Orchard Avocation

by William Ford
I’m a laid off mooch / of a prof using up fuel / to cut grass close / around apple trees / where voles eat roots / and breed and breed / deep in the grass, hidden / from fox and hawks.

A Proof

by Andrew McCall
My father does not believe / That the small things accrete, / That the infinitesimals / Lean together to form a whole.

Give Me Your Wife

by Tony Hoagland
because / I like her. I like / the signs of wear on her; / the way her breasts have dropped a little with the years; / the weathered evidence of joy around her eyes.

Bessie Arrowood’s Circle of Life

by Karen Paul Holmes
There she goes again, spinning / her wheelchair ’round the nursing home. / Two years, five thousand laps. So far.

Goldfish

by Lisa Cihlar
Does it matter that a migrating tern / is standing in the Fox River / with a goldfish in its beak? / The tern is a Caspian with a lovely black head / like the back-combed Italian mobsters in old movies.

This Isn’t Silverlake Anymore

by Neil McCarthy
I hear the slightly scratched voice of Joan Baez coming from / the record player singing about the junipers in the pale moonlight, / applause erupting like hailstones on a corrugated iron roof.

Hearsay

by Carla Ferreira
They say in Avignon people dance on the bridge / that was either unfinished or fell apart— / no one remembers those folk stories anymore.

Last Time at the Arch Street Tavern

by Gail C. DiMaggio
Another Monday in another February and the streets outside / are shiny with sleet, speckled with litter. Everything / diminishes—sumac and elm, Dad’s old Buick. Lust.

The Reincarnation of the Seagull

by Lisa Pellegrini
Before he was a seagull / he was the bed of the ocean / its stronghold and place of / penance, a tenderfoot of sorts.