poetry

For Kristen, Who Would Have Turned 47 Today, by Melissa Frederick

April 7, 2020 I found your obituary in an online archive,where our newspapers return to earththese days. Hard to explain the electric world we now occupy: words and pictures, viruses, vines,birth, bankruptcy, Seders and sepulchers, loves and losses built in a day, or a year,or the time it takes a tabby cat to pirouette from one end of …

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Mourning Person, by Anuja Mitra

most ghost sightings are griefhallucinations. no one wants to admitto delusion, even when inducedby tragedy. scientists say we are shifting things, our mindsalways revising. what the brainnames reality is nothing morethan prediction — and it continues to predict when emptyof evidence. thus the flickersin our vision that we willinto figures. thus the yearning for a …

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Inferno guts Manila, by Mark Cunanan

            Reappears, out of the thick grey smog, our edificerazed to the ground again: columns cracked open by                         power lines, attic crumbling overhead,             and decades-old record caked with soot. The darkengulfing our city is smoke screen: though we burn to neglect                        neglect, through the visible light return our streets              swathed in the grease of our …

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Untitled, by Abhinav

there are certain twilights that resist             escape. time bleeding out of your ear—the swathes of pink still like a gaze                         directed at nothing. hunched men,     a back and forth of blotches and youare seven and seventeen and seventy          all at once. your eyes tugging at the insidesof your skull.                   memory is a rotin the ribs …

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prim pressed posies, by Ai Jiang

do not make what is dead immortalthe stem bone marrow sucked dryits waters droughted blood spilt no longer petals—skin only limbs, muscles stripped,veins sapped, organs smoked, pollen unsewn seeds, dead children crunchinglike grinding teeth—brittle whittled belittled life lined up on lawns untended,in front of windows of abandoned houses,in pots without soil,in bouquets left to rot, prim pressed posies, perfect …

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Five of Cups Considers Forgiveness, by Ali Trotta

You put grief into the earth,carefully, with your own two hands,and by the time you are done,there is dirt under your nails,a mess—            but that offeringof tears howls like an exorcism,and you think maybe you got it right            this time, finally,that you pulled the monsterout of your heart, insteadof setting it free—            but in the …

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