Derrick Austin

SYRINX by Derrick Austin We are a song without a chorus. His fingers flutter over the valves: crescendo, crescendo, crescendo, legato. Outside, evening’s sulfur blows off the marsh where herons rest, white fires on dead trees. In my dream, I am the reed he plays. Water lettuces haul their skirts, twirling in the undertow. Palmettos fan … [Read more…]

Floydd Elliott

SLEEPING IN ANDY’S BED by Floydd Elliott Lights off and Andy’s stars shine down from the ceiling. I don’t know any of them, but they all seem nice enough. Buttons sewn into a circle pattern, a wreath. Must be dozens of them, their function subverted for the sake of art. The smell of man I drank … [Read more…]

Kathleen Hellen

LOVE MISDEMEANORS by Kathleen Hellen The adage sentiments the crime. Hell hath no fury, right? He’d done you wrong, so you were Gilda in the role that ruined Hayworth. You were Scarlett slapping Rhett. “Let’s all be manly,” Hepburn said and she meant it. When Tracy shoved, she kicked him and they kissed. No one was … [Read more…]

Judith Skillman

VASES OF PEONIES By Judith Skillman We bring them in heavy from the garden, we carry their weight in our arms as if their pinks were flesh. An atmosphere is created inside the house exclusively of scent— bridal, nuptial, called to order. Their ruffled crinolines last for a day and they become tow-headed girls rallying … [Read more…]

Joanne M. Clarkson

NEWS PEOPLE by Joanne M. Clarkson Skin made of newspaper: black on white with patches of war, murder, weather and empty crossword boxes. They stand face forward with legs spread, verbs for eyes, seeing the doing, and curved dark tears. The Daily. But oh to be the Sunday Comics. Bent at the waist, they ride the … [Read more…]