Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.
you find your youngest daughter
now your only daughter
swinging her sister’s rosary
back and forth back and forth
upending jesus like a carnival ride
the ones that made you sick
made you watch from behind little metal gates
as your children and everyone’s children raised their hands and screamed.
you snatch the crucifix mid-swing,
beads popping from between your youngest daughter’s fingers
your only daughter’s fingers
clutch it to your mouth, lips against the centerpiece of mary
breathing in and out in and out
eyes closed, squeezing so the whole scene is a negative in red and orange
as you lower your hand, opening it in time with your eyes
and find the imprint of christ on your palm
(the priest said with enough praying it would turn gold).
your youngest daughter is looking at you now
your only daughter is looking at you now,
eyes so wide and sad you want to erase the whole world
and build it bit by bit into perfection until she is satisfied
but you only say, ‘I don’t want people to touch it,’
as words form in your mind
too many hands might fade her fingerprints away
then how could we be sure she ever existed at all?
but the words stay thoughts as you repeat again
‘I don’t want people to touch it’
stuffing the silver jesus into the pocket of your jeans so his bloodied feet show.
your daughter folds her hands under her heart
looking at your receding back the way saints looked up at God
praying to be more than people
you walk clear to the end of the world
when you look back at your footfalls
god is not there, too.
Tiffany Elliott was born and raised in sunny Southern CA and is currently a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing candidate at New Mexico State University. Her works explore issues of abuse, trauma, and how recovery and resiliency allow people to remake themselves. Her poetry has previously appeared in MUSE and Pacific Review and is forthcoming in Indie Blu(e)’s “We Will Not Be Silenced” anthology.
I cover you in ink, the flavor harsh
on my eardrum. I eat words
ten syllables at once as we fuck
atop stacks of forbidden newsprint.
I found you spelled in grease
between the library stacks, the stains
Rorschach images of birds, of vines,
of mice that notch books, of their feces,
of tulips pressed
between pages—they had their time,
they shed petals one by one
We have two words left. I
lock the pair away
behind my bared teeth.
A Longing for
Does glass remember
its ancestry, blown
in waves over the Savannah or
trussed by turtles
egging the future
in pits. Curling the single hairy
root of a palm, does sand
from the burning
that transforms. Do stars
peek our moon
longing her weightless
embrace. I search those same stars
the way your lifeline flows
through rivers and into
the Salton Sea fifty miles
from a buried
teacup shard where I
I will return
someday. And in slanting
May sunlight, you
stood on Indian clay
north of the ravine, my
name floating the orange
scent of all the late blossoms
I will never pluck
you heard his voice in
the fallen tree branch—a sign from God
to sell your home
as bark tore moth wings from your arm.
did your body already know
the tearing within? the sick cells
replicating, replacing, fireflies
sparking alveoli, the eternity
of wild lights at the edge of vision
and even when your vision failed the left eye,
you insisted on driving yourself,
drowning already, pneumatic
under the emergency room’s crimson glare.
did your body feel a loop drawn tight
like a lasso around a fly’s head?
After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with:
In slicing the papery dome off the hexagon,
the black and yellow self-held limbs, unmilked
face and flightless wings of the unborn wasp were
revealed. Removed with tweezers so God-mouthed,
wrapped in the muscular sun’s original desire for flight,
I pulled the infant out, attempted to spread its fate across
my nail-board. Unwilling to be displayed, it contracted,
withheld it’s mechanical death-secrets from a child
such as I. But what is youth without dissection?
The Unbnd Verses
poems, Kwame Opoku-Duku
Glass Poetry, 2018
‘maybe we are
the remains of
our masters/’ – from vi. cowboyz
In poet Kwame Opoku-Duku’s work, The Unbnd Verses, in which each entry sets a circle free, mystery is a mere clue left for a personhood that is beyond the scope of belief. Inquiry is a beauty mark made holy by the non-answerable. If loss stops at loss, and one is ghostless, how is it that existentialism runs in the family and how much of this is real? If this is the silence of god, why can’t our lord name one person he’s had to bury? This writing is an act of hearing. And the words arrive, and the choirs listen.
reflection by Barton Smock
book is here: