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Poetry Summer 2018    fiction    all issues

Poetry Cover Summer 2018


Cover Michael Lønfeldt

Carol Lischau
& other poems

Noreen Ellis
Jesus Measured
& other poems

Amanda Moore
Learning to Surf
& other poems

Adin Zeviel Leavitt
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
Stay a Minute, the Light is Beautiful
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
The Wellfleet Oyster
& other poems

Anna Hernandez-French
Watermelon Love
& other poems

J. L. Grothe
Six Pregnancies
& other poems

Sue Fagalde Lick
Beauty Confesses
& other poems

Abby Johnson
Finding Yourself on Google Maps
& other poems

Marisa Silva-Dunbar
& other poems

Merre Larkin
Sensing June
& other poems

Savannah Grant
& other poems

Andrew Kuhn
Plains Weather
& other poems

Catherine Wald
Against Aubade
& other poems

Joe Couillard
Like New Houses Settling
& other poems

Faleeha Hassan
In Nights of War
& other poems

Olivia Dorsey Peacock
Thelma: ii
& other poems

Sarah Louise
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Inherent Injustice
& other poems

Frannie Deckas
Child for Sale
& other poems

Jacqueline Schaalje
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
Her Face
& other poems

Ashton Vaughn
& other poems

Writer's Site

Jim Pascual Agustin

The Wind is Not Strong Enough to Slam the Windows Shut

He roams a wilderness

in his head, the way an astrophysicist

might navigate numbers

to reach a point in space,

wary of drowning in darkness.

The veins on the backs of his hands,

roots that quiver when his heart

quickens. It’s a struggle to sleep,

a struggle to stay awake.

Somewhere not too far

a neighbour’s donkey

cranks out a mechanical cry.

He is reminded of empty chairs,

and of sheets on another bed

bearing shadows and creases.

Stay a Minute, the Light is Beautiful

What I remember matters

to no one else: sunlight framed

by a window with broken glass

just before night says

“Now, it is I who will touch

your hands without permission.”

Nothing can make me forget

the warmth, my own breath,

an approaching train, the beating

of an iron heart. No one will believe me,

for what is broken does not even show

the thinnest crack.

The Enemy of Destruction

As a child just beginning

to explore the world, you had to carve

into memory all that might help you

find your way back home.

A streetlamp with a piece of blue wire

sticking out one side, a corner bakery

that lays out a new tray of bread dusted

with fine sugar an hour before the school bell rings,

an elderly neighbour who sweeps

the pavement beyond her property

without ever lifting her head. Everything

is a clue, a point of reference.

Nothing but nightmares can prepare you

for what might befall your city

when war takes over starved minds,

when orders are blurted out and turned

to mortars and chemicals.

Yet among the grey remnants, the countless

shattered squares of concrete, something persists,

defiant in its stand against destruction.

Something green, red and brown

hangs off a crumbling ledge,

perhaps a curtain blasted off

a window that overlooked

a busy street you used to roam.

A person you knew

once waved from that window

hoping you would wave back.

The Trick is in the Laying of Blame, Not Just the Twisting of the Knife

He may yet forget the ragged

pattern in the skies

before the first bomb exploded,

the eyes of those

who could no longer take

another step, move another limb.

There are reasons evolution

hid the human heart under bones

that allow for room,

why the skull is so much

softer in youth, as in this boy

who crossed a desert alone.

Nothing in hand but a bag

of his mother’s clothes wrapped

with lingering scent of bokharat.

The Last Thing that
Touched Your Lips

There was no resistance

when you loosened your skin,

unbuttoned flesh from bones,

slipped them off until you turned

transparent as water, shapeless

and silent as light through fog.

You got up and left without a sound.

No one saw you walk through

the unseen door which opens

to somewhere else. Ann,

I hope you can read this in that place

where you can now laugh

without doubling over. I’m glad

the last thing that touched your lips

was a thin slice of pink guava.

Jim Pascual Agustin grew up in Manila and has lived in South Africa since 1994. He opposes the anti-human rights policies of the current Duterte regime in the Philippines. Jim’s poetry has appeared inRhino, New Coin, World Literature Today and Modern Poetry in Translation, among others. Wings of Smoke, (The Onslaught Press, 2017), his eighth poetry book, is available on most online retailers. Jim shares random thoughts and drafts on

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