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Poetry Summer 2015    fiction    all issues


Cover Hannah Lansburgh

Jennifer Leigh Stevenson
For Your Own Good
& other poems

Marianne S. Johnson
& other poems

Kate Magill
Nest Study #1
& other poems

Karen Kraco
& other poems

Matt Daly
Beneath Your Bark
& other poems

Paulette Guerin
& other poems

Hank Hudepohl
Crossed Words
& other poems

Alma Eppchez
At the Back of the Road Atlas
& other poems

Jim Burrows
At the Megachurch
& other poems

Rachel Stolzman Gullo
& other poems

Yana Lyandres
New York Transplant
& other poems

Heather Katzoff
& other poems

Tom Yori
& other poems

Barth Landor
What Is Left
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Never So Still
& other poems

George Longenecker
Polar Bears Drowning
& other poems

Ben Cromwell
Sometimes a Flock of Birds
& other poems

Robert Mammano
the way the ground shakes
& other poems

Janet Smith
Rocket Ship
& other poems

Gina Loring
& other poems

J. Lee Strickland
Minoan Elegy
& other poems

Toni Hanner
Catching the Baby
& other poems

Writer's Site

Heather Katzoff


Lining up near a throng

of other little girls

striped knee socks rising

from velcro sneakers of pink

and purple clashing with camp

shirts orange and white

we waited on dead grass

no longer green until

a whistle broke through

the air, startling our crowd

into motion, and in the middle

of the pack, with whipping

ponytails blinding sight

with elbows and knees

building barriers

locking us like puzzle pieces

keeping the herd together

I found my way out

and flew toward a splintered

makeshift totem pole finish

line upon discovering

that I could run.

Into the West

highway transformations

            criss-cross the country

turnpike entrances

                        dot the states

            places recounted

by parkway exits

            co-gen plants

                         give way

            to corn fields

to the continental


there exists a point

            after industry

before complacency

                        where scenic overlooks

            become contemplations

            of prairie grasses

the journey

begins at a toll booth

entrance ramps

            gas stations

                        rest stops

mile markers

of the passage of time

            interstitial spaces

with roadside sculpture

                        and memorial crosses

            replace mini-malls

            and truck depots

where antelope

            really do play

against barbed wire backdrops

                        and the unnatural


of a smog-inspired

                        neon pink sun


            into the horizon

but before I-80

            dead ends

                        into the ocean

before you reach the salt flats

            that were once

                        vast seas

before tumbleweed

            adheres to the front



have already passed

into the west


I want your lips,

            lips that are mine

neither by birth

            nor commitment,

I want them to kiss places

            with no proper names

                        in the annals of anatomy.

We will name them


            We will baptize those places

                        with our breath

            the order of consonants and vowels


            and idiosyncratic

and shared

            in silence.

I want your eyes.

            I want to claim them

                        in a way that I cannot.

I want them on me

            following me

                        feeling their gaze move and rest

            in time with my hips

and I want to see what I look like

                        inside them.

The Naming of Things

We dance around the vocabulary

            but there isn’t a word

                        to suit

and all the ones tested

            sit ill on tongue

                        and teeth

neither of us certain

            that a words exists

            to define our relationship

                        one to the other

neither of us certain

            we need definition

Adam went about the garden

            telling every bird and beast

what it ought to be called

ignoring the fact

            that they were what they were

                        whether He liked it

            or not

ignoring the fact

            that the snake

            would charm

                        and then bite

no matter what name

            He gave him


The wind chill

            made the air

            feel 14 degrees


when I left this morning

            before the sun

showed its face

to a sky of perfect



and the sky is punctuated with stars

            too bright and too many to name

                        and I want you

to tell me which ones they are

but I leave while you still sleep

gently kissing your forehead goodbye

            and though you stir

your snoring continues

I drive east

            and watch the sun

work its magic

on the Pennsylvania landscape

            the colors of it breaking

my heart

            over and over

I see the spectrum


in fields of snow

on the rock walls

            lining the highway

in the memory of your hair

            as it catches the moonlight

before you wake

After an on-again/off-again relationship with higher education and a decade working in retail management, Heather Katzoff returned to school and now holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and an MFA in poetry, both from Rutgers University. Her work has appeared in the Paterson Literary Review and online at Selfies in Ink. She currently teaches at the Harrisburg Area Community College in central Pennsylvania.

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