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Poetry Summer 2020    fiction    all issues

Poetry Summer 2020 cover


Cover Vecteezy

Rodrigo Dela Peña
If a Wound is an Entrance for Light
& other poems

Shellie Harwood
Early Evening, Late September
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
The Deacon’s Lament
& other poems

J. H. Hall
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Two Aphids
& other poems

Sugar le Fae
& other poems

Lauren Sartor
Shopping Cart Woman
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
Mushroom Hunting, Jackson County, Kansas
& other poems

Elisa Carlsen
& other poems

Daniel Gorman
The Boy Achilles
& other poems

Samara Hill
I Look for Her Mostly Everywhere
& other poems

Nicole Justine Reid
Returning to Sensual
& other poems

David Ginsberg
Butterfly Wings
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
Café Sant Ambroeus
& other poems

George R. Kramer
Young Odysseus
& other poems

Amy Swain
In Praise of Trees
& other poems

Frederick Shiels
Bad October: 2016
& other poems

Matthew A. Hamilton
Summer of '89
& other poems

Chris Kleinfelter
Getting from There to Here
& other poems

Martin Conte
Ghazal for the Shipwrecked
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
I Do Not Owe You My Beauty
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Dark Water
& other poems

David Ginsberg

Butterfly Wings

If reality is perception

therapy is time travel.

Reflection is like stepping

on butterfly wings.

So . . . how have you been?

Every question is a cliché.

Any thoughts of suicide?

Every answer is a diversion.

Pins and Needles


is a hunger, not a habit.

              A destructive comfort.

An out-of-office reply

from which stress is the sender.

              Cuticle picking, grazing

              for a loose end to peel

              down like chipped paint.

Rip into the flesh.

Self-inflicted cannibalism.

              Lunula infections.

The insatiable urge to redirect

the flow of endorphins.

              Open a trench at the root.

              Flood the streets

              under the crescent moon.

Twist the tip

tightly with a shirt.

              Search for an unused needle.

Hammer the spike deep

into the tracks.

              Listen to the screech as an

              engineer grips the brakes

              of a mid-century locomotive.

The Moment

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

—Ernest Hemingway

The doctor will be with you

in just a moment.

But a moment is more than a moment

when you have nothing to do.

The chair is cold, the room

is dark with a soft red glow.

As if we are waiting for a print to dry.

A print to keep in my wallet.

She turns to me and sends a smile

with her lips, but not her eyes.

She is here, living in the moment.

I am lost among the clouds.


We brought our passion

but not for waiting.

The clock is just a still frame.

Still waiting.

The doctor enters.

For her, not for me.

I am just a watcher

lost among the clouds.

We shift our gaze and smile, together.

It is our turn for our moment

but the frame remains still.

I stay confused, for the moment.

Not her, she understands.

I still remain

lost among the clouds.

She turns to me and says she’s sorry

with her lips, and her eyes.

So I come down, from the clouds

at least for the moment.

Without a print to keep in my wallet.

Colors and Shapes

All the colors and all the shapes

but all they see are black and white.

Yet we see color, we see the shape

of our tiny baby daughter’s head

developing limbs, pink transparent skin

blue veins, two eyes, a nose, a mouth

a beating heart, a flicker of hope

a second chance to complete our trio.

But that was then, and now we see

her precious flicker has gone out

and with it our hope, replaced

with only one word—why?

Cotton quicksand and saline rain

King Midas calls my name

but I refuse to accept that I will

never have the chance to hold her.

And in this moment, I open my eyes

and see every color and every shape.

Just as the folds in the drapes

allow hope to shine in, I hold her high

this child, this life, part me, part you

our sweet Persephone.

We smile and laugh, our trio complete

but only in a dream.

Dujardin Deconstructed

Van Gogh never witnessed his paintings

hanging in the halls of the Musée d’Orsay.

Otis Redding never heard the radio play

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

Many an ill-fate. An allegory on the transitoriness

and the brevity of life.

But Grandpa sits back in his favorite chair

dreaming of days—long lifted away.

Thoughts that drift off into a memory

of children blowing bubbles in the breeze

with smiles as wide as Grandma’s arms

when her family walks through the front door.

David Ginsberg hails from Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently studying Informatics at IUPUI. He enjoys cookouts with family, Friday dinner date nights, and listening to punk rock with his daughter. David wants nothing more than to live a quiet, private life with his family.

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