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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

Kayla E.L. Ybarra

Packing And Unpacking Forever

Uprooted frequently, familiar was

the smell of cardboard and defrost,

cigarette ash in strewn-about coke cans,

papers, stapled wings, on the doors.

The hall slowly piles up and empties,

ferns wilting by the window of my college

apartment, a museum of my small life

stuffed into banker boxes again.

Move to the gated community of dreams,

a tiny quad of tiny people in tiny

homes nestled between crawl space and

yearning to make room for more.

Goose Song

“What punishments of God are not gifts?”
—Stephen Colbert

The copper wire stripped

in the dingy garage,

The geese that took shelter

behind the tall grass,

The candy rain pneumonia

we ingested as children,

sing of plaster, bruises, and glass.

The cicada shells scattered

at the roots of the willow,

The crochet baby blanket

brought places you’ve slept,

The things we lamented

but learned how to love,

cry for meaning, home, and regret.


I went to gather flowers

between the veil of this world

and the next, when God peers

down from the heavens and

is so close to us.

I sat on the swinging bench,

freckled in the moonlight,

and thought of Qamarun

who illuminated my path

on the cold walk back home.

Only The All Knowing could hear

the crying in my throat.

I didn’t find sleep, kept up

by the chorus of rain that tried

to fill your absence.

Snapped 5 stems until quiet.

Their sweet scent carried me

while angels wept, busied with

their pens, watching me pull

stolen gifts up my sleeves.

I tried to retrace my steps

but they wouldn’t bring back

your sweet laughter on the phone.

I miss you so much though

the lavender hasn’t dried.

Pear Tree

The heavy fruit that fell

from the pear tree at Cherokee

Path was grainy and sweet

like my clock radio’s whispers

from the yellowed window

and reminded me of grandma’s

laughter in old photo albums.

I was always told I resembled

my grandmother. Marla,

the pearl hunter, the stern

traveler who never settled.

Catching her fruit where God willed.

I hid my pile of pears in

a bush fort and snuck away

to rifle through the dumpsters

and play in the street.

Marla and her mother lived

in Las Vegas where she would

flip back and forth between

Jeopardy and the Gospels

until they would both die.

Moe’s Garden

The best tomato I ever ate was from a garden I built with my grandpa, Bobber.

He lived next door to Moe’s Tavern, a bar where local fishermen

would thaw after long days of sitting on the ice.

One morning I was caught whittling in the garden

by a bar patron and was told to go down to grandpa’s shop instead.

The Big Mouth Billy Bass collected dust there in the basement.

Tackle-box memories collected there like night-crawlers.

Bobber grew too old to keep hopping on the riding lawn mower

with me on his lap for rounds of weeding.

We didn’t grow flowers but you can’t bring tomatoes to a funeral.

I read a verse about Zechariah who told us God remembers.

The garden of what used to be so many vines and fruits

growing from the ground where we’d unearth bait.

Now the garden is paved over with tar for a local bank.

They don’t know that a child used to run there barefoot in the rows.

Kayla E.L. Ybarra is a humble poet who delicately weaves stories of loss, offering moments of introspective grief for readers to ponder upon. Kayla recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelors in Feminist Studies. With a passion to contribute positively to human life, Kayla aspires to uplift others through her poetry and future endeavors. Through her words, she hopes to ignite empathy, fostering moments of reflection and meaningful connections.

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