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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

Kimberly Sailor

Two Aphids

Has the house on the corner

always been vermilion red?

Just like the back of the still-living aphid

that sap sucking sucker

trapped between screen and pane

of my awning crank window. Turn, turn, stuck;

does your God hear the prayers of insects?

The tired I tolerate is not easily describable:

a stuttering, clumsy, make-him-hurt sleep-step

where my blue-toned under-eyes

are bridal white now

because blood stopped flowing up

to save the feet below

that still have to move, on special occasions.

If only I could prioritize so precisely,

without emotion, just instinctual action

but instead: buy new fitted sheets

with stubborn manufacturing lines

suffocating inside a cellophane bag

sleep, sleep, divorce with recreational teas

and herbal drugs.

You won’t let our dog Sally

lie on the couch

but you screwed a work-girl

down there on the cushions

so I really don’t know what’s off-limits,

what’s even possible now,

for that aphid, or you.

Genesis Ribs & Wings

you killed my sick chicken

that’s all it took to fall for you

I added backyard hens to my woodshed;

a Madison hipster.

Religion in southern Wisconsin is biking to holy brunches

of farm-raised salmon on beds of fleshy arugula

what color were your hands

after the slaughter?

I ask

because blood looks different on everyone

and I’m still waiting to study your skin

kind of you, to wrap the dead hen

in a floral dishcloth, the Shroud of Turin;

though you wouldn’t know about that,

because your Easters are red ales and spiral hams.

The bird’s funeral was brief, but reverent:

I think about the service when dividing hostas atop her grave

should have consumed

a tender eulogy of beef jerky and pork rinds with you.

Wish my husband

offered such direct masculinity

but his knife, rests at the throat,

of church choir high notes.

Husband-Adam is still perfect

in His image:

didn’t even interrupt

when a woman laid her love-liness atop mine

that Creation Christmas

in a classier than expected Comfort Inn

though who of anyone

wild or mild

would stop two

goddamn gorgeous women?

Ain’t no deniers of that faith.

All three of you correctly evangelized:

I’m not a real farmer, or a Biblical scholar.

For the birds, this attraction to everyone;

duality, in an unbalanced trinity

with God perched on my shoulder

leaning over to braid my hair

as my husband,


and scripture-read,

stirs chicken risotto on the stove.

After Eleven Summers,
She Said She Never Really Loved Me Anyway

when your insides

still recognize another


syncing during the day


to avoid acquired heart disease

the only way forward

is robotics:

find a simulacrum

of sturdy aluminum

to do the ticking

and beating

for you

Faded Green

I am afraid

of Ireland.

Psychoanalysts agree, wagging thee:

unstable euro

thinning dollar

Brexit bullshit

border guards

queen’s opinion

religious tension

rowdy Cork lads

craggy sheep-shit lanes

opinionated Dublin drunks

colour-coded Belfast neighbourhoods

unpopular view of all things American and British and somehow Asian, too,

God help the purity of the Emerald Isle! May she stay jewel’d and potato’d forever!

I say no. also, christ:

not any of that.

Maybe you are comprehensively anxious

about light treason and unjust sanctions?


I am afraid

to see our honeymoon place

where we laughed ten years ago

in love

with matching backpacks

and rented bicycles

because nothing is like that


25 Years Later

Even now, I talk chopped // small bursts are easy to release // I’m not

in smoke-stitched sweaters // I outgrew // thin fuzzy gym shorts // I can’t count

grocery money from Feds // I have investments // I grew // I have billions // (I do not)

sleep in a bed someone else bought // Though I do sleep, sometimes.

I still feel // the panic of a snarl-headed girl // fourth grade // I need glasses

can’t circle her state // can’t see that far // but can still find

solace in custody-dad tires // arriving at the school yard // I love public education //

good teachers save you // Jesus could not, but state aid did.

Even now // with teal household pottery // glazed by poor Navajo hands

about my age // When all of that other life happened.

Even now // with Aran Islands scarves // fitness punch cards

groceries delivered by drones // crisp white pants requiring special detergent //

And a bed that holds the weight, dreams, and children of two.

a friend stops by with cake

will she smell smoke

from 25 years ago

unfurling from my closet

and will she meet

that other, captive me?

Kimberly Sailor of Mount Horeb, WI, is a 2020 poetry fellowship recipient at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Sailor, a 2019 Hal Prize poetry finalist, is also the editor-in-chief of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board, with more than 300 music publication credits. Her poetry has appeared in the Peninsula Pulse, Sixfold, and the Eunoia Review. She is the author of the fiction novel The Clarinet Whale, and serves as an elected official on her local Board of Education.

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