Charlottesville

by Sean Lause

Fever hangs in the willows.
The man with the cocksure eye
awaits you down this road.

Trees spell their leaves in syllables of fear.
A black ghost and a white ghost
dance a mystery through your past. Continue reading

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Abecedarian: The Final Cut

by Debbie Hall

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone
–Joni Mitchell

Aloha, Po’ouli, you shy little black-faced
bird, last one down from Haleakala’s slopes,
captive and tended by the hopeful, your one good eye Continue reading

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Pigeon

by Nathan Alling Long

Before the pigeon, I woke up with worry, a stone of dread that would skip from the leak in the roof to the water bill, from the pile of unwashed clothes to the peeling paint on the window sills.  It would eventually settle in one spot in the pool of doubt and sink down deep—to a reoccurring tooth ache, the check engine light in the car, the credit card bill that depleted its limit like diminishing oxygen in a mine shaft.

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Forever 21

by Gene Twaronite 

All the dresses
in the store look
made for people who
never have to worry
if they’ll fit.

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Every Weekend

by Mariah Rigg

For Papaya, the weekdays of summer are filled with the garden. She and her mama plant cosmos, pick mangoes, watch the chunkily ridged black-white-and- yellow-striped caterpillars curl and uncurl themselves into inching balls, devouring milky crownflower leaves, weaving themselves into chrysalides, so that they can break out as delicately feathered Monarch butterflies. Some days are sprinkled with sun, sand, and salt. Other days they pick flowers on the edges of the brown, dirt trails that run through the green ridged mountains. On the steamy, lazy days they lie in the rectangular shade of the tin carport and read aloud from the Chronicles of Narnia. Continue reading

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