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February Trees

by Daryl Muranaka In the morning, the trees surprise me. Pure white blazing with a puff of snow balancing on the tip of each branch the head of an elegant white snake bursting from the unsullied trunk. Everything clean. Everything brilliant in the sun. But beneath the snow we know the wet bark waits to […]

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Writer’s Block

by A.D. Winans I stare into silence Empty space has no vision Restless ghosts eat My words

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Night Shift

by Susan Dion

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I Saw an Incredible Thing

by Joseph Milosch Some catastrophes are better than others; with heroin you die slowly, like a trapper lost in a blizzard. (Dexter) 1971 The door was open and I heard a cricket in the far corner of the tool room. It was the day after we passed the general inspection. In the 187th we were […]

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Lady Fern

by Kristen Howe Small doubled and rounded green leaves, Straw-colored stalks, in red or brown, Spots curved on a horseshoe shaped stem, In midsummer, ripened spots cluster. The stem slightly bent with a curve to my feel, An emblem of fascination to all nature lovers alike, With such profoundness, a symbol of sincerity to others, […]

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Saturday Landscape

by Joseph Milosch Wearing her Saturday babushka, she lifts the lid of the steam iron. Laying his pants in the bed of the table iron, she tugs the cuffs to straighten the crease. After pressing, she lifts them and runs her eye down their crease. Sitting behind her at the table, he disassembles the electrical […]

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and God will wipe away every tear

by Francine Marie Tolf “and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” At its center, the circle inverts: the food chain collapses, the lion eats straw. Yet tears are not reversed, but are wiped away. So necessary to me, that God who lets tears fall. Who touches a quail’s grief with his own […]

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If I Could Imagine

By Joseph Milosch The decal of a woman is on the red prophylactic machine in a Chula Vista bar. Across its front someone has peeled her away until she appears to have a head wound, partially encased by her undulating hair. The precise manner someone took to cut away this decal has produced a sculptured […]

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Hope: Hope

By Gu Xie 4. Hope Just like a tree in a wind All the wait, is to Greet lifelong greenery Just like roots deep in earth An expanse of pureness in a cloud Will be the beauty they want to look up at All creations always cheer this Rhythm of conviction All human efforts are […]

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If on a Winter’s Night a Patient (Cherita Sequence)

by Chen-ou Liu time stands still on the old clock above the counter in the ER I wait patiently for my turn walking out the door casting no glances we pass each other by then disappear snow traces the weight of each burden

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Stash’s Letter To His Lost Child

Joseph D. Milosch I served in the Army. I wasn’t a good soldier. As we drank beyond drunkenness, my friends forgave me whenever I said something stupid — ignorant — forgettable. They acted as if my ideas were comparable to Thomas Merton. He wrote, “Violence is an inversion of ones weakness.” January

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Workshop with Stephen Dunn

by Paul Hostovsky At first I mistook the Parkinson’s for exuberance for the poems, the tremor in his hand resting on his leg making the leg softly jackhammer under the table like the leg of a schoolboy dying to raise his hand or dying to escape outside into the field across the street, and because […]

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First Response (Reactions to Daylight Murder)

by KJ Hannah Greenberg Except for the coccyx, which Jessica, tenaciously, was attempting to root out from under an ottoman, using only her front claws, nothing was left of Maurice Hichkins’ son, Wilson. Astoundingly, Maurice Hichkins was more concerned with his notes than with his pet.

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Opus at Fifty

By Joseph Milosch I dreamed I was running in a field with a girl dressed in light shorts. Her tanned legs flickered and our feet flashed faster than echoes of falling footsteps as flies became fireworks, imitating centuries of supernovas. I dreamed we were running in a field without any flowers or clover blossoms. We […]

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Advice to the Lovelorn

by Joseph Milosch Waiting for my wife to complete her MRI, I fail at reading the book I brought to pass the time. The receptionist turns the TV to her show, which discusses advice to the lovelorn. Go to the ocean every day. Sit on the break wall until the sound of the waves, sliding […]

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