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Poetry Winter 2019    fiction    all issues


Cover Florian Klauer

Meli Broderick Eaton
Three Mississippi
& other poems

Andrea Reisenauer
What quiet ache do you wear?
& other poems

Alex Wasalinko
Two Dreams of Vegas
& other poems

AJ Powell
The Grammar Between Us
& other poems

Emma Flattery
Our Shared Jungle, Mr. Conrad
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
The Desert Cometh
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Jaybird by the Fence
& other poems

Brandon Hansen
& other poems

Andy Kerstetter
The Inferno Lessons
& other poems

Michael Fleming
Space Walk
& other poems

Richard Cole
Perfect Corporations
& other poems

Susan Bouchard
Circus Performers
& other poems

Edward Garvey
Nine Songs of Love
& other poems

Mehrnaz Sokhansanj
Sea of Detachment
& other poems

Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius
& other poems

Claudia Skutar
Homage II
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
Knitting Sample
& other poems

Megan Skelly
Puzzle Box Ghazal
& other poems

Tess Cooper
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
& other poems

Catherine R. Cryan
& other poems

Writer's Site

Abigail F. Taylor


They come from sound and flotsam

forgotten the way a first kiss is forgot

and found again in a sudden flash of delight,

bright against a breastbone that has been wrought

into a hard, old thing.

They come down from storm clouds,

bow into the wind, magnificent and pale

like women who wait along the shore

for men to return, dragging fin whale

behind them.

They come in twos and fours of pointed wing,

sing to these lonesome ocean wives,

and soar past the salt drenched wharf.

They go beyond the sickle moon to live the lives

of sailors who died too soon.

She Was Lilac

and bold barefooted by the muddy bank

of thin ice, came to drink in that splendid

isolation. Her bone-pale youth transcended,

so he came, cloven hoof & quivering flank.

The cud of his mouth burned as it sank

to her honeysuckle skin, scented

heavy as the altar candles gifted

by her mother. But she left him manque

as she darted like gossamer through the glen.

Oh the game! The game! That uncertain squeeze

in his lungs by the quake and disease

of loneliness. She waited, as golden Helen,

calling for him from the blooms. And again.

Calling, as naked as the stretch towards heaven.

South of the Reservation

This house.

This house of mud daubers

and fried bread. Chicory burning

on the stove. Cigarettes blooming

out of a flat tray, like stakes

in the Llano Estacado,

where you were from.

This mean old dog tied to the yard

a yard covered in burs, yellow weeds,

and the gently swaying laundry.

He doesn’t wish to be touched

unless there is caution

unless you know of his bite.

Then maybe.

Maybe you can touch him

a little.

The rain came in bursts of heat.

Then the sky opened and breathed.

And it burned these shoulders

of ours, as we sucked sugar water

from cheep plastic tubes,

fluttered in the yard like hummingbirds

grass clinging to our bare ankles.


They appeared that morning fat, gray,

and so blissfully unaware

they were unwanted and, elsewhere,

in the garden, strawberries swelled

with open wounds and there

were silver trails that dwelled

among leaves, like railways.

You appeared and expelled

the slugs with violent salt. The stray

one she tried to save hissed a prayer

from its long body and she stared

at you, quiet, but her eyes yelled:

They appeared that morning fat, gray,

and so blissfully unaware!

Jaybird by the Fence

She had seen it through the dawn mist

folded in adolescent wing

next to the begonias. Flies swarmed.

A sorry little thing, too beautiful

to be wrapped in a plastic sack

but it moved its head.

She could not touch it while

it lived.

By noon, it shuffled into the twist

of shade. Ants slipped like a shoestring

around it. It bobbed its head in the warm

swell of air fixed inside the unusable

body. What could she do but go back

to the house, pretend there was nothing dead

in the garden? Eventually, the heat took it. Mild wind

kept the stink away.

She hadn’t meant for it to suffer.

She wished she had a brother,

someone who knew the language of rocks.

Abigail F Taylor has been previously published in Illya’s Honey, 3Elements Review, and Cattlemen and Cadillacs, among others. Her novella, The Ballad of a Muscogee Trapper, recently debuted with accompanying artwork by @samhears & is available on her website.

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