Greg Buckley, Jr. 21-Year-Old Marine Lance Cpl. Murdered in Afghanistan

Coffin

Perry Brass’s elegy for Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr. demonstrates the dark truth that, in war, one can’t always know who one’s enemy is.

A Boy’s Bike

Bike

Diane Lockward uses a seemingly mundane occurrence to make a powerful statement about personal loss and, perhaps, the current state of boyhood.

Because He Reads the Bible

Bible

Dakota Garilli expertly explores the age-old tensions between religion and sexuality, parents and children.

The Day I Stood in the Command Tent Hearing of Your Death, Father

Airman

Veteran Airman Nicholas Miele skillfully juxtaposes a personal rite of passage with a personal loss.

The Antique Cast

Gorky

Dean Kostos brings together Abstract Expressionism and the beauty of the male form.

Anticipation of the Knife

knife

Masculinity is often tied to pain management. Here, Michael Walsh ponders whether one kind of pain can be used to manage another.

in peace we still war

Fire

Guillermo Filice Castro writes of everyone’s wounded child–and its role in perpetuating conflict.

In Case You Were Wondering

Man and Woman

Justin Hamm’s speaker confronts an insecurity common to many men and women.

An Old Man in a Blouse, At Market

Cross

In this convention-defying poem, Stephen Scott Whitaker reminds us that gender identity, sexual orientation, and clothing choice are not necessarily related.

Buddha

Buddha

In this tight little poem, Hansa Bergwall captures the ambivalence some men feel towards religion.

Childhood

Knuckles

Christopher Nelson remembers “Bloody Knuckles”—and the disturbing things it taught us about manhood.

Lacrimosa

Child

It’s not entirely clear who haunts Philip Clark’s coming-of-age poem more—the dead or the living.

At Buttermilk Falls

Ditch the Cover: A Dad’s Feelings on Open-Air Breastfeeding

Todd Davis offers a powerful poem of listening, reflection, and the natural world.

When My Father Woke

Mask

Pay close attention to Ed Madden’s poem about an invalid father; the speaker reveals perhaps more than he intends to.

The Canoe Ride

Water

Looking both inward and outward, Kenny Fries reminds us of how beauty “elevates our lives beyond mere description.”

Sunday Morning Chocolate

chocolate

Pepper Trail presents a touching slice-of-life in this jewel of a poem.