Round fire in its tent of sticks shedding chalk and cold
on the edging of my pillow.
So sad. All I can recall is no one to hold me.
After all my skin-chafing labor with the adze, the struggle
to haul your coffin across the river—
cracking and lowing like a barge
in the deep, bleeding furrow
closing in on itself—
your severed arm gone ghostly limp,
flailing like a wave crest along the bank
beneath the claxons of a migrating goose flock
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beneath blurrier migrating stars.
In science class we learned
the hottest point of steam
is at the tip of the teapot spout—
where streams of swelling heat
rupture the cooler air.
After school, I do my homework
upstairs in my room.
My kid sister murmurs
playing family on her own.
When the clock clicks four
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the stacks of the factory moan,
and the sky
gets smudged with smoke.
Life, the iredeemer. No wonder there’s a God, not unlike there’s hate and always a dollar in St. Anthony’s change for a cigarette from the Pakistani or Indian bodega kept up by a family who kneels just the same to different names, and praises the canonized coin in their jars writ with wishes that God won’t stop depositing dimes or spare quarters for some beatific order: smoke, family, like love. What cans to be had.
Read more "Redemption"
Kristopher William Locke is a poet and artist born, raised and situated in the Canadian prairies with experience in various mediums including radio, print, web and stage. Readers are invited to join him on the peaks and valleys that exist within, and despite, the flat prairie landscape of his homeland. The result is part of his shared […]
Read more "Hello L’Hiver"
Kathleen Hellen is the author of The Only Country was the Color of My Skin, the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Featured on Poetry Daily, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Letters, […]
Read more "stick of burning sun"
The Grays The grays are worse than the blues… At least you can write a song about the rich cobalt-feeling of sadness. The grays settle like a cloak of smoke, leaving you voiceless and dry-eyed, with nothing so satisfying as a good cry. The grays have nothing to give, not even tears. Wraith-like, they confuse […]
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Nuclear Winter My grandmother told stories of smoke and smudge to save her navel orange groves in a Florida freeze. Sometimes her work failed. Then each Christmas she shipped a crate of oranges so thin-skinned they had to arrive fast. Fruit so flame-y orange we fell in love with hand-squeezing, licked juice from our fingers. […]
Read more "Nuclear Winter"