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Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers

The Hairpin Speaks

I refuse to police the wind, though it pleases me

to ease through

the obedient traffic of shine.

                                        A woman can seek to fasten

and still allow disarray. Say, the wisp at her brow.

True, I’m fond of curves that turn back

on themselves,

                         an undulant view.

                                                      Swept up

in my grasp, a woman’s hair is her name.

See how it’s written in cursive.


I’m not that vain. Bent metal. Take a wire:

coat hanger, staple, paper clip.

                                       Clever, yes. But if I’d meant

you harm, I’d have maimed and murdered centuries ago.

Well, there was the long, efficient kansashi.

In those days if a woman unbundled her hair, beware

one’s throat. Or any vital organ.

Hammock, Rain

Not to be outdone, I stand in the living room—

this is after I lose my bicycle,

after I lose the boy who creeps me out with his stare—

and having no other recourse, I admit I am poor:

no ride, no love. The day is short of rain,

and I’m wishing for a nap in a hammock.

I know moves in a hammock

better than I know moves in the boiler room.

After all, consider the rain.

Lately my dream cycle

has become dimly existent, piss-poor.

My favorite pastime is to sit and stare.

It’s like falling over a toy on the stair-

way, like being lost in a Florida hammock

and the sun beating through each pore.

On Tuesdays I quit sleeping in the guest bedroom,

quit riding my motorcycle—

too dangerous, especially in the rain.

So who cares whether it’s going to rain?

I refuse to station myself at the window and stare

to see if the weather will cycle

to new weather. Some days the hammock

sways. Other days there is no room

in the ground for rain to pour

its apologies for drought onto the grass. Poor

rain, and all its regrets for being rain.

I retreat to the dining room

to watch the squirrels, who are too busy to stare.

My day has turned into an empty hammock.

The best memory is my old red tricycle.

I could sleep late on Wednesdays or cycle

my fantasies into a faster gear to pour

new life into my secret hammock.

By now I’m wishing for rain.

I don’t care how many people stare.

It’s my bathroom.

I shout, Give me room, people, to ride my unicycle.

Is it worth a stare, this hotdog lunch of the poor?

I am the hammock, you are the rain.

Headlong Spell

Pelsified if not jibbed with anathema.

It balms the heart, how the river

birch skews and rusts any question.

But the ragweed caterpillar, when?

Blue leafstone trees a loud mercy.

My father housed such amble,

his days pinnate with inflorescence,

his nights a catechism of wood battles.

O pester the rain, pilfer my father’s sky.

My Nails Tap a Tabletop

                                    They wear identical skirts

with white hems. They are bonnets without ribbons,

lost whalebones & ribs of miniature foxes.

I bunch my fingers & kiss the nails

like some good Italian. My old habit is to flick them,

one by one, against the thumb. Their duty is to give

the lover another place for lips, the new mother

a handful of tiny pink shells.

            The longest one tends its proximity

to finger food & loves to ping the glass

glad with wine. An agile host, riding

a wave of goodbye moons. Easily broken

like a heart—quick to repair, unlike a heart.

When cold, blue as a plucked hen.

                                                I once lost one,

that blackened curl of horn bone, that tough old goat.

It pinched & pinched until the end. Having shed it,

I didn’t know myself, my toe a soft bunny.

O fortunate, nail-forsaken toe. O strange body

fleshy & flightless. Fish, for a time, swimming free.

Ever adaptable, the nail is the best chameleon.

It is a useful beauty.

                        House outgrown, it inches out

into the mystery of air. On relentless wings, long

& graceful, an albatross soaring the open sea.


Of salt, never enough. Though you’re sink-

ing through the snow,

its light crust now caved in, a well

peppered with dirty ice. And frozen fields

no horse would care to pull a sleigh over.

Some do it well with off: a will, even;

a song, a string of notes.

Others know little but broken

table legs and backs of chairs. No wonder

the straits of their hope.


A pair traps what’s in the middle,

like when my mother safety-pinned

the top sheet to each side of the bed

so my sister and I, her two small contradictions,

would quit our tugs-of-war.

What’s in the middle: an interruption.

I expected your long retirement, not this chunk

of death in the middle

of what would have been simple and periodic,

winding like a river. Not a sequestering, Paul.

And don’t think I’ll forget it either, though I wasn’t there.

Your battle, the silence after.

A rainforest—say, along the Amazon,

where I’ve always wished to go—is nothing

like a long chain of clover blossoms.

—for P. R.

Susan Laughter Meyers, of Givhans, SC, is the author of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (2013), winner of the Cider Press Review Editor’s Prize. Her collection Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006) received the SC Poetry Book Prize. Her work has also been published in The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, and other publications. A long-time writing instructor, she has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

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