Two Poems | by Nadia Gerassimenko

Honey Hives
                                                 happy little bees                    buzzing
their final breath                    their                                                                          ability to feed


                                    domesticated                         imported
                   raised                                                          in


those hives      collapse


Continue reading “Two Poems | by Nadia Gerassimenko”

Two Poems | by Arbnora Selmani

On Hunger

When he talks, cheeks ruddy,
my tongue shrinks under the weight of my appetite.

I wrap my lips around his Adam’s apple,
mouth stuffed like a prize hog, skin crackling.

Place my tongue flat against his chest
till I taste his heart thrumming like honey against me.
Continue reading “Two Poems | by Arbnora Selmani”

Black Tuesday | by Ron Gibson, Jr.

Last summer Padgett had wandered Joshua Tree, reading Carlos Castaneda, and the only increased awareness he felt was loneliness. He waited like a seed in a planter, but nothing grew under that blazing sun. He clung to the shadows of rocks, waiting to die, dictating letters in his head to people that no longer remembered him.

Typical Padgett: a group of college kids find him and save the day. The one girl (he thinks was named Cynthia) makes out with him even though he’s twice her age. He looks like her dad’s best friend; she looks like his first college girlfriend. It works for a night. And then Padgett moves on, catches a ride with an independent trucker up into the Northwest, until he shows up wherever he shows up.

This summer it’s Milwaukee. Padgett’s days are spent gutting an old brick school building for minimum wage, and his nights are spent staying away from bars until payday. Some of his crewmates invite him into their homes for a night. Padgett meets every child’s confused look and wife’s glare with a smile. Before the night is over, the children have a new hero and the wives often smile back at his animal charm despite their better judgments. Continue reading “Black Tuesday | by Ron Gibson, Jr.”

Just Right | by Gaynor Jones

     Mark lunged forward as the car crunched to a stop up against the street lamp. Sighing, he rolled down his window and leaned out to a young bystander for assistance.
‘Excuse me, Miss, I wonder if you could help me?’

     Mark had known that the car would be just right for him the moment the sales assistant had described it as blue-grey. The ambiguity added considerably to its appeal. That had been three months ago, before a deliberate delay which had allowed Mark to modify the vehicle to further suit his needs. He was careful to take his custom to a different garage each time. Three months might be a long time for other young men to wait, especially where cars were concerned, but the persistent passage of time held no sway over Mark. Continue reading “Just Right | by Gaynor Jones”

Three Poems | by Katie Quinnelly

Sparrow Pie

I rent the apartment upstairs from Marcus
His garage is full of junk he uses to make things like a shop vac or parts for his car
or a sparrow trap

Once, when I passed his garage, he was trying to find a silver rod
for his chicken coop
He lured me in with his homemade apple brandy

After searching for a while he became so frustrated he told me
he thinks about killing himself. When he looks in the mirror
he says he sees a monster

On the shelf in his garage is a box that contains
an old Halloween decoration. On the box written in sharpie it says
“Marcus the Carcass” and inside is a rubber zombie mannequin

Marcus says he feels so alone sometimes he wants to be the dead one

The sparrow trap sits at the end of the driveway
It’s a metal structure that lets sparrows in with no exit. After a few hours
they just die. Marcus says when he has six of them, he’ll make a sparrow pie

I walked past the sparrow trap this morning and there were
two sparrows. They looked exactly alike except that one of them
was alive, still trying to get out, and the other one was dead in the corner Continue reading “Three Poems | by Katie Quinnelly”