Tasia M. Hane-Devore
Giving thanks gave me this
scar, one holiday’s sidedoor entry and Aunt Rachel slipping adjectives: my mother, the neighbor a question of when and no use for a dirty dog. Close palates burn, ladies setting places
You ﬂy through the lattice and under my porch, sing, Tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea. I love your white eyebrow stripe and your nests like little domes, made of grasses, rootlets, mosses, feathers, a bit of molted snakeskin, and my gray hairs, love the brown spotted eggs, you tend together. I love the way you ﬂit from rosebush to lilac and disappear right under me, adore your erect little tail, and imitation calls. Sweetheart, sweetheart. Which jailer, which jailer, which? Thank you for eating cotton-boll weevils, stink bugs, chinch bugs, roach eggs. You can thank me for not letting the exterminator spray under my porch. Thank me for telling my dog to scare off stray cats and hawks. And here is an old apron I pin inside the lattice with roomy pockets for your future broods. Your buzzy songs jerk me awake, make me jealous of your knack to carry on. Even when woods turn cold, you stay coupled.
John Grey Poetry Reading She reads new poetry in old settings, antique store turned coffee house, in black sweater, skirt and stockings, perched on the edge of a table, a belated, lazy lotus sipping coffee between words, priming an internal state with Kona roast and a dark brew from the highlands of New Guinea.
while my father works the tablecloth—magic— and slurs to the couch after every glass breaks, waits for an order to deny. Not long after dessert he voices the edge, teeth closed and eyes dim slits terrible, terrible to do a thing like that.
So little ﬂesh clings to her bones, she has declared war on it, and color too, all save her art school black, in honor of Leroi Jones or the starless night, she does not say.
It’s all we can say. Someone whispers garlic is a cure for anything
She is not some cocoon, she insists, that our listening can make butterﬂy. She will give us no trinkets, no sweet things. If we applaud, that’s our own business,
Tasia M. Hane-Devore is currently completing a PhD at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she lives with her wife and their two children. Her writing has appeared in Tar River Poetry, New York Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Six Little Things, and many other journals.
Australian born poet and US resident since the late 1970s), John Grey works as a ﬁnancial systems analyst. He has recently published in Connecticut Review, Georgetown Review, and Illuminations with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock, and the Pinch.
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, certiﬁed sex therapist, writing coach, and seminar leader. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam 1998), and her work has appeared in Potomac Review, Möbius, Permafrost, Slipstream, Timber Creek Review, Writer’s Digest, The Fourth River, the minnesota review, Personal Journaling, and Playgirl. She writes poetry, photographs wildlife, and bakes bread in rural central Virginia. Her website is www.JoanMazza.com.
Unpacked Box I look in my desk and jewelry box for safety pins, remember them in the middle drawer of the sewing cabinet left behind in the last house. No sewing room in this one— a cardboard box, jumbled contents of those drawers. Spools of silk thread, pastel ribbons for a project never started, packets of needles folded in black paper from Mother’s millinery days. “I wish she could see me here,” I say aloud, habit of long solitude. Mother is dead twenty years. A roll of lace, hand-tatted, but by whom? “I didn’t make that,” Mother says, snatches it from my hands. “Someone spent hours of her life on this.” I leap backward, ready to run. Mother says, “Can’t you make me a little coffee? Oh, put some lipstick on. You look like you’re dead.”
Sound Beach, 1960 They’re in front of the old bungalow posing in this photo, at the summer home— proof of their achievement. They’re not low class, even with a fence picket missing like a tooth. At twelve, the family archivist composing, as the instructions said, behind me— sunlight, like a comforting hand on my shoulder. My parents are in the middle of an old ﬁght about my grandma’s surprise visits, always at dinnertime. I pause to the frame the shot. No baby-sitting money here, I’m careful not to waste ﬁlm. Both yell, “Take it!” They squint, force smiles, white teeth gleam. Look how happy they both seem.