An Act Of War

By Seth Lewis

I take this breath
As an act of rebellion
I load my lungs
Like a gun

I take this breath
As an act of defiance
Against the dark
Despair

I take this step
Toward broken humanity
Broken myself,
I repair

I take this breath
As an act of war
I raise the flag
Of love

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“Writing is how I think.” – the writer

Constant Reassembly Required

By Lauren Everdell

Monday took her eyes. Making no bones about burning them out on tides of acid tears, until she sank into unseeing. Tuesday took her teeth. Plinking like piano key chips onto the kitchen tiles. And Wednesday took her tongue. Thursday sucked the guts of her, like slurping an oyster. All her courage gulped away. But Friday took no more than her smile.

Saturday skinned her alive. Raw nerves at the mercy of the world. Sunday gathered her pieces, ready to begin again.

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Lauren writes, she says, “because her heart would bust out through her ribs if she didn’t.”

The Dunes at Wyandanch Beach

By Dianne Moritz

The dunes are mostly gone now.

Remember how we played fetch
with my dog and you took a piece
of driftwood, etched “I love you” in sand?

We made love up in the dunes, the sun
on your back, a fire through me, lust
sprinkling down like a warm sea mist.

Once I watched as you swam, sleek as
a dolphin, body-surfed with new friends.
I called out, but you didn’t hear.

The dunes are mostly gone now …
washed away by time and tide.

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“I write to capture indelible moments in time.” – the writer

September

By Amy Van Duzer

Dusk on an autumn afternoon
Leaves tumble from frail limbs
Winter forms in a crimson womb

September
ebbs and flows
but winter ‘s hand
cuts the day much too soon

As morning comes with jagged teeth
Sucking from the sullen boughs

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“I write because of what I feel when I read another moving piece of work. I would love to have this impact on someone else. I feel there needs to be more profound moments through poetry.” – the writer

The Ball is in Your Court

By Diana Diamond

The ball is in your court
Deflated and crusted with dirt
You’re in your room
Scrolling in search of greener grass;
A better catch

The ball is in your court
Once bulbous and ripe
An erotic suggestion
Now sagging and has lost its bounce

The ball is in your court
A relic; petrified
To be stored away for kicks and giggles
But you just leave it there hanging

The ball is in your court
It wants to be played with and caressed
But it only remembers being kicked and thrown
Maybe it’s within its nature
To be trampled upon

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“Writing is a wonderful release and a crystallization of one’s experiences through the written word.” – the writer

Remembrance

By Lynn White

Don’t be sad.
I remember that
once you were golden.
Now the gold has darkened to sepia
but sometimes still the light shines through
in flashes of the old gold
when you remember.
Don’t be sad.
I still remember
the gold
and nothing lasts for ever
not even memories.

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“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer

Spring Clean

By Raymond Sloan

With their only daughter immersed in her favorite show, Jess insisted Tom and her bag up Amy’s old clothes for charity. Every item unearthed produced another forgotten memory, and the stark reality that nature wasn’t knocking twice.

When finished they loomed over the pile, until an explosion of Amy’s giggles jolted them. Reminding them how lucky they really were.

Tom put the boxed clothes into the attic. One day Amy’s belongings would find a new home and new memories would begin when he’d walk down those stairs, but for now he wasn’t ready to let go of the old ones.

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“I write because I love writing.” – the writer

Gods I’d Worship

By Kelsey

God of love,
God of truth,
God of health,
God of wisdom.
(but fuck all of them. My prayers have gone unanswered.)

Instead, I find myself praying at the alter for
God of good teeth,
God of skincare,
God of consistent, joyful movement.
God to relax my patience,
God to bring mental clarity,
God of productivity.
God of budget sense,
God of good HR benefits,
God to free me of cooking and cleaning.

Dear God: heal me and send
God to believe in me when nobody else can.

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“I write because I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t.” – the writer

The Review

By P.C. Darkcliff

I would give the place five stars, despite its poor reputation. My chair was comfortable, everything sparkled with cleanliness, and the personnel was formal and attentive as if they expected the governor himself. Unfortunately, the governor didn’t even bother to call.

When a man in black came over to me, I sniffed as if I could already smell frying meat.

“Are you ready?” the man asked. I shook my head and tugged at the belts that strapped my hands. Cold sweat gushed into my eyes.

“No!” I screamed when another man reached for the large switch. He pulled it anyway.

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When P.C. was in kindergarten, he convinced his classmates that his grandma was a tribal shamaness. Then he learned his letters, and kidding his friends no longer seemed adequate—so he started to write.

My Mother in the Maritimes

By Michael Mintrom

There she is, caught in a photograph
taken on Cape Breton Island
as we drove along the Cabot Trail.

Neither of us had been there before.
We visited potters, stopped for lunch.
Time passed. It didn’t matter.

Our destination was Prince Edward Island,
the Anne of Green Gables Museum.
But looking back, the trip was a device,

two lives entwined, a chance to talk.
I remember how she chuckled at place names,
checked histories, sent postcards home.

It’s eerie, her standing beside the road.
Behind her, a harbor, a boat shed,
sharp-edged hills pressed by the sky.

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Michael Mintrom is a professor and poet who writes because, as C.D. Wright said, “Poetry is a necessity of life.”