• Patina, Unturning by Daniel Wolfert

    When first they raised Patina in Green She towered, impassive, above the black waters And although we knew not why they shivered and shook The faraway monsters feared as she peered east.   “Behold this, our might,” cried the forefathers fiercely “Behold this, the one we have raised from the depths She of the Sea-Washed Our Mother of Exiles.”   “Exiles? Fwah!” My Grandmother spits. “What might do they have, These wool-headed men? What right do they have, To speak of the Sea-Washed? When we washed ourselves here, in these The black waters When She in the Green was not even a thought.”   Grandmother spits And she sits in…

  • Words She Taught Me by James Moynahan

    Dark river, what therefore must I do? When the weight of heart & flesh, lays pale & unmovable. Strung forward by your current like leafs nearest a stream kiss then all our memories, goodnight?   When bed meant her collarbone on a midnight ride our destination I can’t remember. Only, the rhythmic punctuation of lamplight dye Only . . . in tunnel darkness, she wisped, “Mijo?” the word warm with her breath tapping the bend of my neck I gave no response, a flutterlash of closedlids . . .   Still you spoke, your heart to mine, beating through your breast   . . . “Noches, mi amor.” The meaning…

  • Endured, Uttered by Troy Kehm-Goins

    There is no Silence in the Earth — so silent As that endured Which uttered, would discourage Nature And haunt the World — —EMILY DICKINSON   Tashtego In 1851, Tashtego is the only Indian on the whaler Pequod. The only red man on that ship of the damned. One of three-become-four harpooners. One for each of the whaling boats. Representatives of the brown, red, black, and yellow races. Each paired with one of the three mates and the captain.   Preston Singletary In 2019, artist Preston Singletary tells the Tlingit story of Raven. Preston carves in glass as his ancestors carved in cedar. Raven rose through the smoke-hole of the…

  • He Cuts the Engine to Show Us the First One by Christina Butcher

    17 crosses on the river & he cuts the engine to show us the first one proud fisherman-turned-tour guide   who earlier this morning hoisted a rope, slick & wet, from the water   one end tied to the platform the other to a net swollen with oysters.   The moon was still out & the boat tilted as everyone leaned over its side, port. please, teach me, I hear myself say   “Obrigada.”   Silvio’s words return to me like waves, lapping against the edges of my third eye.   Boat.   “Say it as if there is no obligation.”   “Schto mutu grata,” Silvio, I fall in love…

  • At Sea by Erik Carlsen

    My father and I went out on the boat To scatter her ashes where we set the crab pots So that when the rest of the family asks Where we scattered her ashes, we can say That we scattered them where we set the crab pots And they will know.   A lot of the ashes blew into my hair. The pieces clung to my hair like a field of white crosses.   My grandfather could do pullups with his fingertips. He gave me stitches when I was a child. I do not even remember Being hurt.   We set the crab pots where my grandfather did. He would yell…

  • “The Black Egg” by Shondhi

    The interior of the car was dimly lit in the city’s halogen glow. Its leather seats were tattered from many years of hard use. The fabric glued to the ceiling dangled low, a victim to the ravages of time and heat. The steady rhythm of quiet breathing.  A lone figure drives through a forlorn neighborhood obsessively glancing through the rear-view mirror and into the back seat. The car smells like sweat, blood, and cigarettes.  In his lap, black hot gunpowder steel. His assurance that no one will take what he has found, even though guns didn’t stop him from taking it from them. Nestled in the back seat of the…

  • “Finding Love at 39: A Sonnet” by Gale Hemmann

    The white deer is a rare and beautiful creature reported to be spotted in the Pacific Northwest, in the dreams of tired mothers and the buying of unsent, but pristinely kept, valentines.   A white deer runs across my dreams now. Laundry, work, walks circling the same streets. To invite this same deer by day, but how? Not chase it, but invite it lie next to me.   At the park, the families walk in neat trios At the store, they stand together in line: call and response, response and call; and me Summoning deer bound into this scene.   In a coupled world, what’s one to do? But wish…

  • “A Dog’s Life” by Veda Leggett

    Maya exited the independent bookstore owned by a friend, Dax walking beside her. She had a couple more errands to run and it felt good to have a companion, even a four-legged one, to walk with her. Well-trained and protective, he made her feel safe. She loved living in the city but it wasn’t always safe.  Two weeks ago, she’d been attacked when leaving the post office. Some young punks seemed to think it was a game to run up, hit someone and beat them while they were down. Thank goodness she hadn’t been seriously hurt.  Although it scared the bejeebers out of her.   After mulling it over for…

  • “A Three-Act Poem for Holy Saturday” by Sammy Vickstein

    I. We hear a knock on the door from offstage. The lights are still down. After no answer, We hear the knock again, faster, Panicked, even.   Peter, reluctant, lights a lamp. Looks through the peephole, Not taking any chances. Lets John and James in.   “I thought I heard thunder,” he says. James does not laugh. John, warm, does, wraps Peter up in a hug His friend receives.   “Hell of a day,” he says. “Hell of a week,” Peter responds. “Hell of a fucking life,” James chimes in. Peter looks at John John raises a pantomimed bottle to his lips,   Shrugs “Maybe he’s got the right idea,…

  • “Swimming” by Erik Carlsen

    When you tell stories about your father Hopping trains, you leave out any mention Of the snake with ball bearings in its mouth, Or the bird made out of cherry blossoms Tossing it’s head like it is seizing From going days without booze in the hotel.   You don’t talk about finding the floor wet before You have even had the chance to unpack. You distinguish the scent as sweat, As his. You feel him everywhere, your father, Generous with how he annotated his volumes About the civil war and all the theories About Kennedy and his head, breaking apart like a bad pie, Like a crow pecking at it…