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Poetry Summer 2023    fiction    all issues


Joel Filipe

Kristina Cecka
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Uncivil War of Love
& other poems

LuAnn Keener-Mikenas
Skunks at Twilight
& other poems

Alyssa Sego
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Forest of One
& other poems

Brent M. Foster
Ode to Darwin
& other poems

Jack Giaour
trans man is feeling blue
& other poems

Alan Gann
how strange
& other poems

Richard Baldo
The Privilege
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Holly York
As it turned out, there was no bomb on board
& other poems

Celeste Briefs
Late Poppies
& other poems

Kayla E.L. Ybarra
Goose Song
& other poems

S.E. Ingraham
Leaving to Arrive
& other poems

Rachel Robb
Molting Scarlet Tanager
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
Sauna by a Finnish lake at Midsummer
& other poems

Ellen Romano
Seven Sisters
& other poems

Greg Hart
False Coordinates
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
Southern Charm
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells

Who knows why

some oak leaves remain

latched to the branches

that sprouted them, enduring the lion

gales of January, the grizzly hale

of March, while others float

effortlessly to the ground,

never meant to hold on.

Miscarriage I

The fox lay mangled

on the side of the highway, dead, of course, in a pool of ended potential. The days she once knew—free but bound to her role in predator and prey, shackled to the means by which she survived—were over, and her shredded pelt could not, at this point, even find use in a furrier’s workshop had she surrendered her dignity in exchange for a vain existence traveling on the hood of a coat in the upper echelons of the city, feeling the arias of sopranos resonate in the tips of her fur from a Kennedy Center box seat or the September whir of the turnpike whooshing through her cayenne and ginger tones from the passenger side of a top-down Aston Martin.

The beast would never know what tragedies would have hit her if the tires had not, and yet, she still had work to do in this world. She was no longer just a fox, but had she ever really been? If she lived on now within the veins of vultures and crows, raccoons and coyotes, within the grass peeking out from the gravel, hadn’t she, too, always lived as a composite of the past? An amalgam of all the realities that were once possible—the ones that still are and the ones that are no longer. One life had come and gone, sure. But what is it to release one unrealized dream when standing at the threshold of

infinite what ifs?

Forest of One

The clouds paint the sky in watercolors

            as I commit my feet to the Earth        blessing 

the worms and voles                blessing the needle

-laden soil weaving between my toes as I sink 

            beneath the surface      Thrushes play their tinny flutes

and I laugh at the quilt of doubt I patched

            from years of revolving doors

and fire escapes            Why has it felt so hard to find freedom 

in stillness?      The way trees have done for ages?

            Instead of asking if I will endure the months

heavy            with bitter snow falls                   with the trust 

needed to swear             nothing will change            or asking if 

I will tire of this view after            I let my skin harden

let my hair fill with the smell of dust                         can I 

intertwine my branches and vow to bloom

a ring for each year                   I’ve forgiven myself?

            Can I keep pushing toward a new unknown?

Can I let myself settle                        into an evergreen existence?

Allowing everything else to whorl around me?

Anne Marie Wells is the author of Survived By (Curious Corvid Publishing, 2023), the inaugural winner of the Wanderlust Travel Book Award for her memoir, Happy Iceland, through Wild Dog Press, and the 2023 winner of the Cinnamon Press Chapbook Contest for her collection, Mother, (v). She is the lead faculty for the DC Chapter of the Community Literature Initiative poetry publishing program and strategic partnership fellow for The Poetry Lab.

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