By Kelvin M. Knight
He pirouetted through oceanic whiteness, leaving ripples of himself. Drifting through these, she gasped at the softness of his touch. A touch bursting with promise: that dance he’d promised her but she’d always been too busy to accept. Back then. Back there. Where cares were weighty. Where duty outweighed sin. Where their love went unrecognized. Because of him. Because of her. Shuddering, she delighted as his essence entwined with hers. Him. Always him. Her true love. Her guiding light. He was dancing with her. Finally. Undeniably. Swishing skyward, they stirred this whiteness into a home that had always been theirs.
Spring came on reluctantly this year—
like the probing of a diffident lover,
uncertain of welcome.
It gave me time to remember
how much the heat of the new sun
felt like a caress
and how the breeze from the south
made me feel like shedding layers—
clothing and skin,
and running wild-hearted
through the first green.
Steve Deutsch’s work has most recently appeared in 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.
I took a sip and dug a little deep
not knowing what to keep so I let it slip
when words are left unsaid and attentions left unpaid
so I ran instead for I’ve been misled
reaching high and feeling low
in the radio, Evenflow
thoughts arrive like butterflies (Vedder, Gossard)
out of guise and in my eyes
have mere words begun to flee
in my head I disagree
time to think time to ponder
will it be enough I surely wonder
By Katharine Griffiths
Healing hands, harming fists
Comforting embrace, crossed arms
Soulful gaze, empty look
Validating ear, deafening silence
Understanding heart, selfish attitude
Heartfelt words, stinging criticism
In death sorely missed, free to find bliss
And then, before I could guess,
you had crawled back, silent, strong,
you were resilient, I’ll give you that.
First, a smudge, jet black, spreading,
smokey, to an ink stain, which unfurled, erupted
to a bloom of thick cloud, ill and dense.
The uncertainty in myself returned,
mind and body, and while I was glad
to have you gone, there was something beautiful
in your return, and how secret you’ve become,
like a rush of starlings, folding, enveloping
upon themselves hidden before a clean slate of night sky.
Hell-bent on repentance
I dug up my past
– a stack of confessions
in black ink and metaphors –
true and false,
unstructured and incomplete.
Forgotten in the pages was
a decade-old whispered poem
to a future lover,
the writer of words and dreamer of dreams
who could make me believe
his theories of history and heaven
I wanted to write him poetry while the world burned
through its tribulation.
But you only like poems that rhyme.
By Sarah Ann
He walks away with a swagger. I want him to pause, but he marches into his future.
I don’t know how we got here. We were determined to win where others failed. Death and separation took many. We were never smug offering consolation, knowing we wouldn’t follow the same path. But we got lost.
We have flattened the grass with circular arguments; his need for adventure, my promises to change.
If you love somebody, set them free. So I have. I will get used to cooking for one and a half-empty fridge. And I’ll survive, longing for his return.