Erika Michael


 Flying into light they want the shades down while

I need sun — seeing is breathing and who knows what

magic unscrolls inside that cloud proscenium. Years 


ago I caught the shadow of a stork out there soaring

so fast I might have missed him had it not been for the

gransdon I found snuggled in his feathers on arrival.

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Jed Myers

Night Itch 

I scratch, in the black, the inner    

aspect of my right thigh. Other                      

nights chest, back of hand, a shin, 


blame the itch on chafed or dry 

or sweat-salted skin, wrong 

detergent, ghosts of mites, tactile 

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Raul Sanchez

Growing Up in America



the classroom full of kids

with different colored skins

learning the difference 

between a noun and a pronoun?

Remember how innocently

everybody used to play—

together:: in the schoolyard?

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Erika Brumett


     “It may be doubted whether there is any other animal which has played 
 so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly, organized beings.” -   
Charles Darwin


           Little tillers.  Ploughs of night-

         writhe and gizzard.  Eyeless, they grind

        through hummus—through leaf tip, rock

       bit, rootlet—burrowing tubal

         as the tubes they burrow.  Dirt-

           serpents, vermicelli, bait.  Hook-

            clowns, inchlings, doll snakes.  Sectioned, 

          intestinal—each a squiggle 

        of innard—a stretch of entrail 

      or colon. Intelligent, unsung 

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Judith Roche


 My first memory looks up to sunlight through water.

I'm on my back at the bottom and have already stopped 

struggling for air. The sun's full hands overflow

light leaking through the flawless blue, 

quiet and calm like a silent song, Mermaid, I, 

I'm already at peace with my death before my father

plucks and pumps me out, sputtering

and crying  as the water goes out

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Peter Munro

The Wind’s Measure

 The length of the wind runs from mid-May to murder.

The length of the wind runs from January through joy.

The wind runs as long as the right hand’s first finger

points to the sun after thunder.

The wind gallops prayerward

like a horse held in the palm of a rock,

no taller than a knee bent for the sake of singing.

The wind weighs more than the fossilized horse and stretches from

            fingernail to praise.

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Jazno Francoeur

all River at Midnight

 Fireflies brighten the grass by the shore

as you pass under the low-hanging trees

in your father’s green aluminum boat

above the submerged farms and rock quarries;

setting the lines on the branches, the leaves

just skimming the surface, you navigate

through an alcove, then settle in between

the bait cooler and the motor to wait.

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Shin Yu Pai

he gift 

in another land
I ask permission to take from the fig tree 

my guide says
the Bhutanese believe plucking a leaf 

is akin to cutting the throats of one thousand monks 

here, he says let me do that for you,

how is this one

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David Fewster

Saw them get out of their Lexus

to pick up their 10 and 11 year-old daughters

fat, affluent, they were out of

a George Grosz painting,

hands on porcine hips, obviously giving the girls

a lecture on the American Way.

Disgusted, I bent back over my book,

a biography of the Marquis de Sade,

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Claudia Castro Luna

Washington’s Winter

Winter’s taciturn realm asks nothing.
Crowned in hushed browns and somber greens, it rules by turns with quiet song
then with pummeling winds obeying no one.
It will be dark soon everyday for months
Color hibernates, leaving behind
its essence to purr
in everything oblique light touches.
In the hush, it asks us to see, and see again,
to hear the echo of step
over moss covered ground,

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Shankar Narayan

The Times Asks Poets to Describe the Haze Over Seattle

 No one asked me, but I would have said this apocalypse

looks like home.  The laureate

says a grey gullet has swallowed

a molten coin, another calls it powered cadmium

and cirrhosis, dystopian, grotesque, a crematorium.  Yes,

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