Written on the Floor of an Office on Madison Avenue

by Michael Mingo

This morning, as the window washers pulled
their platform into place and smeared the glass
with dripping soap, I read an article

about how satellites are leaving streaks
in photographs of distant stars, like cats
scratching an antique landscape out of boredom.

Even the country nights, the author warns,
will teem with noise. They’re lucky: they can see
the sky. My office offers me a view

of other people’s views, a vista packed
so thick with masonry and glass the sky
is a faint border now. Though I twist

my line of sight around corners, through gaps
where the streets surely run, I’ve yet to see
a single patch of heaven; even the sun

is only what’s reflected on the buildings,
a problem for geometers to solve.
Is there an answer? Amidst the space debris

and fragments of façades, I still detect
the shimmers of what was: a constellation
sewn in fluorescent lights, a swarm of rockets

all dancing to the music of the spheres.
It’s hardly consolation, but the view
is raw material. It must be finished.

 

Michael Mingo is a poet and medical editor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned his MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spillway, RHINO, Third Coast, and The McNeese Review, among other journals.

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I Stumble into a Portal on 4th Street

by Marie Henry

Yeah, things are grim. But not all of it. I get buzzed into my bank which is almost pandemically empty. And am invited to sit down in a cushy chair by the lovely teller seated on the other side of the plexiglass.

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Charm

by Laine Derr

My cat kisses finches on the neck, red
feathers masking want, a body finely limp.

I learned burying from my father, animals
killed on country roads, soil rich in blood. Continue reading

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Unable to See Our Way Clear

by Jim Tilley

A nearly symmetric tree, spilling
its leaves like a fountain
by the pool, the weeping cherry
appears the same from all angles Continue reading

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Pamphleteer Couplets

by John A. Nieves


“How I don’t know what I should do with my hands when I talk to you.
How you don’t know where you should look, so you look at my hands.”
—John K. Samson

 

It wasn’t always crayons—sometimes chalk or markers, sometimes
just the wish to somehow say. But I pressed hard into paper, each word
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