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Poetry Summer 2022    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2022


Joanne Monte
& other poems

Holly York
Still When I Reach for the Leash
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Catholicism Still Lingers in a Concrete Poem
& other poems

D.T. Christensen
Coded Language
& other poems

Laura Faith
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Winter in Choctaw
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
& other poems

Nicole Sellino
iii. moving, an interruption
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
In Memoriam / Day of the Dead
& other poems

Sheri Flowers Anderson
On Being A Widow
& other poems

RJ Gryder
& other poems

William S. Barnes
to hatch
& other poems

Suzannah Van Gelder
& other poems

Sam Bible-Sullivan
The Dying Worker’s Soliloquy
& other poems

Hills Snyder
Eclipse (July 4, 2020)
& other poems

Lauren Fulton
Birth Marks
& other poems

David Sloan
& other poems

Nancy Kangas
Dry Dock Cranes of Brooklyn Navy Yard
& other poems

Noreen Graf
In Attendance
& other poems

Jim Bohen
Nothing Tea
& other poems

Thomas Baranski
Let us name him dread and look forward
& other poems

Writer's Site

Sam Bible-Sullivan

The Vengeful Worker’s Soliloquy

None of us expected to live.

All of us drowning in our own mucus

we just wanted to have their lives

in our hands for the first time.

Most of the bastards had left

gone to their bunkers

or liquified themselves.

Classic money bullshit

preferring to live as a fragment

rather than risk confronting

the humanity they’d consumed like sunflower seeds

couldn’t risk us shells coming back to cut their gums.

Those are the fucks I wanted to put between my molars

and crack open real slow, until my tongue

could scoop out all the meat.

Bet that shit would’ve tasted

like gold flakes on vanilla ice cream.

But you work with what you find

and we found an S class sinner

some silicon tech tyrant

living in some little prick McMansion.

We actually wore ski masks when we broke in;

the comfort of cliches dies hard.

We found him sleeping

face pale, eyes purple, sick as the rest of us.

We almost stopped then; he looked like a boy waiting

for his mom to place a damp cloth on his feverish forehead.

But June didn’t get to ease her son’s fever,

his brain boiled while June worked to keep their house.

She came home to her dead child after a 12 hour shift.

So we pulled the piece of shit

out of bed, tied him to a chair

doused him in gas and spit

and lit him on fire.

We weren’t sure he couldn’t pay his way out of hell

so we guaranteed he burned.

Trying to Recall the Name of a Skull

everyday you’re here amidst the moss-stone

sunbleached white against green cushions

I think I saw a painting like that once

I knew what a painting was once

I knew who you were once

I know you had eyes

green grey blue amber orange apple

new day new eyes

fill up those sunken grottos with gems

you had a gap tooth

but now you have teeth gaps

or have you grown teeth to fill your gaps

I tried to put stones in those teeny holes

but picking up is tricky

I tried to pick you up

but you just got wet

sweaty bones

you sweat in the mornings

unless you’re letting someone else try to hold you

are you two timing me

I guess you can’t cheat since I don’t know your name

is it peter







I don’t think seashore’s a name

but we went there once

you were scared of the seagulls

and my parents

but the seagulls didn’t care you drove a 2005 camry

I didn’t either

we found a swing to sit on and we watched

the sky get sunkissed like our cheeks

then you put your head on my lap

and I played with your hair

until the seagulls squawked with the stars

Two rats battle over the last piece
of flesh on my bones.

They could split it,

set a table with a red, checkered

cloth, some candles, a bottle of vino,

have some smooth accordion

serenading the background, pretend

they’re Lady and the Tramp;

I wonder who’d play the Tramp.

One’s clawed the other’s eye out now,

and the one with the soupy eye,

desperate, disoriented,

has chomped down on its own tail, giving

the eye clawer time to skitter away, my flesh

in its mouth, and soupy eye notices none of this,

just keeps taking bites out of itself,

whole chunks between its jaws,

blood on its maw and seeping from its socket

and rear, gasping out distressed squeaks

between chews of its own meat

until it finally collapses,

its side jumping up and down

and up and down and up and down,

then nothing,

a new pet to keep my carcass company.

I always thought at the end of the world

us paycheckers would be soupy eye,

and the investors would be eye clawer,

but when the end arrived,

they were the two rats,

and we were the piece of flesh.

I was around a bonfire when it hit me that I’m alive during a possible plague.

I was drunker than a lush on judgement day

and another blunt was gettin rolled beside me,

so skunky scents rose above the smoke,

and when those scents were lit between my lips,

            I found myself intrigued by all the burning,

            the layers of it fractaling,

            and me inhaling every bit.

We smoked the blunt until it was slight singe,

and I watched as the fire was doused,

as the oxygen gulping flames were drowned

into simmering embers, embering simmers,

centered amidst sinners,

lightbearers thrust out of heaven,

tiny stones of lost potential.

The Dying Worker’s Soliloquy

I’m not     brittle

let’s get rid of that early

there’s just     emptiness

in my ribs

not that i’ve

not     known


I had my blank spots,

          under construction,

what mom used to say,

“We all stay being

built until the day

we’re not.”

I’m not     brittle

there’s just no more building.

did I have more plans?


am I angry I’ve been robbed?


but I don’t feel tired

anymore and the soles of my feet

aren’t dry and my shoulders

are just shoulders now.

I did deserve more than this.

Some part of the world owed me something.

But I was never

a loan shark, and debts

are never settled with counting


it all just goes to the dirt

and grows as soft      slicing          grass

Sam Bible-Sullivan first began writing poetry at 12. This initial interest grew to be a passion which led him to study poetry writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poems have appeared in Atlantis Magazine, Charles Carter Magazine, and, an anthology of North Carolina’s Best Emerging Poets. He is also a playwright and has written two full-length plays which have received stage readings. He’s currently based out of Raleigh, NC.

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