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From Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon:

March 20, 2019

In the kitchen, always, one who’s just discovered
beauty, his mouth full of whiskey and strawberries.
He practices the texture of her hair with his tongue;
in her, five billion electrons pop their atoms.

Transit of Venus


From Catherine Pierce:

March 18, 2019

This morning this planet is so loud with itself—
its winds, its insects, its grackles and mourning doves—
that I can hardly hear my own lamentations. This planet.
All its grooved bark, all its sand of quartz and bones

and volcanic glass, all its creeping thistle lacing the yards
with spiny purple. I’m trying to come down soft today.
I’m trying to see this place even as I’m walking through it.


From Jeanann Verlee:

March 16, 2019

O, a girl and her water. Such romance.
Gaudy. And gauche.
How do I leave what cared enough to keep me?
What of those goddamn ships?
That ridiculous horse? All those men?
Now, wretched little me. All this dizzy sadness.
How many kings to tame one woman? Silence her?
How many to put her under?

Helen Considers Leaving Troy

From Anis Mojgani:

March 13, 2019

Love me stupid.
Love me terrible.
And when I am no
mountain but rather
a monsoon of imperfect
thunder love me.

Hon or We have both traveled from the other side of some hill, one side of which we may wish we could forget

From Agha Shahid Ali:

March 10, 2019

At dawn you leave. The river wears its skin of light.
And I traced love’s loss to the origin of light.

“I swallow down the goodbyes I won’t get to use.”
At grief’s speed she waves from a palanquin of light.

My book’s been burned? Send me the ashes, so I can say:
I’ve been sent the phoenix in a coffin of light.

Of Light

From Robert Frost:

February 11, 2019

Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)—
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

Fragmentary Blue

From Noor Ibn Najam:

February 9, 2019

I scrawl your name
at the bottom of the river
I sing it and it sings me
back. What I’d give for a name
so keen it whittles
the valleys of my neck. I’m forever drenched
in this night, and you
no longer exist. The river catches
the sky’s black, ink
meant to preserve a memory. I stay
because it’s easy.


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