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Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Holly Cian

Waiting for the Metro

The earth wraps its limbs around

the color of my spine. I can see you,

standing in the doorway of your heart,

your drawings like mango,

a mouthful of sunset tossed

into your selected lap,

the translucent shooting

small as a rabbit, thin

as a spine of pearls

my dear

against the beat of soft night

the specimen of your voice

is abob in the eager trap of itself.

When I say, help me, I do not mean

Give yourself to me

You are all that I need

My world is improved by you.

When I pull at the splits

of my hair and skin

there is something just past you

that I want to get away from.

Nothing like love to let itself out

into a night of strangers

buttoning their chins

turning to the dim light.


Sometimes people feel needed less and less. The air folds me like an extra blanket.

The air is a part of the touch of a shoulder. The room is quiet in the thick air.

I would never worry when all your heart thickens like a collapsing structure.

In space, your limbs fold out. When you disappear, the air unbuttons.

I examine the dimples in my skin through the bedsheets. In the morning,

I spread my fingertips like a lost doll. In my car, a piece of light spits

through the windshield. We are not alone here, you of the opposite direction.

At times I taste like cold breath when the room is empty. At times the space

is like a large bird, I do not know how, just watching. But, when I was home

and the room was dark with blinds and burnt-out bulbs, the muffled murmur

of the apartment next door, the porch dusted with pollen, a half dozen letters

rambled onto the table, I invited the bird inside and gave him what I had.


Tonight, house lights glow from the hills like the fattest stars.

Plump with the day’s satisfaction, you thank your lucky stars.

I’m at the sink washing plates, at the window,

you are tampering with the stars.

You never know if the light comes from within them

or outside of them, but everyone else knows the stars

do a bit of both, we all reflect things. After all

even you reflect stars

or share space with them, are aware

of the existence of large pockets of light; tiny stars,

I’m at the window, drying dishes and watering the plants

perked up by the light of the stars;

I am imagining plants breathing, they are aglow in cell

regeneration, they are like stars

in that I don’t know when they start to die

and so they die; we are like stars,

too, I don’t know when we started to die

but the whole world is doing it. Calculated stars,

we’re set afire. We burn through existence.

I shake in my bed and walk out to the stars.

There are clouds tonight. The street

lamps flicker, like stars.

Pentecost at the
Minneapolis Institute of Art

High cheekbones press to the fatal sky,

new halos like yellow suns,

throats point in shadow.

The language looks like blood

to me, the symbolic bird

something ominous,

to be feared, emanating

lines on blotches of blue storm.

I am told that these are tongues

of fire, and I take my own cracked

hand into my pocket and finger

the holes of my keys.

The tongue is a spare line.

What wonder the eyes feel,

splattered into cells

and amphibious. In the days

that followed,

and the days in between,

did they wipe their mouths

with a spare or resolute


What pulse the skin feels,

thickening like a blaze

beneath it.

illness is

the opal you called a pearl; the sun in a polaroid you

called the spots just a whiteness with breath that burned.


your unclaimed moan filled the room;

what we have here is losing

air and water, palpebral response:

the doctors poke around for more but cannot find it.

your gasp is purple like a sawed off tongue

and in September,

a month that was invented,

cursed, held and wasted—

there is a magnet on my fridge

with brighter air.

what space can we give you?

what space do we have to give?

Holly Cian holds a BA in Creative Writing from the College of Charleston and an MA in Literature from Western Carolina University. Her work has been published in Pinesong, The Great Smokies Review, Rougarou, and is forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly and The Lindenwood Review. She works in animal rescue and lives in Asheville, NC, with three cats.

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