Salt Packets

by Derek Thomas Dew

There was a time when I walked down the sidewalk
at night and warm gusts of air swept over me.
When they did, there was a silence, and I thought
I’d never hear anything ever again.

I thought I saw something
out of the corner of my eye Continue reading

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Enough

by Susan Johnson

We like to think we can leave one world for another
because one world or another has at times left us
sitting cross-legged as if cast in stone. Cut off
and alone like this free standing wall of water
broken from the falls that still fall spraying ferns.

Like one continent breaks from another leaving
a jagged edge. Like our language broke off from
the language of wolves. What a hoot you say. Continue reading

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Welcome Home

by Haya Pomrenze

Sergeant returns as Major.
Fatigues replaced by a peach apron,
Stacking frozen foods on aisle nine.

A dead dog is a newborn.
A flak jacket, a baby carrier.
Rations exchanged for Happy Meals.

A rifle is now a wife’s breast.
A callused palm, a girlfriend’s cunt. Continue reading

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Season of Ash and Penitence

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

He says he’ll celebrate
Ash Wednesday by smoking a carton
of cigarettes.  Before the sun rises,
he’s puffed through a pack.

In the early light, she repots
the plants and hopes
they’ll perk back to life. Continue reading

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Moloka`i Homestead, 1933

by Kirby Wright

The aina makes demands. Brownie’s thankful her husband built the bamboo shanty and filled it with axes, picks, shovels, and hoes. There are carpentry tools too: hammers, handsaws, a block plane, and chisels. She’s proud of her cinder block home overlooking the channel and the water tank on stilts the paniolos helped Chipper raise. She worries about the tank running dry and what will happen if Chip loses his Army pension. Driving cattle at Pu`u O Hoku Ranch made him mean, the kind of mean that turns everything good between a man and woman bad. Clearing trees brought hate when she matched him swing for swing. Now husband help is tough to come by.
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