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Poetry Summer 2014    fiction    all issues


Anne Rankin-Kotchek
Letter to the World
from a Dying Woman
& other poems

Sara Graybeal
Ghetto City
& other poems

Tee Iseminger
& other poems

Lisa Beth Fulgham
After They Sold the Cows...
& other poems

Mary Mills
The Practical Knowledge
of Women
& other poems

Monika Cassel
Waldschatten, Muttersprache
& other poems

Michael Fleming
To a Fighter
& other poems

Daniel Stewart
& other poems

John Glowney
& other poems

Hannah Callahan
The Ptarmigan Suite
& other poems

Lee Kisling
How the Music Came
to My Father
& other poems

Jose A. Alcantara
Finding the God Particle
& other poems

David A. Bart
Veteran’s Park
& other poems

Greg Grummer
War Reportage
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

J. K. Kitchen
Anger Kills Himself
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Man Who Wished
He Was Lego
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart
Scylla of the Alabama
& other poems

James P. Leveque
Three Films of Jean Painlevé
& other poems

Kelsey Charles
& other poems

Therese L. Broderick
& other poems

Lane Falcon
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Bird
& other poems

Phoebe Reeves
Every Petal
& other poems

David Livingstone Fore
Eternity is a very long time...
& other poems

Tim Hawkins
Northern Idyll
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
On the Pillow Where You Lie
& other poems

Joey DeSantis
Baby Names
& other poems

Cameron Price
Every Morning
& other poems

David Walker
Sestina for Housesitting
& other poems

Helen R. Peterson
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart

Scylla of the Alabama

Scylla’s taking more

to men

than she’d ever

care to admit.

These days you’ll find her going through a few.

            I saw her in the river once,

            playing at ancient catfish—giant,

            grotesque, ages-long whiskers mingled

            with lights reflected from the bridge

            all distorted, all crude and reconfigured

            something elses.

            All slicked and reforming bodies—

            the fish, the lights, the water,

            and us on a fish fry party boat,

            eating them all.

Mapless in a Recurring Landscape

Everything is like this:

Air, brown cloud line, old

water stains on linen.

Life in sepia

dust-bowl, derelict.

I’ll ask the tumble

weed where to go.

I’ll ask the sage

what I smell.

Where is the yellow

page. Where the faint-

print words.

Thirteen Ways of Looking

after Wallace Stevens


When in motion, attend

to the still.


Out. For glinting yellows,

deer by the road.


At a half-empty glass

as a drink.


Behind you.


Down. Watch for pennies.

Pennies are money, too.


With mirrors

surrounding your head.


Relax your eyes

and a picture pops out.


Scan the tuna salad. Leave

no scales.


Up, maybe

at a blackbird.


Use binoculars. Use microscopes.

Point great lenses to the sky.


Never at the sun. Never at the face

of the holy.


At the news. Would you

look at the news?


Seeing the crowd, populate it

with persons.

Things to Remember

The crunch of gravel under

sneakers at 6:30 in the morning

when the pine trees, even

the school buses, were gray.

The way the mailbox was always empty,

and a raised flag meant we would

meet later in marshy woods where

an old shack no one built fell

apart a little whenever we weren’t looking.

The long route to the county school where

whites and blacks were pretty

much equal in numbers. How we liked

to think we were enlightened, but lived

on the edge of town for a reason.

The ditch that ran up to the road,

perpendicular. The one

we called the Amazon,

when the Alabama was

only the river. How Selma is

a place of water and rust and blood

and ghosts. Dad’s fried deer.

Where the blackberries grew.

An empty trailer lot with no old

shack behind it, ancient Amazonian

tree stumps. A dull bus driving by

in gray morning.

Lost: Alvin the Aardvark

When Mom finally moved I’d forgotten

that toy, and we tore up the trailer,

because you can’t sell or relocate

wet pressed board and punched-in walls,

but when I saw it—

            I’d had a plastic anteater. It rolled,

            and it clicked, Velcro tongue

            shooting out at blue-fuzz ants. I remembered orange

            about it, and green. I remembered the mud

            beneath us, how the water leaked and ran

            below, through the floor.

            I can’t remember, though, how it got

            there, the anteater. I’d never go

            under there with a toy:

            Spiders and snakes settled the damp, the cold

            aluminum skirting sometimes soundtracked

            in the paw-scrapes of infant cats and dogs.

            I’d crawl, flashlight in hand, toward the weak

            yelps of a newborn litter. But not with an anteater—

When the wide trailer split, saturated particle

board shred open in mash-up of creak and hiss,

it was revelation:

the mud, the dirt, five-gallon buckets and beer cans,

a crooked Stonehenge of half-buried

cement blocks, rotting softballs, and among the brown

and gray, the orange.

Fifteen years and still

bright, undamaged polymer, but sticker-eyes

peeled, strange blind plastic creature,

the wet smack of suction popping,

anteater removed.

Jessica M. Lockhart is from Selma, Alabama. She recently completed her MA studies at Mississippi State University, where she currently teaches English Composition.

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