Monastery

by Alicia Lai
Once I entered into a symbiotic relationship with a praying mantis, wings folded / at our altar of Queen Anne’s lace. There is wine on the table—father, please don’t / let the calf bleed on me.

Dark Rum & Tonic

by Molly Fisk
Sometimes what you need is a road / house, blast of laughter and warm air pouring / out the door, where the waitresses know / your name but the customers don’t

A Capitalist Back to Nature

by Robert S. King
Here is the last forest that has never / heard the crisp snap of a dollar / or a siren louder than a crow. / Here the wind does not honor / the borders of a deed.

Five by Perchik

by Simon Perchik
This dirt still mimics sweat / lies down alongside, unsure / your lips would quiet it / though the finger that is familiar / probably is yours –could be enough

Letter to Francisco

by Mark Ramirez
I wonder what it feels like to die; to feel the rhythm of your body / fall to rest as you watch your final breath dissipate, / to speak only through dreams and the grainy film of memory.

Weeding

by Art Nahill
Kneeling amidst / the camellias, roses / culling the self / sown from the cultivated / the disdained / from the highly-regarded / I’m reminded / how circumstance / defines us

Red Apple

by Rustin Larson
I soak my sleeve in water just to foul things up a bit, / Create a small level of misery, to keep the defense / Honest.

Garden Constellations

by Amie Sharp
The yard looks still. / Winds riffle green-coin / leaves, slim white-preened bark.

The Hideaway Motel in Altoona, Pennsylvania

by Lauren Hall
Mrs. Norris begins the afterlife in room 3B, the wheels of an empty suitcase skittering behind her. She takes her crossword puzzle to a café and bides her time.