Electrical Fire At 3AM (as Mercury Stations Direct)

by July Westhale

for Panella

It was too generous for gunshots,
too casual for fireworks. Our house
sparked once, then oncetwice, oncetwice.

Fire. In this day and age. Livid
until we understood, we rose from bed
and put on pants, one leg, then the other. ...

Meditation on Skin

by Lynne Thompson

He came to me in a dream,
wet as a newborn in his new skin.
I readied him for a bowl of bitter world
(the cathedral two blocks away from our flat in the city),
like an invitation I didn’t dare open,
like one long road of night, cold, and hard as hail, ...

No Books Would Tell Us Our Stories

by Stacey Balkun

Possumtown Neighborhood, Piscataway, NJ, one mile
from the Middlesex Sampling Plant site, where radiation
cleanup from ore sampling in the 1940’s was projected to be completed in 2000

Gets Dark So Early Late

by Max Schleicher

The dead have the whole city to think with
the fla-vor-ice tube the whole tongue cherry red.
Trapped below the lake, the slow sharp breath,
the mottle, the dogskin, the fiberglass, the uncertain ...

Lauren Gives Me Directions

by Garrett Durbin

“Make a left at the second park,
Because you will come across two parks;
The first one is smaller, and there’s a little courtyard in the middle ...


by Stacy Boe Miller

The air above this man-made
reservoir turns violent
pink each afternoon. This is a tune

on a guitar I can barely
play. I’ve built ...

Carolina clay

by Ruth Dickey

Our house leaned and pitched in strong winds. The tin roof
a watering can for black snakes wintering in the attic;

the kitchen ceiling had one-tile-in-from-the-wall painted
for ten years, a racing stripe for our speedy remodeling.

The well water turned brown when it rained; Mom made koolaid
in fruit punch or grape to quell our suspicion. Twenty years later,

The Marine

by Rogelio Juarez

Sundays my father made us chorizo
we still begged to skip church
four bad kids in line for communion,
recanting silence

Aubade, with Two Deer

by Alan Michael Parker

Soon I’ll need assurances, a shower, coffee, pills.
In the fuzz of dawn, I’m a bell
and time’s the clapper, rung until
one state of being over-rings another—

Canyon Road

by Elizabeth Jacobson

Driving on black ice—
I braked too hard,
spun into a 360

and then two more. ...

Wanda Coleman’s Roar

by Nikolai Garcia

I don’t smoke weed, I smoke palm
trees. I rise into clouds like

the 110-105 interchange. I take back
airspace from a LAPD chopper, examining


by Sophie Klahr

Yes—alone, I could stop for anything.
Fossil bed at a river’s wrist. Hello

aoudad on Blue Mountain, javelina
gnawing cactus. Stinky the cat hiding

in a closet. Every bee takes an hour
and that hour is the bee’s. Vultures braid through ...

Steep Ravine

by Laton Carter

Between sagebrush and the lichened rocks,
a covey of quail employ themselves.

Light disperses in the spray, and a seal
ducks under again. Home for them. ...


by Cynthia Cruz

In Belgrade in my hotel room
I return to the self portraits
from the earlier work:

smoking in the tub
while reading
texts on the New Art Practice.

When I step out of the bathroom...

The State of Jefferson

by Erica Goss

Trucks shuffle in the slow lane.
Mt. Shasta’s a crazy white cone.
I drive as fast as I dare.
Car my shelter, my tiny house ...

Defend the Eastside

by Matt Sedillo

The 5, the 101, the 10
Suavecito for President
A funeral procession out of City Terrace
No ICE on the overpass ...