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Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

- -
Your hands lift me out of the banks
of rusted transepts that fell long ago.

You try to revive my eviscerated spirit,
no mouth to mouth, just fingertips.

You pencil in our names together,
at once imagined yet not quite inked.

You trace my eyebrow, absent tears;
no longer innocent, we bear the drench.

You close in on the monster illness,
stare it out, but know it will win.

Your warm embrace perfumes my corner,
a lotus in bloom at the midnight hour.

- - -
Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction. Many of her poems have appeared in online and print publications and anthologies internationally. She also enjoys music, dance and gardening, as time permits.

Ash Wednesday

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Ash Wednesday I saw Quinn again,
first time in years, sailing the streets,
weaving through people,
collar up, head cocked,
arms like telephone poles sunk
in the pockets of his overcoat,

the brilliant pennants of his long red hair
waving over the stadium
where years ago he took my handoff,
bucked off guard, found the free field,
and heaved like a bison
into the end zone.

Tonight, when Quinn wove by me muttering,
I should have handed him the ball.
I should have screamed, “Go, Quinn, go!”
He would have stiff-armed the lamppost,
found the free field again,
left all in his wake to gawk

as he hit the end zone
and circled the goal posts,
whooping and laughing,
flinging the ball like a spear
over the cross-bar,
back to Iraq.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
It's just as you imagined it would be.
It's night, it has to be,
and you're alone again,
as quiet as the rest of the house.
Perhaps you're reading,
or, better yet, shuffling bills
poised just this side of a decision
about your life
like leaving Margaret, or Henry,
a diet, the guitar, even at your age,

and then you hear him bump into the chair
you left out of line for that purpose
in the living room,
or you hear him trip on the stray shoe
in the kitchen,
perhaps, the floor creeks in the hallway
just outside the bedroom.
The sound is subtle, slips to silence, but
it's there, he's there,
like you knew he would be.

Already you feel the knife go in,
his hands on your throat tighten,
or, it's a bullet this time,
with all that noise you hear
like the flash, the smoke,
then the numbing pain
then nothing.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Black Mirror, Deep Water Literary Journal, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

I hope snow doesn't turn red

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Contributor: d0ll

- -
Counting my scratches
Which won’t become scars
In my pain I linger
Walking in the gutter
Ignoring the stars
Walking through the streets
licking snowflakes from my fingers

Suddenly I start to run
I run from your hatred
I run from your anger
Fuelled by fear and five shots of vodka
The good old S word was never enough
And it never even worked
I lift my arms up in defense

Your name that I carved into my skin
Years ago it seems
It is still there
The only scar that doesn’t fade

- - -
A young student, djane, alternative model and DIY enthusiast from Slovakia. I enjoy travelling, surrealist art, writing and music, mostly post punk.


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Contributor: Joshua A Colwell

- -
The edges of the morning
clouds, fluffy and plump
like a pastry, with edges
crisper than those of
over-cooked brownies

lazily bake underneath
a sun that feels more
room temperature than
one that could fry eggs
along the sidewalk.

Leaves start to change color,
less cucumber-green and more
a sickly-brown, the kind you
might find from leaving butter
to sit in a hot frying pan too long.

Spring-born babes wail like tea kettles,
Their bodies expanding like popcorn
kernels, toes waiting to be gobbled up
with butter from excited onlookers

- - -
I currently work as a submissions editor at Apex Magazine. I have been published at The Story Shack, Every Day Poets, The Linnet's Wings, Eunoia Review, and The Penguin Review, among others.

Death of Fairy Tales

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Contributor: Tamara Turner

- -
Dance and dream and pink and sky blue fading
From lush to desert where nothing will be born
Shadows come from brightest places good
Seeping around corners into tiny and vast spaces
Ponies and ponytails no longer seen do not hang
But lurk in depths of red paint too bloody to see
We should not grow a momentary lie tranquility false
Murder foul ultimately damaging so extreme
Poor girls who once believed as they were taught

- - -
Tamara currently lives in Southern California's Inland Empire with her favorite scarlet macaw.


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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
In the 3 am darkness
I look across the parking lot

And see a lit window
Framing a man’s silhouette

He seems about my height
And about my build

As if I am looking
At a mirror of myself

And I wonder what woke him
What impossible dream

That keeps him from sleep
And its intimation of death

Or maybe like me
To just look out and know

That he’s not all alone
In the emptiness of the night

- - -
Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Around Sixteen

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Contributor: Ashley E. Cox

- -
I suppose you don't know
That I can still see you
I remember blood in my veins
The bliss of a ripe green bruise

I am vapor but I confess
Watching your fingers
Twirl blades of grass
Weighs down my phantom chest

I’m beside your slight bones
When you toss in your sleep
If I had limbs I would brush
Wet hair stuck on your cheeks

Watching you write
Your hand carves with a pen
Oh, to be the paper
Once more feeling your skin

I wait for each sunrise
For your shutters to crack
Your eyes begging the sky
To let me come back

You looked heavenly in white
I tried to count each snow
I hear the birds sing
Watching your stomach grow

What are you dreaming of
When you cry out at night?
Damn the human next to you
He’s not holding you right

Are those lines of silver
Spreading through your hair?
What are you looking at
Alone in your chair?

Rocking by the window
Your eyes dripping with streams
Clenching a photo of me
Around the age of sixteen

- - -
Ashley E. Cox is a writer from Denver, Colorado, currently residing in Los Angeles, California. She began writing poetry at the age of eight; twenty years later she learned how to turn her poetry into lyrics. In 2014, she spent time writing with musicians and is currently composing her first book.

Count to Ten

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
The grass
under the moon
grounds a soul
to earth,
charges the flesh
with fire,
synchronizes all signals,
and electrifies
the magnetic poles –
a calm respite
could save the world

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar survived both the fire and the flood - now he dances in celebration, waiting on the next round of chaos to arrive. He spends his time reading, researching, taking meditative walks, gazing at the stars, laughing at life's existential nature, and writing prose-fusion poetry dedicated to the Phoenix Generation. Scott can be reached at 17Numa@gmail.com.

The Deli On Granville

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
I lived in the attic back then,
and late those evenings I had to study
and couldn't afford to go drinking
I'd run down to the deli and buy

bagels and smoked lox.
I'd watch the lame son
wrap each item in white paper
while his father, coughing at the register,

pointed to the cans on the wall
and screamed, "Serve yourself! Serve yourself!"
I'd grab a tin of baked beans and he'd smile.
Now, years later, I return to the deli

and find that it's closed.
The sign on the door confirms
what everyone else already knows:
There has been a death in the family.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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