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Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Mary Keating


I’m a teenager

when an oak cracks

my independence.

Shoulda never gotten

into that Mustang

driven by a boy trying

too hard to be cool

not knowing how

hard his crush would crush.

My beautiful long legs

that wrapped around

my boyfriend never meant

to carry me into that hot rod

to wrap around a tree.

After the accident I’m not smokin’

hot anymore, but strangers still

gawk at me—a wheelchair

my latest accessory

I can’t live without.

Meanwhile, I’m still

hot for sex, frustrated

my wheelchair

cools every cock.

Alone, at a high school party

I just wanna rock. A wannabe

man smokin’ a fat cheroot

plops down next to me.

He doesn’t ask if

I wanna roll—wraps

his lips around Johnnie

Walker, calls me fish legs.

I roll into a mermaid

inhaling oceans that take

a lifetime to exhale.


I am

a princess


in a tower


by a moat

on an island


by a monster


Yet I am

no princess


there is

no tower

My island

is a wheelchair

the moat and the monster

are the same


The loneliness

—the absolute loneliness pervades—

A Brief History of Forever


We meet in fourth grade at Osborn. You almost catch me

in boys chase girls then girls chase boys.


I sit behind you in homeroom at Rye

High, because I’m a K and you’re an H.

In ninth grade you move out of town, miss me

being in an infamous car accident the next year.


At Manhattanville, I discover you’re in my freshman class

working behind the snack bar. You don’t seem to mind me

in a wheelchair. You whisk me away

to an evening party in MA while you’re manic.

You could be my prince charming until

I never want to see your movie star face again.


Nine years later, fresh out of law school, I tell God

I’m ready to get a husband. I bump into you

browsing records at Caldors. You take me

to the City—melt me by the Kiss at the Met.


You keep punctuating we’re not boyfriend girlfriend.

Our bodies punctuate differently

until you disappear with my fairytale dreams.


I get it. You think you can’t handle a forever disability.

If I weren’t permanently paralyzed, I’d walk away from it too.

Let’s not mention your diagnoses.


In Albuquerque, Tom Petty sings to you it’s wake up time.

My phone rings in White Plains, NY. You move across

the US, overfilling my apartment, intertwining our lives.


Five years engaged, we elope and marry at Sweetheart Rock.

While I’m getting beautified, you commit your vows to memory,

surprise me—as you do for a lifetime—of just how much

you love me.

Soulmates in the Time of Covid

I met my husband

when we were amoebas

floating in the primordial pond.

We didn’t have much consciousness then,

but I felt him like a summer storm coming.

The next time we were together, we were prehistoric flora.

Fortune grew us side by side, interlocking our leaves until a dinosaur ate us.

We merged in her stomach as acid stripped the memory of lost love. Thousands

of years passed before our paths crossed again. We began as seedlings in the pre-Californian

forest and matured into magnificent redwoods. Our boughs laced. We held each other tight

as the earth shook and the winds howled. Hundreds of years we grew, interwoven from roots to canopy.

One day the earth opened below us and pulled our giant bodies down so deep the molten lava scorched

and burned us to ash. Our next lives passed quickly as we climbed the tree of life, up the food chain,

from bugs to rodents to bunnies to wolves until finally we were snow leopards hiding our glorious furs

in virgin snow from the ruthless hunters. We mated often and birthed several cubs. Each year I felt

the odds slipping toward the deadly predators until one day my love stopped dead in his tracks

as a bullet ripped through his belly into his heart. That bullet killed two snow cats that day. The sorrow

of sudden death followed us as we reincarnated into human beings. I don’t remember all the lives

we lived occupying the top form of evolution. I know they spanned millennia. We existed as hunters and

gatherers, nomads, serfs, slaves, kings and queens, teachers and students, brothers and sisters, monks,

nuns and priests, and finally as husband and wife. Each human lifetime differed. Sometimes we found

each other as infants living in the same household. Other times we came from different lands

or cultures. But eventually we would find each other no matter the distance or deep the disguise. Neither

extreme youth nor old age could hide our true relationship—our eternal bond. Sometimes one of us would

subsist in a dreamlike state—as if having drunk the waters of Lethe too soon—wed other souls. But

always—the other would jar spiritual memory. Once awakened, we’d entwine our bodies

as close as physics allowed—past connections tumbling forward into the present—the knowledge

of our history stretched across the topmost layer of our subconscious—peeking through

the surface like a premonition. Now, we find ourselves in a time of great

joy and great sorrow. Trapped together in 2020 AD by a creature

as small as we were when our love began,

the eternal bond between us pulls

beyond its limits.

Time forms an ocean

Spans across eternity

Held by gravity

Mary Keating’s poetry appears in numerous journals
and anthologies including 
New Mobility magazine, Wordgathering, Santa Fe Writer’s Project, Poetry for Ukraine, Family Vol II, and on Two of her poems were nominated for a Pushcart prize. A wheelchair user and advocate for disability rights, Mary practices law as a real estate and probate attorney in Fairfield County, Connecticut where she lives with her husband Dan.

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