POETRY: I See the Blind by Laine Derr

I See the Blind Flashing in the morning light, knowing change is but a coin tossed in the air, neither heads nor tails, cement-kissed cheek unable to turn (keeping still) lest I wake the sleeping ones. Cuffed up for being of color, of consequence. Feeling weight, long dead, of a grandmother’s song: On Sundays, I see the blind. When they caught up to me, I slept like a stone, newly polished – a glistening red. Laine Derr holds an MFA from Northern Arizona University and has published interviews with Carl Phillips, Ross Gay, Ted Kooser, and Robert Pinsky. Recent work…

POETRY: Too Much by Jason M. Thornberry

He gave them too much of not enough, So they brought an empty birthday card And lay it against his wet headstone. Jason M. Thornberry’s writing appears in JMWW, Los Angeles Review of Books, North Dakota Quarterly, Harbor Review, Entropy, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. Assaulted by strangers, he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Relearning to walk and speak—and navigating post-traumatic epilepsy—Jason earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He’s currently seeking a home for his first novel. Jason lives in Seattle with his wife and dog and teaches writing at Seattle Pacific University.

POETRY: Death Is a Dress Never by Ellen Devlin

Death is a dress never worn, waiting in our closets linen or wool we can die in any season a dress too important to wear, pushed into a dusty corner of occasion dresses bridesmaid dresses don’t fit dresses sale dresses dresses the moths got dresses bought in bad light drunk dresses pooled on the floor worn out dresses worried dresses we never get it right. Ellen Devlin is the author of the chapbooks Rita and Heavenly Bodies at the MET. Her recent journal publications include Beyond Words (2023), Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art (2023), Muleskinner Journal (2023), Rock…

HOW TO MEDITATE I & II by Mykki Rios

HOW TO MEDITATE drift your skull to lilacs crest your brow with pineapple sage dream rose into your nostrils wake crying butterfly pea and cornflower fill your lungs herbaceous inhale parsley exhale mint rinse your hair with rice water let the dark of your insides deepen plum and charcoal  where light won’t reach fade your bruises with buttercup whiten your eyes with heartburst ring in every bitten strawberry stake your core with yew so you leak starfruit and cotton candy grape dance turmeric into your hips saffron your thighs balm your foot soles with aloe or clay HOW TO MEDITATE…

too tired to lie down by Maestro Gamin

I’m tired how murder  follows us how we’re an all too accessible play area  for anger’s russian roulette merry go round and how this, patronizing, cautionary life of smiles and apathy for our death  waits freer than we ever were sweeping us vagrantly in riptides complacency in a glass of tap water poison in flint from slave patrol city minders too scared to be outspoken, too sour to let peace slip toward our space, too eager to kill their way into a co-opted white saviorhood. the sum of me after I regather what’s left, never amounts enough to save any…

Ethical Anarchy by Brenna Cheyney

We go together like loofah and linen— compostable, antimicrobial— soil cake in the gut house, nice parasites with stylet quips, sealing lips from disease. Mutuals suggest we left our dust to mingle—  skin cells, hair shed— without banter laughter balm, and yogic twister lip calms. Or maybe you’re the night sun  and I’m the fun jungle, mistaking fungal for lunar— blue oysters, deep-fried— hinting at single on the side. Crushing on de-extinction, we go together like thylacines and  fat-tailed dunnarts, a daydream, scheme-editing with funds and labs, distracting from the crisis at hand. Sweet tongues for invasives, trachea bent from…

what I’ve learned about absence while studying korean by Kianna Greene

Kianna Greene Raised simultaneously between Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, Kianna Greene is a poet and writer living in Orlando, Florida where she is an MFA Poetry Candidate at the University of Central Florida. Her work has appeared in Maudlin House and Ruminate Magazine. Kianna is an alumna of The Kenyon Review‘s Writers Workshop and currently serves as Associate Poetry Editor for The Florida Review and an Assistant Prose Poetry Editor for Pithead Chapel. More about her can be found at kiannagreene.com and @kiannaelaine on both Instagram and Twitter.

Two Poems by Alex Rieser

Sugar Hexany  We’re already on dangerous ground — your voice does to me what music does ; is what I mean when I describe spending time with you … is spending time with the world , levántame baby in that which shimmers . How walking through grass cleanses the feet — the art that occurred in a vacuum ; minced divination … cleaning up nice and looking , fancy . The way you lean against the wall charging your phone — your palm and all the secrets I’ve ever wanted ; to give jewelry to a woman who doesn’t often…

Two Poems by Chris Anderson

Mr. B When I asked Mr. B about solar wind, he said  there was no such thing, in front of the whole class.  I was pretty sure he was wrong, and he was:   solar wind is a stream of charged particles, mostly  protons, released from the upper atmosphere  of the sun and permeating the whole solar system.   You can harness it, like these kids in a story  I’d read about a regatta in space.  Their sail unfurled  for half a mile, glittering in the blackness.   But I don’t blame Mr. B.  The universe is vast  and beautiful and full of…

For all the Sylvias by Alison Lubar

Sink into your parents’ plastic pool,  painted mosaics on polypropylene liner,  PVC flamingo floats, neon orange rafts  turn your skin whiter (exsanguinate eyelids,  cheekbones keen), cherry stone freckles sit– mistaken unsinkable seeds.   For all of the Sylvias shivering away  ventricle remnants of nostrum– (remember  when you went around the world?) please  don’t end here. Come out from under– water, wherever–   transmute mystical to untroubled duck– firm every hollow bone  from wonder bread, quaggy reeds,  iridescent fishes– I write you back to life,  wish you wings– take to the unchlorinated air, resist gravity, rise downside-up, and sprout  to sky–…