poetry

Still-life with Shrubs, by Nnadi Samuel

Autumn buzzes around us, like the killing of bees.our youthful legs still adoring crop stains,stampeding the dense thickets, honey-sweet with cicada & fallen grapes. our ripest inheritance— the luscious sting of maple leaves.osmanthus, carpeting the undergrowth ofteff grain only our bare feet stomp. we braid a garland round our necks,having wishful thoughts of asphyxiation. the …

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Deranged Sestina//or To outdress a Coffin & name it Self-harm, by Nnadi Samuel

I’m handpicked by a misphrase to where my person lies:gash in a word pool of listlessness where grief & suture hold hands. I— bandage held towards gloom in the night of my waking.the blank page below, puddled with darkness.each margin, rarified into dusk. thumb, fondling a dead braille.ghosts tiptoeing my palm in worship,in actual hand …

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Memento mori, by Ana Reisens

            Quello che siete, noi eravamo.            Quello che siamo, voi sarete.            What you are, we were.            What we are, you will be.             -Placard in the Capuchin Crypt, Rome I. The descent begins as the wind ends              and Rome dims, just beneath the pavement              where time dangles from the invisible hands              of tissues tibia, fibula, …

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The Alchemists, the Squirrels, by Robert Beveridge

The search for the perfect needlecontinues, the thread acquiredin a deal that saw you relinquishthree quinces, your grandmother,and a draft choice to be named later.Between sips, what was once ryein your shotglass seems to havebecome amaranth. The prieston the stool next to you claimsno possibility of transubstantiation;you withhold judgment. The ritualis still on, your roommate …

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The Train, by Ivana Svobodová

The train flows through the midnight of tunnels,hums inside ribs.Raindrops wink on the windowas they say goodbye to platformsthat give them a grin full of bones of cobblestones.Rustling leaves wrap around fingersthe monuments of the abandoned stations.Bezpráví,yearning of wires, mires in the mist on the glass,bared teeth of the lightning-catcherthat swallows the autumn like a …

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Bronx Tiger Tests Positive for COVID-19, by James Edward O’Brien

            Hip swagger,black coat,bellyful of kittens—             sun-shadow brume of chimney-ash dander—tightrope-walking fencesthat lean like drunks beyond the water’s edge,             crooked, corroding—salt-battered,wind-battered, time-             battered thingsthat keep exactly nothing at bay—queens of the things that make our acquaintance,             masters of that which allowus command. The block, a plague-timeferal’s kingdom—backyard plots             & sea grass—Felis catus makes do with specters …

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