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–…

Concrete and Cabbages by Joshua Barnhart

Have you ever seen the sun set  through the grip of a palm frond? The way tangerine and lavender cuts through the leaves? The way  the leaves cut through  flesh if pressed? A young frond  emerges folded, the area called the cabbage. The city  skyline is littered with sharp  cabbages tilting their heads. I once saw  an overgrown palm drop  with a sigh. The serrated  green landed on the hood  of a parked car. I’ve seen them  come and go, another season another family of owls nesting  in the highest tuft, their quiet life like a poem, pollen hanging  on…

wormholing by Jason Baltazar

the game got played on heart-gazing nights dreaming this body transposed  among las estrellas otras  & how much brighter they sound in that disinherited cosmos still  looking ever up,  seeking constellation  coordinates where this vessel might collapse distances built between each tip  of an asking tongue: when can i say   encontré mi lugar cosmica? cuantos sueños will it take? Jason Baltazar is a proud Salvadoran American, originally from the Appalachian corner of Maryland. His work has or will appear in Boston Review, Salt Hill, Wigleaf, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and literature at James Madison University. For more info,…

HOW IT IS by Tatiana Retivov

  And then came the rain and you wondered if that was a light at the end of the tunnel? Or was it just an expiring cruise missile on the Left Bank of the Dnieper River. In the corner of your eye an antimissile aircraft immediately intercepted it, you merely blink your awe away. Meanwhile, the honeysuckle blooms profusely this summer, as if making up for time lost. Yours and mine. Writing this with pen and paper in the split seconds of one air-raid siren after another cautioning you to retire to your useless lair in between your tiled woodstove…

As Dry and Warm as Southern California by An Lin Hunt-Babcock

I wonder  where’d all this water come from? Even though you complain about my oily hair, the dirt beneath my nails, you still hate the water bill the most and I don’t blame you I blame the rivers we’re stealing from Because they’re all speaking French and seductively tongues the syllables of suburban homes for soil and call it Gardening You force me to smile with my teeth, Say I didn’t get you braces for anything I remember to pay back everything  you’ve ever given me when I am a millionaire When I watch you from my window, I joke…

POETRY: The Lowing of the Stars at Night by Holly Day

The story goes that Cain was too selfish to sacrifice one of his oxen and that was why he offered crops instead, built a pyre of apples and wheat sheaves pumpkins and ears of corn. Or maybe it was some other vegetable or fruit unknown to us cultivated out of existence due to its phallic shape or unpleasant smell. Perhaps closer to the truth is that Cain couldn’t choose which oxen he could let go having raised the lumbering brutes from tiny, red-haired calves that gamboled at his approach and followed him through his morning chores, to these mild-mannered oxen…

Three Poems by Bob Meszaros

Scattering the Ashes Late, late at night, he searches for her birth certificate, for their marriage license, for snapshots of the two of them, together. Morning begins with daylight splayed across the surface of the frozen pond behind their house. It is late February 2022 and still this winter threatens. Oak leaves, brown and sere, hang from limbs like cast-off face masks; spiny pathogens, disguised as burrs, lie in wait to catch and cling. Outside, he knows her garden is mid-winter hard: he hears the pond ice crack and buckle in the cold. But in early April, when the pond…