completely different
Responsible of not recalling now if he had associates at college or why I didn’t need to be one myself
However then I used to be solely seven then eight then 9 and too younger to know one thing was improper
Responsible once I was a little bit older for by no means being interested by why one aspect of city was white
the opposite aspect throughout the massive boulevard was all black and that I shouldn’t journey my bike there
Responsible years later of not being stunned to listen to that he had ended up jailed after which killed
not disturbed why his finish appeared as predestined as was my escape from city to a greater life
Responsible too many occasions over greater than 60 years of not noticing or caring sufficient to query
why so many hundreds like him have died for no purpose past the truth of their blackness
Questioning after lastly awakening to the historical past of enslavement that continues to fester right here
if I had befriended him so way back and are available to know the obstacles he confronted in residing
that I may need achieved extra since then to assist proper a horrible improper and really feel much less responsible now

—James DelViscio


We’re gathered, and the tears not wandered dissolve to bathwater
your mouth hanging open, I’m watching, smiling vacantly,
how lengthy we’ve been dissolving I don’t know
what I used to be smoking isn’t lit anymore and hangs delicately in my draped hand
we’re blinking slowly, not afraid to overlook a second as a result of this lasts eternally
the waves between us are artificial on widespread floor,
my foot, my legs creating the storm like god, as I attain down, down,
all the way down to the place you might be, seeing all of it unfold within the ever graying water
the issues not being mentioned creep in alongside the edges with the grey,
a grey loveliness of glances and actions hardly understood
and your pleasure adorns my eyelashes, mine adorns the bathtub,
this exodus of silence in a six by ten lavatory lasting weeks or months
so pure however so advanced a wanting rippling between our thighs towards the porcelain,
virtually clinging to one thing rooted deep beneath the tub
reaching out and digging all the way down to see what we buried beneath that clawfooted monstrosity,
est-ce que c’est la vraie vie?
I’m watching us get awfully unhappy awfully younger, watching us solid issues off
your head rolls towards the wall, eyes shut and mouth open once more,
what’s going to I do in the summertime, I’m questioning, when my lips wilt and nectarine dries out drained
will I determine your canine tooth don’t make me livid, whispering prayers on a kitchen counter
whispering amen while you flip over in your sleep and peel your self off my again,
as a result of truthfully thank god for the open home windows and the fireflies flitting out and in
quickly sufficient you’ll hate the best way I snicker and I’ll hate the best way you thrust your means into issues,
however now, proper now, I really like the best way you progress, the best way you look proper now along with your head
to the wall and water snaking down your chest, I adore it all
I haven’t but discovered fault with you however months from now with nobody to alleviate us
I promise I’ll, and although you’re too distant in your thoughts to inform me, so will you
you’re so distant as your eyes come again to satisfy my smile, I see smoke come out of your ears
attempting to make sense of my toes and my try and smoke what’s not lit,
the water so grey now that you just’re stunned by the issues I do
I’m silently grateful we’re nonetheless stunning one another,
maybe we must always transfer and drip ourselves into one other room, the place the flowers bloom
however I can’t deliver myself to maneuver in any means apart from how I’m now,
and you’ll’t deliver your self to cease me, not now, positively not now,
our breath is united over a clawfoot tub in a quiet home,
I look about myself and attempt to see previous the haze of content material brilliance that glistens
on the backside of the bathtub, and discover I’m blind after you
I’ll preserve myself draped right here eternally if it stays like this,
ce n’est pas la vraie vie.

—M. R. Silver-Altman

Not a Love Story

A few of the finest love tales are those that didn’t occur.
Those that ended earlier than they started.
They may at all times be filled with hope, and potential.
Giggles and thriller.
To be regarded again upon with the smile of somebody
who simply shared probably the most private inside joke.
These love tales won’t be riddled with harm, or resentment.
They may linger on with promise within the land of what if.
The place you’ll be able to go to, everytime you need.

—Norina Vigeant


Now that I’m at your mercy
we reveal our empty areas now that I’ve breathed you in
you might be fixed—you might be fixed
Inside all of us is identical wanting
once I wake for the evening I seek for it in you
the warmth of all wanting, it’s waning
Now we add to the burden of all issues, for
we’ve got been borrowed,
for the warmth of us, for our lengthy lives
I writhe in your grip now
now that you just replenish these areas—till we met
I had typically dreamt of negating all
Longing, all of every type, now
the sort for which we’re born damaged and the earthly type
the place we add in nice numbers
You progress silently in me
for each other we’ve got been borrowed
borrowed by the world for the warmth of us

—Jack Quigley

Quiet Darkish Locations

Just like the upstairs closet
In your again
trying up at your father’s neckties
The skinny, previous wooden
Hoping to cease
Hoping to cease time
—Matthew Cronin

Ode to an Newbie Golfer
for my son Brad at age 39

A younger boy clutching a passel of sticks,
cap barely askew, clad towards the autumn
chill in a blue sweater with a row of white
flags throughout the chest, out-of-focus yellow
maple leaves seen within the background,
a younger boy, my boy, at age two about to
run away from dwelling, however caught within the act…
While you had been 4, I took you to the golf
course with irons and woods, your new sticks.
You spent hours in greenside sand pots
studying the best way to make bunker pictures that
got here to relaxation close to the cup, the ups and downs
serving you nicely as you rose by means of the ranks
to be named the area’s participant of the yr.

—Jim Tilley

Who Can Hear a Love Track?

The Kauai O’o stopped singing
many years in the past. Its lilting, bell-like
sounds drifted like silken strands
by means of jungle forests, lifted air
in humid wetlands, shifted rainbowed
skies. One hopeful mating name can
nonetheless be heard on tape. The final male
chirps, whistles, sighs for thrill of
romance. The feminine, lifeless 5 years
now, won’t reply. Nonetheless, his voice rises
by means of mist and rain. Vibrant yellow
feathers shuffle towards darkish brown
plumage as he shifts lengthy legs to raised
amplify his tune by means of tangled vines.
As he tries to courtroom her with twinkling
trills of music, does he ever query
why silence is her sole retort? Or does
he, like poets in every single place, design phrases,
stir, spill, spin them aloft, in prayer
{that a} passionate viewers will seem.

—Mary Okay. O’Melveny

Reduce Flowers

just like the early morning lily
flush with perfume and majesty
she’s distracted by the naivety of pomp and vainness.
Regardless of the wound she is decided to bloom
because the scar kinds her colours gloom
he who minimize her doesn’t water.
offers to fatigue
harmed her petals sigh
as soon as held excessive
her head, now

—Meghan Pribeck

There’s a Stillness

There’s a stillness that solely comes
After the dying is completed
When that courageous life, nicely lived,
Has departed the daybed.
Her head nonetheless tilts in direction of a whisper
None of us can hear,
Her undefended eye, barely open
Reveals a whorl of darkness
The place blue as soon as flickered.
The pores and skin pulled from hip to hip
Fingers planked and pale
Toes formidable however completed.
Playfulness rises from the custodians
Whose holy work is lastly achieved—
Their laughter drifts from the kitchen
On the scent of reheated pizza.
The fading afternoon nonetheless comes on
Piercing the elm’s branches,
Turning undisturbed mud to gold,
Lighting beloved footage one final time.
We huddle right here collectively
Blessed by a quiet that reminds us
As soon as once more why we got down to love
This complicated miracle
An unceasing invitation
We are able to neither preserve nor lose.
—Kemp Battle

A Backyard of One’s Personal

After a line by Jorge Luis Borges
Let others boast of pages they’ve
written, I take pleasure in these I’ve learn,
when the afternoon has taken
that stunning flip as an alternative,
and my hand holds an previous
deluxe copy with that boon
of a web page that makes my eyes sway
like a caterpillar weaving its cocoon
and my head nod in unrestrained
delight about how Character A
has described Character B with out
realizing that C has additionally entry
to me and is revealing how fishy
A’s descriptions are. I take
my decide and submit A, B, and C
to my very own doubtful fancy.
My pleasure is that of a collector
of literary specimens cultivated
by others in order that I can trim and pin
every of them to my backyard
of human expertise
like butterflies.

—Diego Antoni

Woodstock Occasions

Within the Almanac, hip-to-hip with penny socials, pot-
luck dinners, tractor security courses, knitting circles,
you’ll discover workshops on the best way to discover your spirit
animal, recycle candle wax, fly a kite, be taught
tai chi, I Ching, qigong, sit in silent meditation,
cleanse your chakras with celestial channeling,
discover your trigger with pace activism, and yoga,
youngsters yoga, yoga pizza events, reggae yoga.
The drumming circle thunders its herd of hoofs
over the Village Inexperienced: candy, sluggish djembés,
fats, moist congas, the chomp and spank,
punch and thump, noise‚peaceable noise.
There isn’t any head nor tail, solely a whirling dervish
of palms, torsos of our tribe turning into one
speaking drum. I’m going to The Lodge to stare on the clock
created from Levon’s guitars. The bartender handshakes
hashish to a person in black and his missus and so they, too,
are my tribe. However what I really like is the best way beliefs are worn
on natural cotton sleeves, how music rings from reclaimed
woods, how poetry drips from every native honeyed tongue.

—Lissa Kiernan