Dawn’s wedding was a sloppy one maybe, the usual pinks and gins and sentiment, whole handkerchiefs of tears, brothers and cousins in pinching suits huddling to the rain-swept annexe for a quiet fag. The uncle who’d already that year spread his karaoke slice of Sinatra’s My Way over a funeral and two anniversaries, now, half-cut, got in among the speeches.
After her husband’s accident, Dawn craved simply to care for him, stayed up nights, shivering with him at the fear of death.
Robert Nisbet taught English in grammar and comprehensive schools and then taught creative writing in Trinity College, Carmarthen, where he also acted as professor to exchange students over from the Central College of Iowa. He is the author of over 300 published poems.
Before you left, I said you were too beautiful for me. That much is still true. The wonder I feel when you sit across from me sipping coffee is the same fear that claws up my spine when I think of you in Guatemala now – sharing the afternoon light with some guapo street side, the espresso cup pressed firmly between your capable fingers – or maybe drinking plain ol’ American with another student missing his girlfriend as much as you miss me a candle flame between you its small confession in light – discovering in a mistake of passion that loneliness is what’s uncovered with your hands, its heightened breath on your neck, a touch or two. I know it’s foolish but my life is spent thinking one day, praying the next. I stare at the stained ring in my cup, the bitter grounds stuck mercilessly to the bottom and I suddenly think, hot, black, as if there’s no better way to torture myself. When I drink coffee, I’m really trading one life for another.
Emilio has written two books: a collection of short stories, Why People do What They Do, and a nonfiction narrative, Chasing the Green. He has also written for the stage and screen and has had numerous works produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London, UK. His film credits can be foundhere
Her skin is cracked with crows’ feet, her teeth are turning brown, the vibrato in her voice croaks out a heavy velvet sound.
She still wears rusted brick, colonial lace around her collar, her nails are painted murals bright to add a light to squalor.
Her hair: a leafy afro sprouting ringlets from her brain, her veins the winding highways stained with drip tattoos of dirt and rain.
I love to watch her wrinkle, I love to watch her grey. Unlike those teenage glamour queens, she has very much more to say.
Carlyn Flint is a poet and playwright originally from Baltimore, Maryland who now teaches creative expression at a Title 1 elementary school in North Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work with children informs her writing and fuels her to be socially conscious with whatever she creates.
In the dark corridor I hear women singing in pitches and tones all their own feeling their way through shadows through the music of epidurals in this dissonance I hear my dead mother’s melody soft from my daughter’s lips its waves unravelling their DNA on our hospital walls with interlocking shapes of crowning concertos Oh what else can unzip the pain of stretching skin into pure song?
Kathleen Strafford is a student at Trinity University in Leeds studying for her MA in creative writing. She hopes her first collection of poetry will be published this coming year after graduation. She has been published in magazines & online: Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog, Fat Damsel, Ink Sweat and Tears, Panoply, and various anthologies.
We keep no garden while the drought hammers the yard to cinders. By day, rabbits stand brazen in the clover, which means they number. Here’s where we dug deep to uproot the invasive Norway maple, where we spliced raspberry bushes the spiders own, & where we planted a fig tree
to learn we don’t like figs, where the firewood that has seen winter is seasoned into best burning, but where a diligence of insects colonizes beneath the wood’s brown tarp. What’s ends up in the amber of our errors is the living we did in the skin of the flaw. From the steps,
I see where the ice dams grew & poisoned the joist, where the water sank down the railing & expanded, but the cracked granite steps are our perpetual altar, & these devotions are daily. We need no priest to find the psalms or bend faith to reach us. We are already singing the song we want to hear.
Maximilian Heinegg’s poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Tar River Poetry, December Magazine, and Columbia Poetry Review, among others. He teaches English in the public schools of Medford, MA. He is also a singer-songwriter whose records can be heard atwww.maxheinegg.com