2 Poems | Lana Bella

2 Poems

by Lana Bella

 

CURFEW

Staining your fingers with

graphite, you wrecked until

the lake flicked its tails to

cerulean mosaics of silence

along the track of curfew.

Pooled the half-light between

lips, you watched a windfall

of fireflies brushed sideways

across the hum of water like

threads split at the tapestry,

more so in whispers of cloth,

wind strewn, filtering veins

of autumn petals. Phantom

hands reached in to touch,

picked amaryllis against red-

startled birds, held to a bare

bulb, winged indigo in your

shallow bow.

 

 

INTERRUPTURE

Sometimes a single boat turns

to hush, when the thundering sea

lurches from daring to dread,

like a lone muezzin’s contralto

intoning at solitary closed vowels.

Mnemonic, disembodied inside

the sky between foreground

and background, where miasma

would have sped sepia through,

the naked sun orbits silent in

the womb of shadows, pulls along

the propellers of earth’s plane,

conical licks brightened the nuclear

sanctum by mirrored stars.

 


A three-time Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 400 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, Expound, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Waccamaw, Word/For Word, among others, and work to appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps. 

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2 Poems | Michael Prihoda

2 Poems

by Michael Prihoda

 

Food

play at being

more whole

 

than a fully

stocked aisle.

 

play at being

more full

 

than factory-

coded picture

 

frames. you

ingest so

 

much gristle

it’s wonder

 

how you

shave away

 

all but

marrow.

 

 

Narrow

and we

or you

or i

or us

or them

are supposed

to like it this way

and we do

for a time

until we see

the way it is actually

and forget to breathe

until we breathe

for finding some air, some brush,

some time to make this right again.

 


Michael Prihoda is a writer, editor, and teacher from Indianapolis, IN. He is the editor of the literary magazine and small press After the Pause. Publications of poetry, flash fiction, and art have appeared in Potluck, Rasasvada, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Spelk Fiction, among other locales. He is also the author of two chapbooks and five poetry collections, the most recent of which is The First Breath You Take After You Give Up (Weasel Press, 2016).

2 Poems | Shelby Dale DeWeese

2 Poems

by Shelby Dale DeWeese

 

THE KNOWLEDGE OF DIRT

   of grapevines &

                                   umbilical cords

              bloody knots in bassinets

man swings across the creek, baby on his back

                                                                                  vine

                                                                       snaps

           the knowledge of salty haybales

     smothering             an aging border collie

flannel buttonups, red paisley handkerchiefs

                            the word don’t

               and cigarette butts, limp frog bodies in the gravel

collecting them is our game.

 

 

GHOST

I keep punching

an approximation of your body

into the memory foam, dumping

your soap into the hole.

The neighbors could always

hear us through the vents,

we knew it because we could

hear them, because they would

stop talking whenever we fought.

Now I play old voicemails from you

and talk back and wonder

if they are still listening.

 


Shelby Dale DeWeese grew up on a farm in the southeast United States, but currently lives and writes in California. She is an MFA candidate at the University of San Francisco, and her poems have appeared in such publications as Rust+Moth, Quaint Magazine, and Marathon Literary Review. When she’s not writing her own poetry, she and a former pirate captain encourage elementary school students to write original creative stories at 826 Valencia. Visit her online at shelbydaledeweese.com.

2 Poems | Sarah Cooper

2 Poems

by Sarah Cooper

 

We Thought About It

That’s a lie: I thought about it.

You had cut short on rehab, again,

 

shown up knuckles freshly scabbed

hands clenched for Dad, again, lost your job,

 

again. We could smell addiction

on your clothes: sweat, salt,

 

stale beer. We couldn’t

bandage you or let you slice us.

 

You slept in the room next time mine.

That’s a lie: you passed out. You had been awake

 

for four days: roaming town for

oxy, for yourself & finding sobriety,

 

hating yourself for the reintroduction.

You snored hard, slept for twenty hours.

 

I thought about killing you once,

that’s a lie. I walked into your room,

 

held a pillow inches from your mouth,

saw Gunny Bear under your arm

 

and left a tear on your cheek instead.

That’s a lie: I lay beside you

 

and whispered: Don’t ever come back,

don’t even think about it.

 

 

Always, my mother said,

we bought new shoes

for the kids in spring – their bodies blooming

against ball field backdrops and grass stained knees;

the earth rubbing itself into their skin. Never

did I know those shoes would carry my son so swiftly,

 

how could I know my husband, daughter and I

would choose cremation for Hank?

That the three of us would sit

at an oval table and sign

forms for his body to burn at 1400 degrees for 180 minutes.

 

I watched my husband hand the funeral director

a Belks bag and say

“This was a sweatshirt I bought him for Christmas”

and I felt the bag rest on the table underneath my palms

saw the tears crest over my daughters’ lower lashes

heard the papers rustle

in a folder and

close.

 


Sarah Cooper is a native of South Carolina.  She earned her MA from Purdue University and MFA from Converse College where she was mentored by Denise Duhamel.  Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including  Sun Star Review, Sling Magazine and Cahaba Literary Review.  Currently, she teaches at Clemson University, lives with an orange cat and writes poems on front porches.

2 Poems | Mary C. Rowin

2 Poems

by Mary C. Rowin

 

I Will Carry You


Follow the cord from darkness

daughter, up, into the light.

 

You will find me weaving

dried grasses into baskets

 

large enough to hold your sorrows

strong enough for me to carry

 

to the river, tip into rushing

water, where burdens are cleansed

 

against stones, dispersed by rain

and driven far out into the sea.

 

Destination, Seaside (Aubade to a Mountain)

 

You, implacable, sit unmoved like the Buddha

you are, sunk deep into your mountain-ness.

Sun’s first rays refract crystals on your shaggy head.

 

Like clanks of cow bells rouse the milkmaid,

brightening morning warns, Time to go. So I too rise,

reach toward your face, stony like a father’s,

 

sons gone to war. But you will not miss me.

I am flesh. You are millennia. Now becoming

memory, you are dark as a Yin shadow.

 

Day is warming to a slow burn.

 


Mary C. Rowin’s poems have appeared recently in Solitary Plover, Portage Magazine, Panoply, Bramble, the literary magazine of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and in you are here, The Journal of Creative Geography.  Mary lives with her husband and seventeen year-old cat Rio in Middleton, Wisconsin.  She is a docent at the Chazen Museum of Art and tutors English as a Second Language.