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Poetry Winter 2020    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Winter 20


French silk sample book

Paula Reed Nancarrow
Morning Coffee
& other poems

Jill Burkey
& other poems

Oak Morse
Boys Born out of Blues
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Engine Ode
& other poems

Monique Jonath
a mi sheberach
& other poems

Lisa Rachel Apple
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Human Condition
& other poems

Kirsten Hippe-Rychlik
and we are echoes
& other poems

Devon Bohm
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
I Rest My Mother Tongue
& other poems

John Delaney
Poem as Map
& other poems

Elizabeth Bayou-Grace
Fire in Paradise
& other poems

In Utero
& other poems

Michelle Lerner
Ode to Exhaustion
& other poems

William French
I Have Never Been
& other poems

Josiah Patterson Wheatley
Coeur de Fleurs
& other poems

Karo Ska
womb song
& other poems

Robyn Joy
& other poems

Han Raschka
Love Language
& other poems

Rebbekah Vega-Romero
The Memory in My Pinky
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
Europe, too, Came from Somewhere Else
& other poems

Scott Ruescher
At the Childhood Home of Ozzy Osbourne
& other poems

Emily R. Daniel
Visitation Dreams
& other poems

Lindsay Gioffre
Toxicodendron Radicans [Sonnet 1]
& other poems

Lindsay Gioffre

The Hunt


There is a fawn in the woods

unaccompanied by its mother.

It bleats—or is that sheep—

but she utters no response.

There is a wolf: crouched and hungry,

salivating a river that carries away

the ants at his feet.


How tender, how soft. How instinctually urgent. How red his muzzle becomes as the fawn falls silent. Artemis weeps. Hunters curse her father. The virginal moon begins to wane.

Toxicodendron Radicans [Sonnet 1]

toks-ee-ko-DEN-dron RAD-ee-kans

There’s ivy growing in my head, pushing

out against my skull. Cracking it, one leaf

tentatively reaches for the sunlight

before the rest burst through. I have migraines

that not even Eve can alleviate,

no matter how much she wishes to pluck

these leaves. My mother gave up long ago;

the pink blisters swallowing her hands whole.

Ideas turn to soil—words decompose

as the ivy’s poison seeps into grey

matter. Eaten alive. Lobotomize

me with herbicides, becoming Eden:

root my mind in unimaginable

perfection. Cast away all its toxins.

Hedera Helix [Sonnet 2]

HED-ur-uh HEE-licks

The promises you made me encircled

my heart like ivy, delicate tendrils

tentatively spreading to fill every

empty space between fragile bones. Crawling

from one failing organ to the next: leaves

ushering in revitalization;

sunlight warming the emptiness within

ribs. There are days when I want to cut myself

open—unworthy to be made terra

cotta—and let the vines pour out for you.

Praying to be touched by such a green thumb.

Yet, this is not that kind of love. There’s no

roots feasting off white blood cells. No vines in

tender veins. You’ve chosen to nurture me.

A Mother’s Love
is Our First Heartbreak

We place them on

the curb, trash bags

full of lawn debris

from when the tress

exhaled. I exhaled.

My mother exhaled

smoke from her

cigarette that refused

to stay lit, forced out

by a breeze shaking

the trees. Until one

comes down through

the center of my chest.

Hearth torn in two.

Home no more a place

for my heart than


rake-blistered hands.

I Slept with a Siren because
Her Breasts Looked like Sea Glass

I have thrown my heart to sea. Thinking it would be safer

there, amongst ravenous sharks, than in the palm of your

hand. Memories of you still haunt, each one tinged red.

Covering me in blood; chumming vicious waters with my

body. (Did you know they can smell blood from a mile away?)

I wonder where the undertow will carry my heart: will it

be speared through the bow of shipwreck, will it wash up on

shore as a prize for a girl building sand castles. The perfect

topper for a queen’s tower. But this thing is no beautiful

product of an “x” on a map. She should set it adrift again,

letting the sharks take hold of the remnants that never made

it through your teeth. Each empty ventricle spreading across

the water’s surface like moonlight. A pitiful piece of meat

sacrificed to Amphitrite. But it is not enough. Not enough to

explain what happens to a man who goes down with his ship

or a person who simply cannot muster the words, I do not

love you anymore.

Lindsay Gioffre is a poet from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They currently reside in Orlando, Florida.

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