Excerpt: Nicole Rollender

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From Absence of Stars Necessary Work Roman poets put skulls in their love poems – the mortal with the immortal, the dark in the brilliant death-light; the plum falling from its long branch, then sweetly decomposing. The excruciating parting of our two bodies, that was necessary. Your tiny body – you can’t even drink my … Continue reading

Excerpt: J.R. Miller

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From Nobody’s Looking Gone Dark Listen close. You can hear it—the rip of skin as the needle rides the line—the first slow swipe, then the second, the third. You hear it inside your head. It drowns out the voices around you—the voices behind the plastic shower curtains that separate each station. It drowns out the … Continue reading

Excerpt: Bill Yarrow

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From Blasphemer Mother Died Tomorrow nasturtium epoxy ulcer unguent words she can’t define delinquent flamingo invisible powerboat words she can’t pronounce death of Uncle Aminadab anniversary trip to Boulder birth of Joey birth of Joey Jr memories that no longer exist the golf course fire the wedding by the lake the Christmas the car wouldn’t … Continue reading

Excerpt: Kristine Ong Muslim

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From A Roomful of Machines Closetland They are frisky—those hanged creatures of texture and boneless machinists. Halved, they entertain aggression, rustle like itinerant peapods. They have no reason to simulate body language. My fingers disappear in the boundary between fabric and air. I want to breathe with them, pat their seams, squeeze the trapped light … Continue reading

Excerpt: Sarah Sousa

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From Split the Crow Honey Out of the Rock after Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative Foul is savory, water sweet. We glean from fields trampled in the fighting: sheaves of crickled wheat. I hide two ears of corn beneath my apron. Horse liver roasted over coals bleeds bile on my tongue, horse’s ears and feet, ruff … Continue reading

Excerpt: Sarah Ann Winn

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From Portage Float July fourth. Baseball’s on the radio, a steady hum from the garage outlasts the locusts for an inning. Tonight the fireworks will splay and fall over the lake, but now in the lull after picnic, a little work sweetens the languor. A hymn of mending to be done, perpetual hum in work … Continue reading

Excerpt: Myfanwy Collins

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From The Book of Laney I’d been staring at the fire for a long time when Meme offered me lunch. “I’m not hungry,” I said. Meme rolled her eyes at me and sat herself down at the table anyway. She ate an enormous sandwich made on homemade bread. It looked good and I was hungry, … Continue reading

Excerpt: Ruth Foley

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From Creature Feature Dear Larry Talbot I used to know a man like you: the scarce veneer of skin across the beast, the claw curled in a hand. I used to wait for him to snarl or snap, to say I drove him to it like your autumn moon. I recognize your startled heat, your … Continue reading

Excerpt: Matthew J. Hall

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From Pigeons and Peace Doves She Sedates the Rhino this morning when I was sleeping and you pulled two extra blankets up to my chin I dreamt you were standing over me with a basket of flowers the stems had been removed and the heads were vibrant and heavy deep reds and dark purples vanilla … Continue reading

Excerpt: Philip Terman

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From Our Portion: New and Selected Poems Among the Scribes Didn’t they tell you, all those sages, that the promised land is this moment? Here, now, this late summer air, this dew-drenched field, this thin filament of gossamer between an apple tree and an apple tree? The almost unnoticeable blue jay feather in the unmown … Continue reading

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