“a whole dumb ecosystem /flowering between us”
“Oh, one of your gifts killed my only son – /my one seed wasted in the drought of this desert. /Are you sure you are the same as our One?”
“But how can I draw this map? /Easier for me to unpeel my brain’s soft folds /than chart the land that made me, spun itself /into my body until I cry aloud at my face in mirrors: Illinois.”
“I did not ask for a father as an inventor but he could /rig a fire pit or a cane fishing pole just the same /He concocted the formula for my wings by making me /feel free”
“A prism /makes a fair-to-middling talisman. /They are the heat waves /in the rainbow”
“It is a great power, the conjuring of clouds, /and as such should not be used as a party trick, /but here I am daily spinning them, proud, /throwing shade like a habit”
“Mostly I remember the side-gate. /The busted-wheel and steel-grind sound— /Metal’s rusted speech. /…You shook w”hen it opened.”
Poetry Editor Charlie Bondhus writes about poetry, problem-solving, and how writing well can help you become a better man.
“She is painting a picture of the dog. /She has not looked at the dog all day. /Sitting across from her in the sunlight of the kitchen, /her uncle winces at the singing.”
“If curious by chance, you ask the refugees, they /say, Don’t ask for answers anymore. Let the ashes speak.”
“The illusion of being intact is quite /astonishing, but a quick twist of my skeleton /key and the whole chassis springs open”
Can parody be tender? Dennis Mahagin’s send-up of William Carlos Williams sure is.
“I’m trying to sand down the edges of a jagged life /Thinking back to that boy who refused to accept a cookie from his classmate”
“I’m inspired to take heaven hostage, to /line up the saints in 21 rows and force them /with love to feed you forever”
“we know food is political the taco bowl an emblem of American efficiency /eight-hour workdays rice assembly lines appropriation seasoned beef Frida Diego sour cream”
“I couldn’t touch a thing at dinner /the meal the conversation all had no /flavor, as if my mouth had lost its way”