It is a time of gathering.
with little gain,
we pick among the skeletal vines—
with amulets to ward off
the weariness of winter.
There is a turning here.
discarded like a faded friendship
I fear the time approaches
when I would willingly sell my soul
for one more day
to breathe the autumn in with joy.
and witness the harvest
with these two eyes.
Steve Deutsch’s work has recently appeared or is upcoming in Thimble Magazine, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review, Borfski Press, Streetlight Press, Gravel, Literary Heist, Nixes Mate Review, Third Wednesday, Misfit Magazine, Word Fountain, Eclectica Magazine, and The Ekphrastic Review. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, will be published next year by Kelsay Press.
This boy (now a man),
Would (years later)
return to sully
that musty mindspace
left to linger
begins the slow rise of an itch
becomes a need unmet.
By Carolyn Black
If today I die
A fig tree may grow
From a pit in my stomach
To mark my grave
In years to come
The compost of my body
Feed the seed
The warm sun tempt the sprout
To rise upwards
Roots securely wrapped
Around my ribs
Providing the seedling
Making it grow tall and strong
The fruits from my body
Will live on
By Charlotte O’Farrell
Ted was quite used to being the town joke, but since his alien sighting it had been unbearable.
If only he’d taken his camera that night. That’s a mistake he wouldn’t make again.
Every night since, he’d walked the three mile journey and perched on that same hill overlooking the town, waiting for those glowing green beings to return. He didn’t sleep and only returned at dawn, when it was clear that tonight wouldn’t be the lucky night.
Tonight was the anniversary. Surely they’d come.
The oppressively indifferent vastness of space stared back at him, silent as death.
By John L. Malone
You always want the last word.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror, question yourself?
You like things open and shut. In neat little packages.
Even when we can’t see you, we hear you.
I’ll give you this. You go about your work quietly, not like your loud, foot-stomping cousins,
But you could loosen up, give others a go.
I know in some countries you go by a different name,
But a rose by any other name is still a rose
And a full stop by any other term is still a full stop.
By James Formosa
I pinched the cigarette filter between my fingers and held the burning embers inward. They taught me to do that for two reasons. First: the tiny flame heats up your palm a little. Second: the enemy can’t see the light from the trenches.
We’d been digging now for three days. Three days of shovels and pickaxes denting and cracking into frozen clay. The trenches filled up with ground water as fast as we dug them.
The glowing cherry in my hand dies, and the last bit of warmth leaves me with it.
In this new darkness, rain began to fall.