under the boiling pot dropped leaves smolder; the top of a litterbin filled with cigarettes and reducing to soup on a dry afternoon. summer, full of that smoky air and missing fire. those little pops and cracks like walking barefoot and stepping on crisp packets. like dublin; walking up o’connell street while the sun shines and everyone dresses comfortably. men in shorts, t-shirts and football jerseys sliding over chests and bellies as if loose water were tumbling on rocks. women too; those airy dresses, showing more of their legs than the men even. sunglasses all over, black as burned vegetables. earth slipping, filling with scent and a hot meat market. in the pot at home, outside of the city, vegetables boil among fistfuls of ham. the air is humid, the windows shut, full of steam and the smell of toasting broccoli. at the kitchen table I open my shirt down as far as the belly, lean back, and remember walking home.
DS Maolalai has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)
I finger the stropped razor ready
to slice an eyeball
to turn my head in the clouds
cutting the moon and so who is blind?
she? he? me? eyes curbed after the bike collapses
and we are undressed for bed with ants in hand. Give her
a hand! I want to hold your hand;
the accidental dead want to hold breast and butt hold
on she tosses
she will serve no fault—
the undead eschew tennis
for a strongest man competition lugging
grand steinways, church, dead
dog. Dead? The undress awakens aroused by a dick
demanding he make a man or two of himself
to read to write to duel like Burr and Hamilton
in a New Jersey meadow from which a moth
on the New Jersey shore on which a melted watch
tells who lives who dies who tells your story
Oh Cris Columbus
How I wish you hadn’t come here.
Five hundred years of your celebrations
Have scraped the birds thin
Drained the fish dry
Made the rock cry.
The Vikings sailed back
When their Vinland grew cold
But you wrapped your future
In buffalo robes
And now I don’t know where to turn
When I want to go home.
Jenny McBride’s writing has appeared in SLAB, Common Ground Review, Rappahannock Review, The California Quarterly, Conclave, and other publications. She makes her home in the rainforest of southeast Alaska.
Daddy lost his job last year
and the year before
and momma hers the years before that
but momma got herself a job back
we bought a car to get from here to there
to job and back
for daddy to teach me to drive when i’m
already ripe and smoking
the joint between momma’s forefinger and
thumb passing around like paper wrapped
golden leaf worth more than daddy and momma
and the siding around us sleeping at night in
the beds we pay for in dying
breaths from momma’s hospice patients and the meat
daddy ripped cut slapped the months years decades leading up to
which burns in our fingers from drivers seat to passenger to
the back i sit in leather seats
wearing three necklaces thrown from a town truck
returned from retirement
no more rusty bumpers and highway calls.
I’m covered in green
shamrocks like me with shiny beads
Emerald gold purple
If wrapped further around me, my neck,
heritage wrapped around my neck in the fake carnation in the lapel of the corduroy 1970s jacket i found in the basements in the years when the girls had friends down and the smoke got all in the fabrics and daddy had
green to pay
for the cleaners to trudge up the smoke in the couch into black corduroy
now covered freckled flesh
green like momma says
daddy on the sidewalk with the little ones
catching candy and necklaces for me to drape over dirty hair
which ripples blonde down pale cheeks
running away from the motherland
her mossy face moist at midnight or three in the afternoon whatever time momma and daddy want to get high
And forget about the Troubles.
Molly Flanagan is currently a senior at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut, where she works as Associate Editor of Folio, the undergraduate literary and art journal at SCSU. Her visual art and short stories have also been published in Folio and ANGLES. This past spring, Molly was awarded the 2019 Creative Writing Award by SCSU English Department.
I never asked myself about you. I did hope, though, that May-
Be you would remember this empty room. Believe me, I never
Wondered if you would return. I knew. (T)Here
The sun rose at 8. Once upon a time, the
Sun bloomed at 8 too. Now that plaster
Painting isn’t worth the trouble. Dirty brushes and stir-
Red colors aren’t worth the wash. As soon as
You left you said goodbye and if
I had just stood up to say “no”… You le(f)t me in
A wardrobe of wilting aloe, plastic flower crowns and pain. I broke with the door hinges; laughed about it, that May-
Be If I wasn’t so frightened or if I had never
Given a fuck I wouldn’t be the only one to hear
My heart-beat. May-be the
Cold clouds of a Florida summer wouldn’t click like roaches
In an empty moving box. I wouldn’t let this falling
Slush remind me of all the paintings you did take with you. Like
The crow who eats too many berries, and falls fat,
Drunk and remembering— may-be then I’d learn to enjoy the rain.
Daniel Crasnow is a multi-genre writer and scholar at Stetson University where he holds a Sullivan Scholarship in creative writing. He has been awarded a scholarship to attend the DISQUIET International Literary Program (2018) and was a resident at the DISQUIET Azores Residency (2018).