{example, set}

Jon Cone


My mind blooms
outside the pawn
shop window.
I am struck
dumb by knives
in their morgue
-like brilliance.
All I want is good
blade, an edge.
Some cool
distance from
my life, this sleet,
this rust, my shoes
that flicker like
sour flames
at the end
at the end of
the weird alley
where blood
goes to clot.




Adam Hughes


Sometimes the line between friend
and familiar is inconvenient.

I hugged him and felt his willow bones
growing out of my own roots,

exiting my skin. His bloodshot
voice echoed through me

like a windchime made from discarded
amulets, broken teacups, and the teeth

of ancient birds. After he left
I lit the altar on which we offered

our second fruits to keep ourselves warm
and sang along with the flames—

a song so hideously sacred.

buy Deep Cries Out to Deep:



Sara Moore Wagner


The rain spills in on us as we sleep
in the backyard, tented. My brother wakes
with a face cotton-soft, button-eyed, cuts
into me as our grandmother
does the most bruised tomatoes.
Says run, but we wait:
sloshing, mermaiding, our hair
and the flowers, the candy
wrappers flood into the yard,
vine. When our father opens
the trailer door he is naked,
his eyes rusted, and we are so wet.
When our father opens
the door he is naked
and will not let us in:
A heavy sigh from the heavy
bed. An uneasy dryness like light.
I remember emptiness, the look of skin,
and so much pillowing rain. My brother, still
a face: The only.

buy Hooked Through:

Hooked Through–Sara Wagner


Rae Hoffman Jager


I wake up at 6am and drink coffee in front of the TV,
watch the latest shooting unfold,
panic in HiDef.

I start my car, go to Red Cross. They hook me up—
one needle in each limb, one in my neck.
Drain me dry, sorrow machine,
until I have nothing left.

The heroes among us
are sucking their thumbs,
not again. Here I go,

rubbing the sheets raw
in my sleep while I practice
running away
and not towards.

buy One Throne:


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