Well

Michael Schorsch
my church is sending me
to Mexico

it was autumn of course
a deviled egg

and the three of us shared
some rye bread

the river was already frozen

Ina, I
have resolved to become a religious man

Our Father

Joseph O’Brien

His head is weathered to the rain-greyed granite you can find
Bald and cropping the turf on any old Irish hillside. His eyes, in kind,
Are as hazel as the bay of Galway’s own self.

His smile, though, is straight from a Hoboken bar,
Arresting you with the no-nonsense laugh a Jersey City cop lives for 
As he asks you, almost prayerfully, to put up your hands. [Read more...]

Per Annum

Joseph O’Brien

Time takes miles from life, years rolling out, tolling mpg’s,
From a perpetually restless motor. The past, awkward and unwieldy,
Is a highway map folded in confusion’s haste.
It goes too far back for me to follow.
You become an absence, the might of a subjunctive ghost,
Expected as a radio station
And the time and place its fading signal finally dies. [Read more...]

Tumult

Gabriel Olearnik

Outlanders are the salvation of shapes
the tailored jut of shoulders
the square thighs
face-handlebars
centaur-pilots half a century ago. [Read more...]

Irish Wake

Joseph O’Brien

for Patrick Slattery

And with the clashing of their sword-blades make A rapturous music, till the morning break...
--W.B. Yeats

We’re a nation of all talk, recording
The story of our blood, registering
Our complaints against Land, Lord and Love
According to the latest government,
Counting past grudges and future graces 
On our beads and in our pews as from the isles. [Read more...]

Slim

Amanda Glass

Do you know Slim the Cowboy, the Hero of the West?
He found a rattler by the sofa, bravely beat it up.
He saved his friend the sheriff when the local gang got rough,
Then drank his campfire coffee from his pewter loving-cup.
That’s Slim, in his bandana and fleece vest.

Did you see Slim the Cowboy as he galloped into town?
He left his mustang Star tied in the stable-yard out back
(That stable looks suspiciously like my green baker’s rack),
Then sat down at the bar and had a sliced-banana snack.
That’s Slim, in small snow-boots of blue and brown. [Read more...]

Tears

J.B. Toner

This vale, tsunami-wracked and deluge-filled,
A rocking isthmus ringed with roiling foam,
And huddled under sobbing heavens’ gloam,
Where arks and barks beneath the dark we build,
To fare on tear-seas over earths we tilled
In warmer days before our sunlit home
Was swallowed up to lie with salted bones
Far, far below the stormclouds stirred and spilled—
Charybdis-whirling, roaring, plunging, curled
By moon-pull in a towering lonely tide,
This watered globe, this sorrow-soaking world: [Read more...]

Pity

Sarah Gajkowski-Hill

and we were supposed to recognize this dank silhouette:
He--mottled, knotted, screaming
shrugged into a lice and tick-eaten rag,
wrapped tightly in her unwashed hair?

light emanated from his bare footsteps
his progress spreading a dim glow miles around,
energy prompting boats he stood on to push themselves
into the middle of lakes [Read more...]

Still to See

Abigail Swift
I didn’t notice
the trees hard-etching the empty November sky
as vividly last year.
My eyes were elsewhere,
and my body a year less tired,
less worn, and yet less stripped
of the weight that gathers 
in those long blind years
when we feel most wise. [Read more...]

Mesquite

Kate Bluett
The mesquite is not a tree
although it can be climbed.
There was one on the playground,
and the pretty girls claimed it for their own.
They laughed among its leaves of lace
while we less-favored
sweated in the sun. [Read more...]