by Julia B Levine

You are otherwise each time you dream. The train arrives in Nice. You reach for your suitcase
& the aborted baby tumbles down alive. Into your arms, his milky breath. His uncanny reach.

Drought’s engine picks up speed. Rivers, once a ligature of sheen, smear to grease. Lord,
bless the not-yet-arrived. Wildfires unwilling to be touched. Forests dying as they reach.

That’s all I wanted, he says. Your body crumpled like a day-old corsage. A raven shrieks.
He zips up his pants. Pockets the gun. Wild bird of your before, perches out of reach.

Wingless, we invented music. This first morning of rain you can believe again
in a cappella green. Joy to lift the body’s stone. Fog to lower the sky’s snowy reach.

All being is fenestra. And the mind a churchyard, a market, an orphic meet-&-greet.  This
world wrecks us, then it enters. The body leaves. The soul is fallout, drifting far outside of reach.


Julia B Levine has been widely published. Her latest full-length collection, Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight (LSU press, 2014), was awarded the 2015 Northern California Book Award in Poetry. She has poems forthcoming in Calyx, Southern Review, and Third Coast. In her everyday life, she loves to swim!

by Leonore Hildebrandt

Sky is a woven rug, a measured opening—
a “window,” from wind eye.
Hinges are smooth as ligaments,
and her fingers leave oily prints.

You may wear this tale
like a hat, a wondrous little hat
from the pelt of a mouse.

A canopy of swallows. The river’s steep banks.
The girl runs with the boys, then hides
in sprawling hedges—beech and rhododendron.

She knows a place to slip into—
lower the bridge, walk the sheep and fox,
cows and knights in procession to the fields.
The moat deepens. Look, poor Rapunzel’s
long braids uncoil from the sill.

The girl is looking under leaves
for mice and spiders.
She rips her sandwich for the dogs,
calls them her strays.

On a narrow sidewalk,
a little hairy man blocks her way
with his scales and knives.
She tries to run, sand sucks at her feet,
she stumbles, falls into the air's updraft—
her dress spreads like a sheet.
A girl is a cloud of dust.

In the yard, metal posts are sunk into holes.
On rainy days, they fill with water and bugs.
She hears of storm petrels, lit as lamps—
oily flames mounted on sticks, a wick shoved down the throat.
Things one can not pronounce another way.

Clamor in the street—voracious brooms
suck in leaves and garbage.
The many worlds are falling—the seven brothers,
three sisters. She hides, counts her fingers.
This is the dry tongue of utterance.

But the second son still goes out into the world
to learn about fear. At night,
bronzed in smoke, the seven ravens return.
The girl slips through a fence.

She is falling toward the upon-time,
dark against the luminous wind eye.
Her dress is woven into the sky.

In the sallow wax of morning,
street lamps are bright nebulae.
The window’s stern eyes relent
to swirls and river snails.

Worms scatter holes,
bored in the wooden frame.
She blows the dust, pulls up her hair.


Leonore Hildebrandt is the author of the poetry collections Where You Happen to Be, The Work at Hand, and The Next Unknown. Her poems and translations have appeared in the Cafe Review, Cerise Press, the Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Harpur Palate, Poetry Daily, RHINO, and the Sugar House Review, among other journals. Winner of the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest, she received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. She was nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Leonore lives “off the grid” in Harrington, Maine, and spends the winter in Silver City, New Mexico. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal.

by Annmarie O’Connell

is killing her. I sing this to you once:
killing her.  She is
the bowl of a spoon dripping
tobacco and trailer park,
a roar of diesels
runs over her breastbone.
All the mountains
in my life
are fists of my mother.
I do not waste one drop
when I see her voice taken
out of her body and put
in a stunted star
that always moves
away from me
in a night that twiddles my hair
by the root no matter
where I go. I braid a trail
in the dirty South Side
street. This is a daughter
carving a path off to God
then kicked to her knees—a psalm
hung from her big mouth.
Flag her in
from the dark. Tell her
where to go.


Annmarie O’Connell is a lifelong resident of the South Side of Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Sixth Finch, Juked, Room Magazine, Verse Daily, Slipstream, SOFTBLOW, Vinyl Poetry, Thrush, Escape Into Life, 2River View, and many other wonderful journals. Her first full-length collection of poems, Your Immaculate Heart, was released with Trio House Press in 2016. Her third chapbook was released last year with Yellow Flag Press. See more at

by Geraldine Connolly

she listened in the hall
seldom crossed thresholds

baked dark cakes
with spirit-soaked raisins

dug with a trowel
at the edge of deep woods

dropped to her knees
to examine a caterpillar

rinsed windows with vinegar

while inside 
intrigue twirled and spun

she loved

which nothing could silence
or calm or cool


Geraldine Connolly is the author of a chapbook and four poetry collections including the recently published Aileron (Terrapin Books). Her work has appeared in in Poetry, Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review and The Cortland Review. She has taught at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland, The Chautauqua Institution and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council and the Cafritz Foundation. Her work has appeared in many anthologies including Poetry 180: A Poem A Day for High School Students and A Constellation of Kisses. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

by Nicole Markert

The first time, teeth grind. My knees are
on holly leaves, scream
to the God:
I will breathe life into his dust
even if it means to scratch and peel
the layers of my forearm like onion skins.

I gnaw my raw lip.
I only stop when we drive away.
The next time, I carry crosses with my mother
and listen to repeated winds
of passing cars on the highway & the crush
of pinecones on the shoulder. We bear
with the whizz of screws into the crosses
pressed to the pine bark and the choked-up mutters
of the Our Father.
The most recent time, I watch the sunset while fingers freeze.
My lips taste lukewarm watery hot chocolate.
I pray even when God never fills
the chasm in my sternum.
I place my hand on the pine’s bark.
I breathe exhaust fumes like fresh air.


Nicole Markert is a Senior English Writing and Literature major at Eastern University in St. David’s Pennsylvania, although, she originally hails from New Jersey. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Eastern’s literary magazine, Inklings, as well as the Managing Editor for the student-led newspaper, The Waltonian. You can find some of her other work at

by Jennifer Greenberg

She could have meant the light that falls
in the west, or a bird catapulting himself east
when she told me the story of a boy
leaving me for the empty sky. The night
she asked where babies come from, I told her
the truth: how they come to find bodies
inside our bodies, how they bubble
out of fat and shed their mother’s skin. Some
only visit—like sun spokes through a rainbow,
temporary, too weary to make the trip.
She might have meant we are all brothers
in this life. The dying light, the innocent bird.
I could have said, No, I've never met that soul,
just heard his name in my sleep.
But I didn't
correct my daughter when she said, My brother
goes up there,
motioning her hands
into a piece of ribbon unfurling up
and up above us, then floating away
like a balloon, buoyant, bodiless.

Jennifer Greenberg is a Florida native pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida. When not at the office, Jennifer enjoys writing in her sleep and jazz. Her words have been featured in Literary Mama, Homology Lit, Sonder Midwest, and Chomp, and are forthcoming in Coffin Bell.

by Leslie Leonard

Color spreads up the hillside in a deep, blushing rash,
the leaves around the thin evergreens
puffed out like the spores of a great orange mold.
The birches have flaked their skin, sudden and snake-like,
and now reach up
like bone-carved totems from the earth.
We use the nights to press our feet together, bare and numb,
or covered thinly in your running socks.
Inside, the water spreads
in Rorschach figures down the wall
from the hole you said you’d fix. Outside,
the trees are leaking down leaves like water droplets,
standing still and many-armed in their rough-skinned nakedness.
I must admit that I stand in the heat of the shower
and imagine sloughing myself clean
and anchoring myself with a solid, immovable tap root.
We may crunch the leaves beneath us, with our shoulders
bumping like old friends. But I am thinking
about the effortlessness of letting something die.


Leslie Leonard is currently pursuing her PhD in American Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is hard at work on her dissertation. Her occasional poetry centers first-person experience and feeling. She lives in Western Mass with her partner where she teaches both literature and academic writing.

by Barbara Daniels

Someone new turns the bass up.
It vibrates through my fingers
and feet. This body—It’s open

though I’m swathed in a sweatshirt
and jacket. Is this dance music?
Friends laugh and move,

the lights so low I can’t see
who I am. Your scent
on my clothes, your hand

up my blouse. We ran through
cornfields to get here. Not really.
I’m walking wet sidewalks

in our neighborhood, pink petals
falling, their skin to my skin.
So many scars on this body.

Are you sleeping? Wet petals fall.
Your sweet breathing, our big bed.
Music like madwomen typing.


Barbara Daniels’ book, Rose Fever, was published by WordTech Press, and her chapbooks Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen were published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She received three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

by Geraldine Connolly

she listened in the hall
seldom crossed thresholds

baked dark cakes
with spirit-soaked raisins

dug with a trowel
at the edge of deep woods

dropped to her knees
to examine a caterpillar

rinsed windows with vinegar

while inside
intrigue twirled and spun

she loved

which nothing could silence
or calm or cool


Geraldine Connolly is the author of a chapbook and four poetry collections including the recently published Aileron (Terrapin Books). Her work has appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review, and The Cortland Review, as well as many anthologies including Poetry 180: A Poem A Day for High School Students and A Constellation of Kisses. She has taught at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland, The Chautauqua Institution and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council and the Cafritz Foundation. See

by Tania Pryputniewicz

It sits in a flimsy pie-tin of crimped and corrugated silver,
wrapped in a paper towel my daughter wets three times
a day. My son tells her to chop it, one eye per chunk,

bury it in the yard, then dig it up. But she’s like me,
needs to see it grow. It’s an Idaho potato, nothing special,
useful under the right cut of meat in the crockpot. It withers

in toward its center, wrinkling a bit, like me, color
sucked from my hair’s roots by—I don’t know—this—
arguing—over why potato eyes are called eyes when

they’re seeds: Put down the knife. Leave her project
She’s not sure she wants it now, like the time
I saw my 12-string guitar in the hands of the mover

my husband hired—My lucky day, he said and smiled,
my husband right behind chirping, She never plays it, take it
What do they know of the grad school hours,

the ways it saved me from myself, useless in a house
of crying babies—I see, with my blind potato eyes I see
and from behind them I dream of guitars washing up,

like parts of me, like plastic shovels of the hotel tourists,
reds, blues, mostly primary yellows, days’ children
long gone, sandpipers taking back the shore.


Tania Pryputniewicz, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is the author of November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014). Recent poems have appeared in America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience and NILVX: A Book of Magic (Tarot Series). “Two Gardens," is forthcoming in Rockvale Review and won Tania a residency in Tennessee at the Rockvale Writers' Colony. She teaches poetry at San Diego Writers, Ink and lives in Coronado.

by Jules Jacob

And she lets the river answer.
—Leonard Cohen

When I question the river, a chorus
of invisible frogs chants where, where, where.
When I let the river answer, she sets
a baritone soloist in the tall
still weeds beside me. There, there he insists,
familial home, gliding trails of kayaks,
siblings, father. Air, air, I plead. Waves slap
against the concrete cobblestone boat path;
wind breathes my will. Sings, I’m bending your way.
Swallows dip in September light, droplets
collect in my palm. Her hair shiny brown
and wet to her knees, my mother backcasts
and effortlessly cracks the whip before
introducing her nymph to the water.


Jules Jacob is a contemporary poet who often writes about dichotomous conditions and relationships between humans and the natural world. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Plume Poetry 8, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Rust + Moth, Frogpond, and elsewhere. She’s the author of The Glass Sponge, with select poems featured at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Creative Art’s Le Moulin à Nef in France. Visit

by Marisa Crane

expect to run into at least six or seven exes.
maybe some girls who wouldn’t dare call you

an ex, not even to make someone jealous.
it’s easy to tip the scales

when your stomach is heavy with secondhand prayer.
what’s that in the blonde’s mouth?

it shimmers like liquid mercury—
only here, none of us has the chance

to rise. they want you down & out
& on the prowl. Gossip, home of the

three-finger pour & finger-me Fridays,
looks like a home if you were born

where gravity forgets to breathe.
I’ll take something I regret for 1,000

we say to the bartender, her hair
short & wavy beneath her snapback.

we give the straight couples the side-eye,
the you-could-have-gone-anywhere-else face.

we fight about what it means
to be inclusive when oppressors crowd

your space. in Gossip, everyone’s smiling
but no one’s happy. we dip our noses in

our beer, we do the bro lean, we do the
head nod. in ten year’s time we don’t want

to still be drinking here but for now, we don’t have
any reason to resist the plunge. in Gossip, we break

our own hearts & pretend to like it. we grow
a million hands & point them every

which way. our own ancestor clocks gone
haywire. the lights turn down low.

we are at once turned off & turned on.
they say that lesbians want to pair up,

that when two women get together
they’re twice as dramatic, three times

as emotional—but I’ve been here since nine
& haven’t seen a single emotion

that didn’t have a gag in its mouth.
in Gossip, there are no undercover cops.

in Gossip, we aren’t afraid for our lives,
but that doesn’t stop us from

calling tomorrow an indecent fantasy.
we hate to consider what shape we take

in someone else’s memory. our exes aren’t
very forgiving & who can blame them?

these bashful desires aren’t so bashful
anymore. it’s terrifying to be a person

when the whole world’s watching.
a regular vomits in the bathroom, another

in the trash can behind the bar, another
in the plant out on the patio. we dig into each other,

hoping to come away with a set of blueprints.
or at the very least, evidence of our disconnect.

what can we say? disappointing ourselves
is our favorite way to delay the responsibility of joy.

two-for-one drinks. swipe & swipe & swipe
& edit bio & upload new pic & curse Tinder &

anyone who has ever used it. what is the use
of earnestness? no one here can say for sure.

the sky outside is black & blue like my knuckles
back when I punched that dude for hitting

on my ex-girlfriend. ask anyone in here & they’ll say
that they want something real but when you ask

what constitutes real, all you get are puffs of smoke.
in the early mist of morning, we crawl from Gossip’s depths.

we blink at all the tiny cars & monstrous clouds.
when the sun comes up, we wait for something

extraordinary to happen. for something to justify our cagey hearts.
one by one, we become our own emergencies.


Marisa Crane is a queer, non-binary writer whose work has appeared in The Rumpus, Hobart, Wigleaf Top 50, and elsewhere. She is the author of Our Debatable Bodies (Animal Heart Press, 2019). Originally from Allentown, PA, she currently lives in San Diego with her wife.

by Catherine Staples

The slander was a lie, but when whispered
In her ear it held, echoed.
Endless as a rock-pool brimming, a hidden
Spill of water, sounding a cave.

She listened though she knew it wasn’t true.
She shook her head.
The lie rose like yeast, like six seeds
Of pomegranate in the distraction of grief.

Ruined, it whispered and winter   
Swept the small room.
But the floor was lined in stone, old
Rock from a long gone inland sea.

The dark lines of fossils woke her—
The still beauty
Of curved spines and wings,
Birds. Ferns. Whole ferns survived

Exact even to the dark spores on fronds.
A river bank and a bay tree.


Catherine Staples is the author of The Rattling Window, winner of the McGovern Prize, and Never a Note Forfeit. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, and others. Recent honors include a Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writer’s Conference and the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Award. She teaches in the English and Honors programs at Villanova University. Please visit at:

by Stacie M. Kiner

                    “…this voice was never mine,

                                nor even yours.”

                                   —Lawrence Raab



Our world slowly spinning
unbuttons itself—
this is a difficult home.

And you, the reason for this telling
the way memory and subtraction fool us,
a sun-warmed key lime
sliced in half
its juice on your tongue.
Your husband gone
taking your child for shoes
and you, eyes closed;
falling straight to the heart of God—

the smooth slide into the back
of a cooled taxi’s leather seat.

But maybe everyone is always
almost drowning;
and maybe this is all
you want to be.

Like the mailbox as a child
I stuffed with snow,
you could not receive a thing.

Stitching back up
the blood you lose each month,
forgetting the march of happiness
down to your toes,
forgetting our world still spins
with its nature of hope.

So I ask for everything—
I don’t know where to stop.
Hands tight on a wheel
one fine turn away—

and all the ways to want things;
and all the things
we shouldn’t want.


Stacie M. Kiner is a former Fellow at The Vermont Studio Center and Hannah Kahn Memorial Award recipient. Her poems have appeared in The Charlotte Poetry Review, Madison Review, Comstock Review, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and Apalachee Quarterly as well as other journals and reviews. Stacie's work has also appeared at Palm Beach International Airport, Art in Public Places. A former moderator of a poetry talk show on Channel 17 in Miami, Stacie is currently an Associate Editor of The South Florida Poetry Journal.

by Jennifer Jackson Berry

Antique store find: this aphorism on a trivet.
I buy it for irony. I could hurt him
with a thunder thigh squeeze, a motorboat suffocation.
I’m debating whether to hang this as a makeshift plaque
or place every hot pot on it.
I joke when I sit around the barn, I sit around the barn.
When the barn door opens, so plump.
There is harm done sometimes
taking the pressure off,
like once the body knows crush—like every time I ask he says—
the organs are rearranged—no, you’re not hurting me.


Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of The Feeder (YesYes Books, 2016). Her latest chapbook, Bloodfish, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2019 as part of the Keystone Chapbook Series. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

by Sarah Audsley

We flipped through
the magazine and didn’t recognize her
in the glossy spread, the lighting just right, hair shiny black,
cheekbones round, dark eyes glinting back at us.
Lucky. Selected for Asian Beauty. I wanted to be her, chosen
right off the streets in New York for Vogue.
Yes, vanity. But, what if I am always five, always
running from the coach’s son who’s shouting
“Flat face!” at me, and I’m always questioning, don’t
recognize the feeling of my fingers touching my nose
(not flat), the contours of a face reflected in mirrors.
Coveted forms of Asian Beauty—
bound tulip-sized feet, docile or timid,
thin yet unbreakable—of course, of course.
Let’s line up all the fetishes
in rows like hardened pearls.


Sarah Audsley has received support for her work from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center and the Banff Centre’s Writing Studio. Recent work can be found in Four Way Review, The Massachusetts Review, Memorious, Scoundrel Time, and Tupelo Quarterly, among others. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and serves as the Staff Artist, Writing Program Coordinator at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.

by Kat Myers

July unzips its belly
and lets heat lightning loose on the
suburbs. Somewhere, it rains
but here, the power lines collapse
into one another like lovers
weary with the weight of holding up.

Here, the dogs howl
once for yes and twice for no,
answering questions of the thunder
thrown to their side of the street.
Is it beautiful?
Are they dancing?

Three houses down, a girl
puts her hand to the window and pretends
to hold the wires seizing in her yard,
imagines herself
the key or the kite, the string
suddenly alive. How glorious
to be grounded. To know your bones
by the way they shake
inside you. To give your pain one name
and let it turn to light.


Kat Myers is an emerging poet and former party girl. She is part of the MFA program at North Carolina State University in her hometown, Raleigh. A finalist for the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, she has also been published in Kingdoms in the Wild, The Write Launch, and Sonder Midwest.

by Karen J. Weyant

Little girls in small towns love
their ChapStick: vanilla bean,
coca cola, root beer. They dig
in their mothers’ purses,
fingering loose pennies
and half sticks of bubble gum,
searching for the elusive lip balm.
They beg for extra money
in store check-out lines, longing
for flavors that taunt them
from the shelves.
They know the smooth wax soothes
split lips parched in the dead
of winter-dry months.
They watch their mothers
rub lotion through the pinched
lines around their eyes, favorite
aunts smooth oil on their torn
cuticles. Even their older sisters
dot snags in their nylons
with clear fingernail polish.
These girls already believe in salves
for all the raw wounds women
around them are forced to wear:
rough elbows and heels, paper cuts,
deep scrapes that never healed, but
turned to scabs, and then scars.


Karen J. Weyant's poetry has been published in Arsenic Lobster, Cave Wall, Cold Mountain Review, Copper Nickel, Poetry East, Rattle, River Styx, Tahoma Literary Review, and Whiskey Island. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Stealing Dust(Finishing Line Press, 2009) and Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt (Winner of Main Street Rag's 2011 Chapbook Contest). She teaches at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York. When she is not teaching, she explores the rural Rust Belt of northern Pennsylvania and western New York. 

by Sayuri Ayers

Crouched behind
the burning bush, he watches
the other children.
He breaks into laughter
as girls leap into mounds
of autumn leaves.
As the children play,
he sketches in the dust
with a twig. He turns to me,
his face, a pale leaf
trembling in the haze
of crimson.
At six years old
I wandered from recess
into the meadow.
Sinking to the ground
I pressed my cheek
to a bed of clover.
I closed my eyes
and heard the churn
of soil, grubs gnawing
the pale limbs of
dandelion roots.
Delving beetles
hummed me to sleep,
the schoolyard vanishing
in the meadow’s golden flame.
Listen, my son,
as the children pass.
Feel the call
of a greater pleasure.
Palm the darkened
heart of the fallen
walnut. Let it crumble
in your hand.
Kneel and stroke
the bristling back
of the meadow. Emerge
from its blaze, a new animal.


A Kundiman Fellow, Sayuri Ayers is a resident of Columbus, Ohio. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Entropy, The Pinch, Hobart, and other literary journals. She is the author of two chapbooks: Radish Legs, Duck Feet (Green Bottle Press) and Mother/Wound (forthcoming from Full/Crescent Press). Sayuri has been awarded grants from the Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and VSA Ohio. She is also the recipient of the Hippocampus Magazine’s 2019 HippoCamp Scholarship.

by Lauren Hilger

Long after and still,
three horses appear.

I am a child’s
corner of that field.
A huge readiness.

I stare into a face with too much.

I contain what I don’t want to say

and exist so outside my voice
why even talk.

The fear like a dark
ringed circle with bells.

The task to touch what exists while we do.
The three horses gone.


Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM, 2016) Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from the MacDowell Colony, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared or forthcoming in BOMB, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review online, Kenyon Review online, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens.