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Poetry Winter 2021    fiction    all issues


Andrej Lišakov

Laura Apol
I Take a Realtor through the House
& other poems

Rebekah Wolman
How I Want my Body Taken
& other poems

Devon Bohm
The Word
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Right Kind of Woman
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Gravestone Flowers
& other poems

Laura Turnbull
& other poems

Andre F. Peltier
A Fistful of Ennui
& other poems

Peter Kent
Reflections on the Late Nuclear Attack on Boston
& other poems

Carol Barrett
Canal Poem #8: Hides
& other poems

Alix Lowenthal
Abortion Clinic Waiting Room
& other poems

Latrise P. Johnson
From My Women
& other poems

Brenna Robinson
& other poems

may panaguiton
& other poems

Elizabeth Farwell
The Life That Scattered
& other poems

Bill Cushing
Two Stairways
& other poems

Richard Baldo
A Note to Prepare You
& other poems

Blake Foster
Aubade from the Coast
& other poems

Bernard Horn
& other poems

Harald Edwin Pfeffer
Still stiff with morning cold
& other poems

Nia Feren
Neon Orange Tree Trunks
& other poems

Everett Roberts
A Mourning Performance
& other poems

Alaina Goodrich
The Way I Wander
& other poems

Olivia Dorsey Peacock
the iron maiden and other adornments
& other poems

Writer's Site

Anne Marie Wells

Portrait, 2020

our father sits / on my shelf

a portrait on a prayer card

between two paper weight

giraffes / gilded memories of

a trip to the zoo a younger

version of himself once took

with his two daughters /

one lies curled on its side

looking up into our father’s

face / the other stands /

neck curved / bowed like the

heads of the dead sunflowers

that haven’t been thrown

away / hunched sentinel

behind him / with their

furled petals weeping in

silence one after the other

Gravestone Flowers

I paced my father’s hometown cemetery as he pushed and pulled his lawn mower through the overgrown grass, planted marigolds at strangers’ graves. I ripped dandelions with the savagery of a child who was Anne with an E and who pretended to be the one from Green Gables, who didn’t care to understand what it meant to be dead. I held the bouquet like a bride and trampled the wild blades, wondering why my dad cared at all to tend the plots of those decaying for a century. Now, with a longer life of collected memories, I know he’d always been the man to shovel his neighbor’s driveway in December, to walk at night with lightbulbs in his pockets to replace anyone’s burned out porch lamps while they slept, and he couldn’t let his parents’ bones lie in a graveyard replete with Jumanji canopies taking over the signs that someone once inhaled this town, that someone once exhaled this town.

Now I adorn my father’s grave with seashells, arrange them in a circle around a ceramic frog. I carry his funeral flowers like a baby in my arms, lay one at a time across barren graves near his. And maybe visiting strangers will be touched to see a lily, even desiccated from the sun, atop their loved one’s grave. Maybe this was my father’s sentiment too. Maybe he thought not of those who passed on, but of those who would pass by; they would know someone cared enough. Or maybe they would think it was their ancestors’ way of saying hi from the other side. And maybe, when you think about it, it was.

Let me know about the pieces butchered in front of you, the wild and gamey breath, the scent that blends into every shirt and every sheet, the shit not suitable for sensitive stomachs, censored in front of your mother. Let me choke on my sobs for someone else. Let me feast on your grief instead. Let me gorge on the pain you never dared to share with anyone else, the awful tastes, the sour flavor of violence, the muscle and sinew shredded by knife and fork one slice at a time. I have practiced not looking away from the body brutalized, split open. I can smell the blood, and I’m hungry for your grief, for the gaping rot in your marrow, for your intestines to unravel at this table. Let’s share this meal together. Let our flesh decay holding hands. Let the mice steal our teeth.

Let the Crows Fly Away With Our Eyes

Anne Marie Wells (She | They) is a queer poet, playwright, and storyteller navigating the world with a chronic illness. She is a faculty member of the Community Literature Initiative through the Sims Library of Poetry. She earned the 2020 Wyoming Writers Milestone Award, the 2020 Jackson Hole Rising Star Award, the 2021 Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award, and was nominated as a 2021 Wyoming Woman of Influence in the arts.

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