MARC ALAN DI MARTINO is a Pushcart-nominated poet, translator and author of the collection Unburial (Kelsay, 2019). His work appears in Baltimore Review, Rattle, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, Valparaiso Poetry Review and many other journals and anthologies. His second collection, Still Life with City, is forthcoming from Pski’s Porch. He lives in Italy.
I leave a trail behind me,
socks curling into themselves like snails,
bits of paper furled like dying leaves.
Everything is mossed with dust.
My hair falls and catches,
silver webs snagged by corners,
pieces of me bedded on the carpet,
the padded rug simulating earth’s softness.
I want to be kneeling, wrist deep
in something pungent,
roots ringing my fingers,
dirt crusting my hands.
I’ll let the earth carry parts
of me away. Give my eyelashes
to the slugs blinking coyly
as they nibble the marigolds,
my mouth to the mushrooms,
those apples of the earth
blooming from subterranean networks,
my nose to the sweet grasses
braided by wind,
my fingers slipping under
a fuzz of fungus, a furred
blanket reclaiming life to life.
ESTHER SADOFF is a teacher and writer from Columbus, Ohio. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Wingless Dreamer, Free State Review, Parhelion Literary Magazine, Passengers Journal, SWWIM, and many other publications.
My mother said mothers
are vessels of pain.
and a girlhood of spasms—
mothers carry water
in baskets of blood.
She tells me:
We pure as milk.
Ships are also ‘she’s’
and we are ships on a slope of ocean
sailing north to build gardens
of scarred fruits.
When it starts to rain,
I grip my mother’s hand:
it is a fossil of my own.
Afternoon songs haunt the heat
and we climb on, small fractures
on the rib of history.
SARA MURRAY is a graduate of English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. She currently works as a Content Manager in London and writes, paints and cooks in her spare time. Her work has previously been published in FGRLS CLUB and Kamena Magazine.
EVAN BURKIN is fond of Russian authors: Dostoevsky, Sokolov, Shiskin, Nabokov, Akhmatova, and so many others. He works as a development writer at a university. His work has been published or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, The Madrigal, Rain Taxi, and Sur.
slow boil of the autumn sun
long-winded waves of switchgrass distilling the dawn
how quietly the day unfolds yellow day lilies
new neighbor: the scent of her pink plumerias
age of autumn my snowdrops not ready to bloom
your sweet-scented smile clematis sky
long after your soft petals have fallen pinwheel galaxy
Silk~ is a Japanese short-form poet who is obsessed with one-lined haiku poems. Since embarking on this creative writing journey in July 2020, monoku poems have gained considerable popularity on social media: #monoku. Silk~’s most recent publication credits include Frogpond, Versification, Briefly Write Magazine, Mycelium Magazine, Paddler Press and Modern Haiku. You can find Silk~ on Twitter: @Silk73507704.
If it is up there, you ought to grab it
like you did without worry as a child—
steal guavas from any tree in our piddling purview,
even from the guarded gardens, strictly forbidden.
At ease in your elastic enjoyment, detached
from backlash, even while in the frame of the crime
with friends of same feathers, thick as thieves,
like a pandemonium of parrots who just flitted away.
I have them still, my friends of plunder & pillage,
yet I find them today in their pockets & protocols
of propriety & parenthood, reluctant to rob remembrances—
too busy to share the tricky tales of our thefts, together.
Debasis Tripathy was born in Odisha, India. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Decomp, UCity Review, Rogue Agent, Leon Lit, Vayavya, Mantle Poetry, and several other journals online and in print. He lives in Bangalore, where he works in information technology.
My teeth are forgotten bones
waiting quietly in my gums,
becoming comfortable behind lips
that tighten into a smile.
In tandem, my lips and teeth say,
It’s okay and
Oh, it’s no trouble and
No, no — really — I don’t mind.
With every phrase, I hunger for teeth
that line a quick, articulate tongue—
teeth and tongue that create
a path for me to walk.
I am hungry for teeth
that rip and tear,
teeth that meet the skin,
leave a mark,
teeth that will not loosen,
that I will not hide.
Haley Petcher lives in Huntsville, AL with her husband, Doberman, and cat and teaches high school English. She earned her BA from Auburn University and her MA from the University of Louisville, and she sends thanks to her professors for allowing her to repeatedly crash their office hours. She has writing in Pithead Chapel, Inkwell Journal, and Coffin Bell Journal, among others, and you can find her on Twitter: @HaleyPetcher, and at https://petcherpages.wixsite.com/portfolio.