__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Voice of Eve ISSUE 11 - APRIL 30, 2019


Contents Adaora Raji 4 Anne Babson 14 Barbara Ann Briggs 26 Chelsea Nguyen 30 CLS Ferguson 38 Colleen M. Farrelly 46 Emel Karakozak (art) 52 Emma Sprague 76 Fleta Vincent 82 Gaby Bedetti 90 Gail Peck 98


Holly Day 106 Julia Hwang 114 Karen Webber 122 Laura Lee Beasley 130 Lauren Kania 136 Lindsay Rose Sledge 140 Naida Mujkic 146 Trina Askin 154


ADAOR


RA RAJI


The Things You Told Me to Say

ADAORA RAJI

a. Me see the way you look at them women with rounded bellies. Them w trotting behind them. Me see how you stare at them bloated navels in aw how these things come to be - all natural, no trauma. b. Me see you play ten ten with them kids, you play so much that you let mummies come and you stop to play and say bye bye instead.

c. Me watch you go home to your two bedroom apartment and cook peppe maybe turned to highest volume. The husband returns and you both break channel.

d. Me hear you moan softly at midnight and match his rhythm with your braids so that they dance on his chest, when his water surges through you

e. Me know when he snores too loudly you go the second room. That room disney themed walls. You cuddle that brown fluffy teddy you call Vincent

f. Me know you think of Dr. Ekeh’s moustache and that lab where he inse deep inside your vagina. Then Dr. radiologist came to pass blue ink throu

g. Me heard the neighbours say barren whatever that word means, you to them say you want them no more. You told me say blocked tubes and two heard them say you no be woman, you told me say fertility don’t define w


women with 2, 3 toddlers we. Me thinks you wonder them win you. Them

ered noodles with Asa’s k bread over Super Sport 7

rs. Me see as you flap your ur veins.

m with the baby cot and and play with them toys.

erted two cotton swabs ugh your fallopian tubes.

old me say PCOS. Me heard o failed IVF cycles. Me womanhood.


This One Is for Us

ADAORA RAJI

This is for the women who ply the streets with heavy merchandise balanc on their heads and a toddler dangling from their backs. This other one is for the women who at cock crow leave their homestead throat of dusk and stagger home with bicycles weighed down by harvest.

This is for the men in studded cufflinks and shiny shoes that peer at us w and tinted windows.

This other one is for the boys with sun burned skin and muscles hard as b pushing carts laden with cheap footwear, bags and second hand make-up.

This is for the girls that crawl at noon and night selling pleasure merchan

This other one is for the boys in tight high waist pants with faces made p hawking merchandise some say equals fourteen years imprisonment.

This last one, this is for us Ebony/light, dark-toned/sun-tanned, bleached skins, All the inches between tall and short, middle-class/low class, working mom/homemaker, hustler/butler, drifter wares on the seashores of hope.


ced to till the earth far into the

with glee from glittering cars

bricks

ndise not listed.

perfect by snapchat filters

r/dreamer washing our


You Versus the Elements

ADAORA RAJI

Fire is the sob lodged in the middle of your throat So that the more you hold it in The more it consumes you Water is the flood of emotions you contain but cannot speak of So that each day the ache flows and you drown still in silence.

Earth is the seed you carry but cannot birth so that it grows inside of you space that you sicken and groan in despair

Air is the evening breeze brushing against your skin so that it feels like y command the rain to quench the fire The universe is you at the centre of the Sun and the stars forming a halo moon comes to greet you.


u until there is no more

you can fly into the clouds to around your head when the


About Adaora Raji

Adaora Raji is a part short fiction story writer and part poet with a B. A in tween running a Lagos based clothing and footwear brand while daydream


Broadcast Journalism from the University of Benin, Nigeria. She swings beming of life in faraway galaxies.


ANNE B


BABSON


Qasida for Su and Ann

ANNE BABSON

The composer listens for the desert tune her tan muse wrote Sunning herself. She marks in pencil when she hears the note. This tryst is for avant-garde artists or adulteresses. Husbands Send flowers. One smells the roses, but one fears the note. Gather around the campfire, the piano, the whiskey, the tale. This poet will sing truth for you and commandeers the note. There was no love affair at all, nothing to report, chastity itself, But in Vermont see initials in a tree. The knife spears the note. He was muscular, tattooed, and he showed one an inked ode To his murdered brother. A bloody outline endears the note. No one kissed. No one cooed. No one touched. No one sighed. Yet proposals precariously got rejected, through tears, the note.

And so one journeys south to New York City from the snow-cloistered Country -- at all stops, a pained train horn, the squeak of gears the note. One goes backwards, forwards, sideways. One returns. One speeds. On one-way tracks, ironically, maps blur and motion smears the note. All aboard this mount, an AMTRAK Metroliner. Travel while reading. Search classifieds for a cipher between lovers. Regret sears the note. And now at home, state upon state away from the place where nothing Happened, nothing, stay sorry for the near-miss that arrears the note. Search the mailbox daily for a letter that will absolutely never come With a rebel’s eye that half-dreads but equally half-cheers the note.


.


Having stayed well within the boundaries, wish this uneasy feeling were Attached to an action to repent. Know a clear conscience clears the note. Miss Alligator Clack and her little sister co-write songs like this now. Vermont is now a place for new music, not a rumor that jeers the note.


Glose with Phyllis Wheatley

ANNE BABSON

Now here, now there, the roving fancy flies Till some loved object strikes her wandering eyes Whose silken fetters all the senses find And soft captivity involves the mind. – Phyllis Wheatley American women quilt together. It is tradition to take good friends’ scraps And make a duvet cover to weather Winters, dreaming snuggled between cat naps Of bee collaborators. So Phyllis, Centuries after you wrote this quatrain, I snip it from around where the spill is To fix it in a linen pattern again, But this time abstracted from its first use. I cut in a lozenge for a linked ring Stitched against my own batting, stuffed with goose Feathers plucked by my hands meandering Through forgotten women’s remnant archives -Now here, now there, the roving fancy flies. I think of you, friend, quilting as a slave. Was it much different than quilting free But married and female in that enclave Of the Massachusetts Bay Colony? Women, white, red and black, were all chattel Of men, so the law of the day proclaimed. All American women like cattle Roamed, some more penned-in, some more free-range, maimed By this kind of permanent house arrest. So, Phyllis, was your situation more Oppressed, or fundamentally more honest Than the one your Methodist mistress bore


Without questioning all the menfolk’s lies Till some loved object strikes her wandering eyes, And she finally emancipates you, Giving you what she could not give herself? I understand you died without a sou To your name, despite some books on the shelf. I think it must have been better to walk Free but beg than to live in a big house As a prisoner forced to perform work. But, Oh, my Phillis, to die a church mouse After so many refined discourses! How humiliating – published but broke! I think of instructing writing courses, Literary receptions where I spoke, Imagine them as bondage velvet-lined Whose silken fetters all the senses find. It is true, Phyllis! I could have made more In business, but I chose to be lettered Over money in sales. The thinking poor Shine shoes for their rich, unthinking betters On this continent untroubled by guilt. Not much has changed, Phyllis, since you composed Your poem scolding Harvard boys who tilt Cambridge cows and grow up to be poseurs. Yes, today, you might teach verse at Radcliffe, Thanks to a few bits of legislation, But America has been trapped in stiff Amber, a bug stuck for the duration. Hard captivity, friend, is daily grind, And soft captivity involves the mind.


Looking for You in the Death of Beverly Sills ANNE BABSON

In a later interview, Sills said, “I Have become my mother. I am astonished That the woman staring back at me From the mirror is not my mother.” She became her mother -- Apparently, No disaster. She smiled operatically When she admitted it on TV, But she died just a few years later. I am not becoming my mother, not The female listed on the certificate Filed a few days after my birth in The county bureau. I am not her. I am less and less her with each passing Hour. I am sweet. I am gentle, just the kind Of woman she hated, the kind in Whose hair she would have stuck bubble gum In high school. She would have shunned me at the Obligatory professional cocktail Parties she attended. She would have Made sure my father did not approach. She would have spilled her drink on me, made A joke about it in the ladies’ room to The other she-carnivores with Her same shark-snaggled teeth, not my pearls. I am not her. I look younger than my Age; at forty she looked fifty and bitter. I don’t have her eyes at all. I don’t Have her skin, her breath, her squatting girth,

A Venus on Faceless fer Ia Ha jumped

Off the file Miscarriage But My

I am becom Record, but Mus doctors, The

The other w Announcem screeching. Bev Now

All the supe “Have you s own Pho Beco know.

The coast is Retrace you steps, And it. The


nly of Willendorf, a rtility symbol, but notice am her blood’s enemy. If she ad seen me coming, she would have

cabinet to induce a e. I have not become that mother. t perhaps I have really become y real mother. Women do, you know.

ming you, not the one of t the real one, the one whose baby st have gotten switched by the

e one whose baby just went missing.

woman, the one on the birth ment, she loved Beverly Sills’ . verly Sills and she are both dead. w I can put up notices on

ermarket bulletin boards: seen this woman?” I will use my

otograph. After all, I have just ome you. All women do, you

s finally clear. Now I can ur steps, my steps and your mother’s

d somewhere, you’ll turn up, I know

ey say all women do in the end.




About Anne Babson

Anne Babson’s poetry collection Polite Occasions (Unsolicited Press, 2018) jus on (Vox Press, 2015) and her current chapbook, Dolly Shot (Dancing Girl Press, first play, Reenactment, was also published this year. The opera for which she Boston and is being performed in Montreal in just a few days. She has been a Women Poets: an Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2 tured on Poetry Daily. Her work has recently appeared in Iowa Review, Cider P The Pikeville Review, Rio Grande Review, English Journal, New Song, The Penwood WSQ, Global City Review, Comstock Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review appeared in Current Accounts, Iota, Poetry Salzburg, Nth Position, Adelaide, and C Yuan Yang, with forthcoming work appearing in west Asian publications Coldn ter. She is reading at this year’s Tennessee Williams Festival.


st came out earlier this year. Her first poetry collection The White Trash Panthe, 2018) are currently available in independent bookstores and on Amazon. Her e wrote the libretto, entitled Lotus Lives,has been performed in New York and anthologized in both the US and the UK multiple times, most recently in Nasty 2017). Anne has been nominated for the Pushcart four times. She has been feaPress Review, Southampton Review, Bridges, Barrow Street, Connecticut Review, d Review, Sow’s Ear, The Madison Review, Atlanta Review, Grasslands Review, w, The Red Rock Review, and many other publications. In Europe, her work has Crannóg. In Asia, she was published in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and noon and Zabaan. She has done residencies at Yaddo and Vermont Studio Cen-


BARBARA A


ANN BRIGGS


A Moment Only

BARBARA ANN BRIGGS

I saw you for a moment only entered your world and it became our world and for a moment out of the timeless womb of the infinite we touched and breathed as one and now I must return and walk again upon familiar hills and dream I dream of the space that became infinite through you


About Barbara Ann Briggs

Barbara Ann Briggs is a poet, freelance journalist, teacher of Transcendental Meditation and the author of Pilgrimage on the Path of Love, a novel of visionary fiction. She lives in India and has written articles for many new Age magazines.Her web site is: https://barbaraannbriggs.com.


CHELSEA


A NGUYEN


Window Pane

CHELSEA NGUYEN

Lost in this dark room, My awoken body lies between the city lights and Skyscrapers that imprint their shadows onto the walls. I turn toward the window pane Against the resistance of Egyptian cotton – A delicacy that lays back like a dress blown by the wind. Elongated – the window frame protrudes into the vista, giving chances to the mattress for a justly fit into its concavity. Eyes toward the city lights – forehead against the cold pane, I press my bare torso against the frigid glass for a taste of freefall like rain’s droplets that suctioned themselves to the glass. Each imitates dew like mist in the early rise. Some tumbles down leaving streaks like condensation on a cold glass of water. Some are stagnant bodies of liquid in their womb, Magnifying the blurry distance. I can’t touch them, I can’t feel them, but I’m so close.

Perchance this pane may crack under pressure. But my obstinate gut forbids me from an empty fall. The droplets glare at my grey complexion illuminated by the skyscrapers’ Cool, rigid, translucent, I see my reflection in this pane. I see… an empty sky.


’ lights.


Ghost Beside Me

CHELSEA NGUYEN

I sit in the dark, waiting for the day you’ll return. I still light the candle from the bedside that has lost all its scent. When the long night is cold and the trees fall to the ground, let me see all the places you’ve seen, the faces you’ve met, the past and after. Then maybe someday soon I will meet you there in your hidden lie. Hidden from me and him and the faces waiting for our grim truth. I feel the flesh of you as the fresh wound reopens and heals again and again as if it never closed before. I ache for the day when I can tell him you’ve gone deeply far. And perhaps you’ll face him in all flesh and smiles and you’ll tell me, as I sit in the dark waiting for your ghost beside me. That this broken candle will burn away the scars you’ve left behind.


Mahogany Wine

CHELSEA NGUYEN

Foolish to descend down the stairs and run across the dining room, I find myself trapped by the chain-locked door. Her white nightgown glows at the end of the stairs – embellished with red splatters. Beneath roaring laughter is the gaze at my defense. “Linda?” she asked. A moment of nostalgia may remind her who we were – Childhood, summer days, Mahogany wine, and runaways. So, I lay beside the wine wall and face the mirror. The sight of her comes clearer. The sound of sermon wouldn’t alter her mind now— The face of a phantom… the body of a human. I surrender upon mahogany floor that conceals my streaming crimson, and joins with the flood beneath hers. Adhesive, red iron-aromatic fingers caught between my brown hair ere a murmured, “you two are meant to be.”

In a different world, we would sit together… encircle a feast and enjoy the most solemn substance – Mahogany wine and hors-d’oeuvre on a summer day in the back patio when we’d utter honest words. And stretch a grin against our jealous skin. A world far from a daydream, but a mere reality that shakes by the adored utterance. Yet, reflections reveal the enigmatic kind.


The kind of existence only the exist endures. So remove your nightgown…wipe your face. Scrub the mahogany floor and pour yourself a glass of Mahogany wine, Linda…


About Chelsea Nguyen

Chelsea Nguyen writes poetry, fiction, and tip-toes around nonfiction with dark twists, which, makes sense if you read it with the right coffee. Her work, “Blunt Blade” is published in the Sagebrush Review Vol. 14. She has a BA in English from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She lives in Texas with her husband, where she’s writing her next work.


CLS FER


RGUSON


Anew

CLS FERGUSON

I was a walking dead woman I had released any hope of joy My scars threatened to reopen You tell a tragic story so beautifully, he says, touching my hand as if it were appendage God had ever created. Don’t kiss me, I tell him, hugging him, trying my best not to allow his scen intoxicate me. It will only make it harder. He knows I’m leaving; he’ll let me go—but he doesn’t want to. Well, if I c should.


the most beautiful

nt to completely

can’t kiss you, someone


Writing Mark Salling

CLS FERGUSON

A heat punches me in the sternum and radiates outward. I’m sitting in m Lush brand Golden Egg bath bomb in the warm water. The bomb sputter tricked by the yellow golden lens complete with gold glitter flecks. My 36 thighs, pasty white and coated in mosquito bites appear their slimmer, 16 porcelain selves of yesteryear. Mark had his own golden egg, making him more beautiful than he was. I’ve just finished reading Ben Spatz’s 2017 L embodied research. I’m interested in the #MeToo movement. I was fana Mark Salling. Did he victimize me, too? Or am I revictimizing his victim on the page?


my bathtub. I place a rs, releases. My eye is 6 year old, widened 6 year old, smooth, lily mself always appear Liminalities article on atically enraptured by ms by giving him space


You Know He’s Winning the Protest Game When All He Has to Do Is Take a Knee and You Don’t Have Any Clothes Anymore CLS FERGUSON

I write WOMYN on the board Guesses Re appropriation Judith butler Queer theory New tolerance vs old tolerance An aerospace engineer I cannot deal with all this liquid theory Emperor’s new clothes Objective reality Subjective perspective/lens Objective reality to others Intersectional Positionality WASP Able Bodied Upwardly Mobile I’m not here to change your foundational reality only to enable communication


About CLS Ferguson

CLS Ferguson, PhD is a pushcart nominated writer with accolades in film, academia, and creative writing who speaks, signs, acts, publishes, sings, performs, writes, paints, teaches and rarely relaxes. She is author of two full-length collections: God Bless Paul and Soup Stories: A Reconstructed Memoir and two chapbooks: The Way We Were and Tumbleweed: Against All Odds. She is raising her daughter and dog in Alhambra, CA. http://clsferguson.wix.com/clsferguson


COLLEEN M


M. FARRELLY


Pink Dresses

COLLEEN M. FARRELLY

I don a pink dress for dinner, a color that, in my grandma’s day, would have been “Schiaparelli pink.” I feel like I’ve been in a dress since the 1940s. For every church event or school concert, I donned a dress. It was cold in the dress. Confining. Confirming that I matched the mold of a little girl—like the corsets my grandmother wore. colors mixing on the artist’s palette— gender: other


Voice in the Waves

COLLEEN M. FARRELLY

It never ends with fire or ice in my dreams. It ends with water. 500-foot waves swallowing downtown Miami. Sand cliffs crumbling beneath me. Surges that wipe out the coast. Even billion gallon shark tanks filled with megalodons. I always scream in the dreams. It’s strange. I love the sea and everything in it. There’s nothing as serene as swimming in 10-foot surf or free-diving a wreck. On land, I’m as awkward as a panicking kid in the first swimming lesson. It’s strange that in my sleep, I most fear my waking strengths. a baby robin falling into a pool— losing one’s voice


People Like Me

COLLEEN M. FARRELLY

Most of the boxes come out more or less conforming to factory specifications—some a bit wider or deeper or a lighter shade of cardboard. Their contents fit snuggly, and they are multipurpose, used for this or that interchangeably. Other boxes are dots on the sea of cardboard, miniatures or painted purple. Their contents are very specific and won’t fit the factory specifications. I’ve tried. Every time I try to jump into one of the square, brown boxes, my foot misses by a half-step, and I tumble into another small one painted with polka dots or a narrow one adorned with caution signs. I wish my boxes were bigger and their contents overlapped a little more. packing peanuts adjusting content to container— concealing the self


About Colleen M. Farrelly

Colleen M. Farrelly is a freelance poet from Miami, FL, whose work has recently appeared in Frogpond, cattails, Presence, Chrysanthemum, Failed Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online,and Haibun Today, among others.


ART BY EMEL


L KARAKOZAK


FL OF LF

EMEL KARAKOZAK

FL OF LF

In accordance with the visual quality of the universe, when its geometric massic kinesis reduced to body, it reorganizes the senses and attributes m inite combination of the information received is the misconception of the the continuity of the rhythm.

Phenomena form a new vibration by increasing the surface tension and st ating different circumstances in the moment. Time and space are non-ex expose the opposition between the moment and the valuation of the mom becoming one and becoming a unity. Phenomena were turned into a part ception, light and motion.

The “FL OF LF” by Emel Karakozak makes a reference to reality and is a r tence of illusion. Özlem ALICI


structure, form, rhytm, color and meaning to phenomena. The indefe colors, the physical dimensions,

tand across the reality thereby crexistent in its own orbit. Phenomena ment; and the opposition between of the whole with the facts of per-

recreation of reality with the exis-


About Emel Karakozak

Emel Karakozak was born in Turkey in 1974. Her adventure in photograph matured when she participated in many group exhibitions, received awards competitions and also was jury member in many photography competition Living in Adana, she was the first woman in Turkey who had the EFIAP/g t exhibition ‘Lotus’ in 2010 in Adana Sabancı Fine Art Gallery. She opened he Artgalerim.

She also worked in 2012 Art Bosphorus Contemporary Art Fair, 2011 Contem 2011 Art Bosphorus Contemporary Art Fair. Her works took place in Hacette and also in and Romantic Bad Rehburg Museum and in Steyerberger Ratha Contemporary Art, Cultural Center of the Zdwina and Museum of Kreises.

She worked at Artgalerim Nişantası Art Gallery as a photography artist for career as photography artist at Artgalerim Bebek Art Gallery and Lust Auf K

She works as a federation delegate and federation in TFSF (Turkish Federa “Visuality is my predominant side… I have used photo language and I love letters, brushes and hammer blows but it has a scene and fiction in its own an integrity and continuity formed by a continuous chain. Everything is aim death which described at the same time in my bipolar photography is an ex


hy started in high school years and later s in various national and international ns. title and who opened her first personal er second personal exhibition in Istanbul

mporary Istanbul Contemporary Art Fair, epe Art Museum and BAKSI Art Museum aus Germany, Vittebsk/Belarus Center for

3 years, and she continues her Kunst Art Gallery.

ation of Photographic Art). e this phrase. Maybe it does not contain n world‌ Neither nature nor people; has med to understand the whole. Life and xample of my hybrid expression.�


EMMA S


SPRAGUE


March 19, 2001

EMMA SPRAGUE

Day. She had dropped my brother off at Daycare when her water broke. The doctor said to wait. To “Mosey over” his exact Words. She might then have eaten a Fruit cocktail, or an entire bowl Of strawberries, not yet ripe enough to Be good. For months she had carried me, a small Package of cells that grew slowly and multiplied, A tiny capsule that unfolds in water, waiting, My heart beating for the light of day. I didn’t yet know What it looked like, that the things it shone on would dazzle me more, But sensing the change from night to day behind closed eyelids. Not yet Could I know how I’d slip out into the world, nonchalant. Too easy. Years later and I am still a child, Seventeen and content in my mother’s arms, Still unable to sleep With the closet light off. I stare at the pocked ceiling, Pretending the shadows of tree branches Aren’t the long fingers of a monster. I roam the world in the clouds Of my own thoughts, I write stories about motherhood. Walking home from school I imagine myself older, A child’s hand in my own. I think of my own home, of a large garden and the rabbit hutch in the back


I think of the wolf Prowling at the door, Ready to burst in when I can no longer pay for safety, Defending my children from the tearing of vicious fangs, And no one to save me. I wonder if this is what the end of childhood feels like. The freedom and the fear of it all. I wonder if eighteen is a transformation, Or another age that flows away into nineteen, Or do adults really exist at all?


About Emma Sprague

Emma Sprague is an emerging artist attending Douglas Anderson School of tic Art and Writing Awards.


f the Arts as a Creative Writer; her poetry has won a Silver Key in the Scholas-


FLETA V


VINCENT


Dinner Break

FLETA VINCENT

We sit again in the dead weight of silence forcing the ritual breaking of bread at a table round with oak wood and the husks of our faces stripped bare of light while shadows of forgotten selves trace imprisoned eyes that see lifeless phantoms at our dinner plates in seeming fascination. My imitation of joy is a broken kite that plummets down from a great height trailing ribbons of despair, masquerading as hope on the rocks below. In the total absence of sound, their heads are bowed like sheep in unanimous agreement they watch their brother and the scraping sound his fork makes shoveling streams of meatloaf haphazardly mixed with long grained pieces of rice trembling white, next to the tall slenderness of green beans that collapse in streams at the doorway of his mouth on sterling silver curlicued, tossed down a dark dungeon, to the unappeased emptiness of a demon’s or a savior’s destruction, I know not which


eating him inside out, without taste or breath.


My Lover’s Sweetness

FLETA VINCENT

I conjure up beautiful lips tender full on my barren skin, a trail of baby kisses that adore lingering soft and reverent, gentle touch following a road of need laid down like bread crumbs of gossamer strong as forged steel from heart to spirit, you melt cakes of frozen tears and iced layers of conquering despair praying for a savior. Imprisoned by the siren call of more cookies to love me soft icing in delicate swirls wrap around slow and rich sugar I need more that won’t leave me swallowing past the disappointment of never being good enough for anybody to birth me special into life while deadened eyes swing shut and dreams began of magic to slay the agony of withdrawal, and hopes to quit the endless girding of my heart’s impotent loins to defy the hungry famine that devours with relentless discipline and objective disregard. Infinitesimal is the moment while fire crackers explode into brilliance on my tongue, a canopy of sugar and oblivion filling my thoughts with the arrival of delicious silence to nest beside euphoria that banishes


the lonely contractions of clockwork desolation. Tiny spheres of iridescent crystal roll without effort from barricaded lids trickling a homeless path that begins toward forgotten pastry crumbs around the corners of my life, no lover anywhere to lick them off.


About Fleta Vincent

Fleta Vincent has had her work published in The Voices Project, Ancient Path zine of Heart and Mind, and Chantwood Magazine.

Fleta Vincent writes to be a witness to the comedy and tragedy of life in all breathings of your heart.” When she is not writing her heart breathings, s awesomeness of nature, and watching telenovelas. She is a retired high sch


hs Online, The Raven’s Perch, Black Magnolias: A Literary Journal, Catalyst: A Maga-

l of its faces. The writer William Wordsworth said “Fill your paper with the she is dancing, reveling at the miracle that is music, being amazed at the sheer hool Spanish teacher who lives in Georgia.


GABY BE


EDETTI


Sun-Warmed Cat - after Jane Kenyon GABY BEDETTI

How much better it is to watch the leaves fall than to hasten through life. How much better to listen to birds napping on a Sunday afternoon, or after brushing the crumbs from the table, sit on the driveway to wrestle with a warm cat.


Home on the Range

GABY BEDETTI

When my mother wants to speak of her pain, and my spouse recites his plans for the day, and my daughter’s Christmas talk is a drain, and all I want is that endless skyway, I leave the table, keep banter at bay, hide behind curtains from knocks at the door. Empson’s wife fended a caller away while Will watched TV and drank beer. Gone the rumble of hooves in wide spaces when ear to the ground felt the vibrations of galloping horses from far places. To follow the choir’s variations my listening will forever begin, but I ask you please, don’t fence me in.


Canopy

GABY BEDETTI

To come home to a tabby talking at me through the storm door, our white house, framed by a dogwood, a red Japanese maple and a honey locust, a swamp white oak on the street, its branch tips on the ground, dropped by squirrels who take more than they need to build a nest. Then to walk through the house to the back yard where a gingko replaces the sheltering shadows of our late yellowwood, clusters gone of fragrant, pea-like flowers, a shower of white then yellow delicate winter branches, the hammering of woodpeckers, diving squirrels. To sit under our black gum tree on one of the stumps saved in tribute to our yellowwood, busy carpenter ants invading its remains, grinding it down to sawdust. Then to look up at our newest tree, a thirty-foot white oak, growing into its space in our canopy, overlooking a white pine seedling I’ve been tending for three years. Like a jungle canopy, my mother’s arms, the bosom of Abraham, the trees keep me alive. Their voice in the wind


at night, their strength in a storm, their suppleness all comfort me. From my seat at the table, I watch the trees shield our modest yard. From my study, I watch squirrels bound from magnolia to bird-feeder to wild cherry. Sitting on the porch, I feel the weight of the walnut as it drops on the roof, a boisterous welcome, like the cat at the door, or the promise of dogwood trees in spring, their blossoms uncurling.


About Gaby Bedetti

Gaby Bedetti has poems in Caustic Frolic and Off the Coast, book reviews in Inquiry, and an interview in Diacritics. Her photo-essay “From Bologna to website. A longtime teacher at Eastern Kentucky University, she co-teache


n Genre, Signs, and Poet Lore, translations in New Literary History and Critical o Boston: Immigration Scenes from the 1950s” appears on Italian Americana’s es Comedy as an Artistic Approach for their Honors Program.


GAIL


PECK


Black and White Photograph of my Daughter at Thirteen GAIL PECK

taken in a cabin that stood on our neighbor’s property. She leans her head against a plank and the light shining in slants across her hair, the bangs across her forehead. She seems to be looking at nothing or something she doesn’t yet know. She is not smiling, her nose, eyebrows perfect symmetry—a sign of beauty I have read. I hold the photograph in my hand. The cabin was disassembled and carried to another place, and now there is an emptiness near the pines, the holly, no evidence except this photograph of my daughter once sheltered inside.


My Mother on her Wedding Day

GAIL PECK

The dress is embroidered, the sleeves are short and gathered. An orchid pinned to her shoulder (I imagine purple). She wears two strands of pearls I know aren’t real, as there was no money. She smiles slightly, her lips open, eyes lifted toward the camera. I wish I could see the blue of her eyes. Her face is full in youth, hair curled away from her forehead. She is alone in this photograph, in the house of a Justice of the Peace. Nothing yet is in bloom on this March day in Boiling Springs, S.C. The ring, she’ll later toss in a river, is on her finger. For now, the vows seem binding. Soon she’ll be pregnant with me, and I’ll arrive on Christmas day. They thought to name me Carol but did not. When will she discover my father’s first betrayal? “Oh, he was a hard worker,” was about the only good thing I heard. I have gone too far ahead— for she’s still standing before these Venetian blinds in an unfamiliar house, about to leave with a man she never got to know. She’ll put on her three-quarter length coat,


and re-pin the orchid to it. Then she’ll step outside, her arm linked with my father’s. It’s a perfect day for a wedding. She’ll walk carefully down the porch stairs, holding up the hem of her long dress. They are headed toward the car. My father will later remove his cap, white gloves and uniform, and lie down beside my mother.


Photo Booth, around 1946

GAIL PECK

How long had they known each other when they stepped into that booth— my mother leaning toward my father in his uniform, her face the beauty of Ingrid Bergman? So many soldiers and she chose this one, my father. She said she knew it was over the day he left her, pregnant, in a car and went in to see another woman. My mother would act as if he never existed once she joined the Pentecostal church and started believing it was a sin to remarry if you’d ever been divorced. She became a watchdog, and yet she had remarried, growling at every threat when her divorced friends showed interest in someone. Perhaps her guilt was somewhat lifted once she found out my father was dead. Now he was truly gone as he had been from her life and mine for years. This small photo became mine, not much bigger than an inch— a smoky swirl of clouds as background. That day, my mother dressed and put on rhinestone earrings, and sat close to my father. When this photograph slid through the slot, they looked at it and must have smiled again at the radiance of that moment.


About Gail Peck

“I am the author of eight books of poetry and my poems and essays have b


been published in numerous journals.”




HOLLY


Y DAY


Vanishing Point

HOLLY DAY

There is safety in cellos and pianos and tubas, in that you almost never see some homeless man slumped over either. It’s always a violinist or an accordion player slumped under a lightpost a guitar player with their case full of loose change, a saxophonist wrapped protectively around their instrument, even in sleep. I imagine that if you were a homeless cello player, you could curl up in the case on rainy nights, prop your cello up in some shadowed alley where only cats and stray dogs would stumble on it. And a grand piano, while not exactly portable has plenty of room for shelter beneath the lid, or better yet space for a man to stretch out in a huddle of blankets underneath.


True

HOLLY DAY

There are things you can do to make time stretch longer standing on mountaintops, searching for eagles following the footsteps of a fox through the snow pulling weeds out of the garden in search for cherry tomatoes carefully pulling free an abandoned bird’s nest for contemplative research listening to the breath of the person sitting silent beside you. These are all activities that can slow time to a crawl put weight and breadth on a day, stretch hours like warm taffy. There are things you can do to make time go by quickly. There are too many things that can make the days fly by unhindered by importance and reflection. I tell you we can live forever if we just stop doing these stupid, time-sucking things but you don’t want to understand.


On the Cusp of Spring

HOLLY DAY

When I was a child, my mother had me searching for magic behind every forest tree, taught me to look underneath bracket mushroom for evidence of fairy campsites, inside the gaping hollows of oak trees for secret passageways to other worlds. I was so determined to find a way into the land of fairies that I’d seek out forbidden spots mushroom rings and the piney caverns under the canopies of fir trees sit in the exact middle with my eyes closed tight, arms wrapped around m determined I’d wake up somewhere else. Even now, I get a little thrill when I see a cluster of mushrooms sprouting in a circle in my yard.

When my children visit my mother, they come home with half-built fairy castles and stories about hearing rabbits talking at n foxes coming up to the window to steal their dreams, the shape-shifting of cats and dogs at midnight. Sometimes, my mother asks me in aside if I mind her telling the same stories to my children that she told me seems amazed that they actually believe the strange things she says, just like I did.


ms

y

my knees

night abilities


About Holly Day

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Plainsongs, The Long Islander, a Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), The Yello Cyberwit.net), and Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing).


and The Nashwaak Review. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a ow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds(-


JULIA H


HWANG


City Corners

JULIA HWANG

So many city corners I’ve yet to cross, though I see voyeuristically admiring these pockets of culture, clandestine and intangible from such h Tonight I feel an overwhelming grief and illogical nostalgia for a home that is not quite mine yet. Embarrassingly, I cannot point to landmarks or distinguish East from We but I do know peace four flights up, overseeing condos and begging to fee There is no safety net if I scoot too far from the ledge I am young and almost alone I am my own safety from unfenced roof decks and crumbling slums from drunken leerers and bike thieves. I trust myself, and my buzzed balance, and the unsettled world far too much— My mother would say I do not fear enough. But so what if I wish to walk into darkness, guided only by the hot scent of summer on cracked pavement? Lightning flashes silently and suddenly I recall that I am here, and alive with your saliva wet on my neck, like the dripping humidity and tears I wish I could cry. The sky, purple-ish and hazy like a fortune teller’s crystal ball swirls above the city, writing out every corner’s story in the smog and stars—


height.

est el the skyline.


Stories of neon lit bodegas and shopping strips, of abandoned yards with clothing still on the line, of broken bannisters and potholes and stoops with the most colorful doors, of a city sprawled out and built so far up. I could not inhale any deeper, even if I tore out my lungs and let them plummet, watching my blood spill in wonder. This is my almost city my almost home I feel that almost feeling of finally falling into place


Cerise!

JULIA HWANG

Feed her a cherry stem and she’ll tie a knot with a fast tongue— Every man thinks that party trick was made for them, but she spits the knot into my drink, winking as if to say “Those fools will never have a clue” — And it’s true they won’t ever even when we sway to the beat of flickering lights our hands hidden, and yet on display. They do not see nuance of how baby hairs stand on the back of your neck, and how the rest of your body falls flat how you detach— when I whisper not to tease boys anymore. The room darkens with you just as much as it glows Now there’s glass on the floor and ice in the air and the peanut gallery inhales, fangs bared howling out their right to pounce— Should I ruin their fun, and tell them you’re long gone sweeping through shadowed blocks? I’ve always said they could never keep up— But that’s when you’d clench your fists and cry out that I never understood you and the way you dance for men and how at least you know for sure what they want. In their world shattered glasses and early nights don’t exist— There are only cherry knots.


You’ve Gotten So Thin JULIA HWANG When I visit home my Mom sends me off with bags of food I swear I don’t need. She gives me Korean milk drinks I haven’t tasted since childhood and ramen packets with near-lethal sodium levels, for desperate times. She lets me eat the sweet buns she bought for herself and shoves Halloween candy in my hands, because this year my parents only had four trick-or-treaters at their door. She pushes leftover beef she knows I’ll never buy because of the price and clementines my dad bought to dry out the peels. As always, she tells me I am TOO SKINNY unaware I’m steadily gaining weight. I contest with okayokayenough! as my mother hugs me too tight, for too long and kisses my scrunched up face. We’re going to be late, I say, in lieu of Thank you I love you goodbye. My partner drives us two hours back in the dark. He doesn’t comment on my family but I hear the words he tries to hide: Quiet, overbearing, cold and alone— I agree, but I’d leave him if he ever said so— Doesn’t he know I am lonely too?

Tonight I trudge home, wrecked from work and chug two tiny milk drinks— one for myself and one for the strangeness growing inside me. My hot-head can no longer brace the tears from dribbling down my cheeks, nor how many times I DENY DENY DENY my loss of choice. I cry for my mother while I burn red meat on an ungreased pan unaware of how truly, sickeningly I needed this blood this sustenance this Mother’s love


About Julia Hwang

Julia Hwang is an emerging poet who writes from her homestead of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn State University in 2016, where she worked as an editor & marketing chair for the school’s literary journal, Kalliope, she has continued to pursue writing in her free time. Her work, which tends to be narrative, women-focused, dreamy and macabre, has formerly been featured in R.K. Leighton, a Philly-based online journal.


KAREN W


WEBBER


HYMMNN after Ginsberg

KAREN WEBBER

In the world which He created according to his will, He is to be Lauded and Praised, Propped up and Pinned, Exalted and Blessed Yes, blessed be the name of the Wholly one, Blessed be She. In the condo in Mt Washington, as the poet crafts this litany, let her be blessed, please.

In the Temple in Park Heights, where the rabbi is suspended and the hall are empty, we muster Blessed be She. In the bedroom of the little girl turned teen, tossing and turning, we respond to her nightmares with a weak Blessed be She. In the Cantor’s study where cardboard boxes are stacked to the ceiling, She says “no comment”, silenced twice, we whisper Blessed be She. In the field, 70 miles from Manhattan, another rabbi, fresh faced, and smiling who rose on angel wings, whose head swam with ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, legalize of long dead rabbis, Who flew with birds, Who understood subtle shifts in the current, Died on Shabbos….much too young. We all say Blessed be He. Blessed be She. Blessed. Amen.


ls

ďťż

Menorah Scorned

KAREN WEBBER

I am claychilly skirtsinged before a block of Jerusalem stone. Shiverflames rise as ROCK OF AGES slices this windowsill exile like a Syrian flint. A shelved maccabee warrior, my raffia armor yellows. I am yesterday’s golden latke turned brown. Soured cream dollops this dour witness to candle dancing. Colors wither to waxen pools cool and harden to a memory My barren holders ache Like Sinai for water, Frying pan for Mazola, left foot for a shamas.


Shot Glass Poems

KAREN WEBBER

Raining yellow stars A magen david snared in the black curtain lies in wait…like a spider ready to sting prune filled triangles recall evil Haman’s hat in Israel they recall his ears Purim parade grade school beauties marching Where is Vashti? whitened suburbia still sleeping under seven new inches two schools of matzo ball making fluffy and expansive as throw pillows round and hard as cannon balls to some chai is tea to Jews it means eighteen and therefore is life tipped umbrellas sigh after downpour reveal striped underbellies poetry volumes press wriggle in the dark sssssteam heat comes up clip clap of cups percussive delight primary colors nest


tiny red droplet new mother with sharp scissors licks his wounds new son shoots sideways glance fan cuts the air in a world upside down freshly shorn barbies polka dot heads yellow locks litter


About Karen Webber

Karen Webber is a poet, actress, and cantor who currently makes her home


e in Baltimore, MD.




LAURA LEE


E BEASLEY


My Grandmother’s Bathroom is Haunted

LAURA LEE BEASLEY

By the bar of soap still pressed with her fingerprints, strands of her hair. Beside the sink, the last glass of water she poured. Only one percent of the Earth’s water is fresh so probably every glass of tap water was once a part of someone’s body. I listen to her bathtub faucet, thinking of what each drop could have been-fleck of green in an iris blue vein beneath a tongue. Later, all I dream of is water. My grandmother gives me a bath, pours cupfuls of water over my head, water fills my mouth, burns my nose, catches in my eyelashes. Her familiar face, the bathroom’s white tiles blur into prisms of color. She leans over the tub’s edge, her hands dripping with water.


The Circus

LAURA LEE BEASLEY

We’ve been waiting in the parking-lot of my father’s office building for over an hour. Raindrops on the car windows make paisley shadows across our skin. He’s so late that our mother says we’ve probably missed the show by now, but my sister still asks about the monkey who wears a pillbox hat and if she can get one of those ropes of red licorice they sold along the aisles last year. Our mother turns in her seat, want to see a trick? she asks, and pushes in the car’s cigarette lighter. Her hand flutters, a magician’s dove. The lighter pops, and she holds it in front of us, lowers a strand of her long blonde hair over the heat, lets it brown and twist, lets the car fill with the smell of her burning.


The Morning News Reports an Asteroid will Pass between the Earth and Moon Tonight LAURA LEE BEASLEY

On the chance of miscalculation, should we buy a bottle of wine, a thick steak? Each sip would be the sun-filled grape, each bite, the cow’s hot breath, the way a tornado can splinter the boards of a house so they appear to grow again into dozens of branches. In bed together, it would be as if we’d just met. Or maybe that tumbling rock would pull us further back— to the first boy I kissed and your hand would tremble on my wrist as if fastening a corsage.


About Laura Lee Beasley

Laura Lee Beasley has a PhD in Creative Writing, Poetry from Georgia State University where she worked as an assistant editor at Five Points-A Journal of Art & Literature and was the poetry editor for New South. She teaches English and creative writing at the University of West Georgia and has worked as a copyeditor for St. Martin’s Press. Among other publications, her poems have appeared in the Texas Observer, Silk Road Review, Apple Valley Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, and in Time You Let Me In, an anthology published by HarperCollins and edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. She was selected as a semi-finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and as a Special Merit winner in the Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Contest, judged by Marge Piercy.


LAUREN


N KANIA


The Noblewoman of Denmark

LAUREN KANIA

Did she wander alone to the false waters? Or was her lover’s feigned madness calling her name? With whispers she sang of her father’s only daughter, and fled the country of sorrow to be reclaimed. Her skirt held her afloat for only a little while, till the current circled her legs as one. Nettles and daisies made her smile, as she weaved a garland to hold to the sun. The glossy stream mirrored only the willow’s tears, not the fingers that yearned for the furthest sliver. But the smallest fracture dropped her and her weedy trophy as she made no cry, swallowed by the river. Old hymns belie her final breath, as if she were native to this lulling death.


About Lauren Kania

Lauren Kania is currently a junior at Eckerd College studying Literature and Creative Writing with a focus in poetry. Her inspiration comes from her travels across the globe, her experiences as a woman in an ever-present patriarchal society, and her undying love for her dog.


LINDSAY RO


OSE SLEDGE


The Weight

LINDSAY ROSE SLEDGE

When the therapist asks, why are you here I sigh louder than I mean to not sure where to start I stare at my feet, until she says, sometimes sighs speak louder than words, I tell her we got married young, at twenty-one, on a whim I got pregnant soon after when it was my turn to go to Iraq my boss said deferring war with pregnancy is cowardly but who’s to say motherhood is any less brutal than war a year into the marriage I no longer felt in love but I stayed and had a second baby and then another so sure that being a mother would magically mend all the things I hated about my life six years into the marriage our oldest child nearly died when I let her hand slip out of mine on a busy street she was hit by a car right in front of me I watched as she hovered between life and death suspended there by some invisible force, I brought her back somehow and vowed to be better, more attentive


ten years into the marriage we spoke with a chaplain who thrust his fingers in and out saying we must “come together” at least twice a week he looked me in the eyes wanting to make sure I understood this admonishment was for me fifteen years into the marriage we sit faithless, watching tv only occasionally “coming together” it feels more like maintenance these days like legs in stirrups, cold instruments forcing their way in where they’re not wanted nowadays, I’m scared by my dreams, where instead of a husband or a child in my arms there is no one I wake in a panic If I am no one’s mother, who am I when the therapist asks, what is it you really want I straighten my back into her overstuffed sofa and think I want to bury the memory


of his every line, bone and bulge and take a lover who hasn’t seen my body opening and closing in the early evening expelling flesh of our flesh I want someone who doesn’t know the weight of our history sometimes I want to be no one’s wife and no one’s mother I say none of this because I remember I am empty from all the giving, grieving and reviving of the almost dying so I slump back down, my eyes meeting my feet once more and shake off the feelings of fleeing I resolve myself to the present because it’s all I have left.


About Lindsay Rose Sledge

Lindsay Rose Sledge is a mother to three girls living in New Mexico. Her writing has been featured in Kindred Magazine and The Ma Books.


NAIDA M


MUJKIC


A Man and the Sea

NAIDA MUJKIC

At the seashore, a man Is listening to the rain He isn’t looking at the sea From where Frightened crabs and turtles crawl The man is listening to the rain He knows the dinner is served He’s listening to the rain He hears the birds Gathering behind his back He’s listening to the rain He’s writing about the rain The rain is his home


A Bucket with Rain

NAIDA MUJKIC

When the rain falls into a bucket It becomes only an idea The rain by which we’re reaching The clouds When the rain falls into a bucket becomes Sheltered from the wind Child Sleeping carefree When the rain falls into a bucket Like a history that Repeats itself It becomes a memory Of where the world was once


The City of Birds

NAIDA MUJKIC

I had a dream that I’ve moved To the city of Cockcatoo birds They’re bringing shells to my Feet And little hearts of wood There was a seaweed there too And a woman’s rubber boot In front of my doors In fact It only appeared to be a woman’s boot As it was red and tiny And I picked up the heart And got back to the house Inside everything is dead Flower paintings are growing into the walls Dead curtains from which dust comes off And lies in the light on the floor There’re no flies inside Because the windows are covered with thick Iron grids Birds are not inside What the hell could the birds Be doing in the house? Ever since I came to this house The rain hasn’t fallen My lips are cracking My arms are cracking The eyeball front Is cracking Pencils in my hands are cracking The bread in the pan has cracked


So I don’t know if I should bake it Or leave it to the birds The next morning I found letters in the mailbox They were cracking in my hands “Come back”, it said But now the birds wouldn’t let me come back They wanted to hurt me And I wanted to give myself to them Their eyes are mesmerising me The sea Gets into the cracks on my hands I feel its mystery


About Nadia Mujkic

Nadia Mukic (born 1984) is a Bosnian poetess. She holds a PhD in Literatur umsquartier Wien and Goten Publishing Skopje, and she published 6 books.


re. She was a guest artist at Q21 Muse-




TRINA


ASKIN


After Living

TRINA ASKIN

I know the poet is to take down dictation of the earth but all I can ever do is hear you. You say your mother and I wonder what it is to give birth to you. Is it like birthing the Lord—a womb lit on fire with yellow stellar light? You say your father and I wonder what it is to hurt you. Did the soldiers touch the wounds of the Lord and was there healing in that, at all, even after cruelty? But I won’t worship you anymore. For I know the wrath of the jealous one. Or maybe it is I know what it’s like when you don’t walk into my city anymore and so I have to do my best to make the city as wondrous as you— the sky a liquid blue, my mouth open, swallowing whatever Heaven can spare to give. And I will try not to romanticize the light pollution of night, the orange glow shading towers and bridges, knowing there is wreckage, knowing there is damage with in such beauty. Still it is hard not to, driving into it like this, with embassy sodium lamps shining white up to the stars, from wherever the best part of the world is, wherever we find the moon with the most high-rises, silver transits, palace like swimming pools, and miraculous candy shelled drugs, I will still want to stay here. Lost and bewildered, snow falling on apple blossoms and everywhere, in this dreaming of you. Tell me my life is just beginning. Tell me everywhere I go is the place where you will find me.


Levitations

TRINA ASKIN

I drive lost until I find my metropolitan area. And the neon teal light from the discount store is like a pool of Heaven under the white wool of a wintery sky illuminated by the yellow bulb-lamps of a transit station. Then I step into the cold, and the alley snow-sweeper takes a break from the Pakistani hip hop blaring in his ear and says that I look as though I need prayer. So I let him shake my hand until I can believe he is sweeping the ghosts from me but not the ghost of me. And I wonder when the ghost stops being a ghost, but just a door-less heart, which is why on these chilly nights of wandering, it is hard to let go of you and think I can love one of those hip urban dwellers as you told me I should. Perhaps, one like the bearded man in sophisticated tweed from hours before, looking with his lover down through the high glass of the drum-shaped Hirshhorn Museum to the rainy dusk and wet blue silvery city scape. Then his quite earnest and elegant, Do you like it? Welcome to D.C. No, instead, it is you sleeping in a forgotten neighborhood sheltered by graffitied mini marts, raggedy sycamores, and barren of lovey-dovey tourists delighting in vibrant architecture and avant-garde art, who I dream of. Though, you told me we are separated by sad years and even sadder choices. Though, someone lies beside you, who I like to assume doesn’t hold you. And when I catch myself thinking such things, all I can do is wish you well from afar, the way you from afar are still breaking my heart. And so, I pray tonight as the blizzard presses harder, you sleep in a warmth of maybe the same dream you had somewhere near the beginning of your life when you could hear in your sleep,


the downstairs’ television echoing static-fuzz over a man’s foot walking the thin gray of the moon blended with the street’s car radio that forgot to tune into the transmission from above and played a concerto as soft as the new rain that was falling.


Nocturnal

TRINA ASKIN

Then even the gas station pumps began to play television, so the lonely 2 a.m. drivers and wanderers seeking temporary warmth in their cigarette and cola marts, could be moved even further away into delirious longing. High screen shots of the throat of a black hole leading to ethereal blue-watery formless, fast moving galaxies. A promo for some new science or sentimental nostalgia, that if you can just push so far, you can go back. But you were in my life that night; what need did I have for time travel? And I remember wading in the winter’s first snow and wonderment at how anyone had ever written a love poem, without having known you. How anyone could be moved by against the heavy black sky, stellar like rays of yellow city lights, without knowing you slept tenderly behind one of those neon towers’ rose-magenta curtains. But now the synth-musique of party-drug rollers on night trains and inhaled chill of January wind in graffiti and frozen ivy stained brick alley districts are all I have to remind me I am still in this living. Or should I say all there is to wake me? Because all I ever want is to stay in this sleepwalking of when I knew you, though, even then I was ruined— a trance of never-ending want. And years after, having taken the late-shift in a hospital, mopping the floors of hallways to rooms of death and birth, I roll along, manically, listening for signs of you beyond radio cracklings of symphonies, the gracious relief cries, and wailing prayers mostly blending in Korean, Spanish, and Hindi. All I want is there to be a fluorescent room of you being rebirthed or ghosted into my world. What does it matter, these years of delusion, when you’ve already ruined me? When I first saw you, I became so moved that within hours, I was exiled from my home, my Lord, and the white blossom


garden had shriveled away. Still your breath was the most heavenly of singing I had ever heard. Your dwelling, the warmest wall of rain and cleansing.


About Trina Askin

“My work has appeared in Fogged clarity, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Oranges&Sardines, Broad River Review, The Meadow, and elsewhere. My poetry has also been nominated for Best of The Net, Best New Poets, and a Pushcart Prize.”


Thank You

Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this collection of poetry from these talented poets. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net or on Issuu. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address contact@voiceofeve.net. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor

Profile for Voice of Eve Magazine

Voice of Eve - Issue 11  

11th issue of Voice of Eve. Women's poetry and art.

Voice of Eve - Issue 11  

11th issue of Voice of Eve. Women's poetry and art.

Advertisement