Mama pulls down the attic ladder.Smell of dust and moth balls.I tug on her apron strings. I want to play.Clothespins click and clack.Papa’s shirts float down—flat gullsthat crumple in her basket.Alone on a shelf, a vase,sea snakes frozen in its porcelain.Their skins gleam wet.Don’t touch that!It’s a wedding present from Yvonne.Mama tells me how they […]Read More Nobody to Hold Her Back – by Atma Frans
He’d shake your hand as though he were pulling a weed.
And when I turned twelve he taught me how to
see through the soiled promises of earthly negotiations.
All the ways to drink tea were steeped in you: warming the pot as if it were a heart in need of devout attention. The fullness of time required to brew was the patience of good things you taught me to wait for. The tea cozy a relic of the women who raised us; purposeful, […]Read More Stone Ground – by Jennifer Mariani
There wasn’t a place could lure you to stay, you said, feet planted,/that big bosom swagger every tramp’s dream. You swore an afterlife/on trains…Read More Boxcar Betty Catches The Westbound – by Leslie Casey
I am oozing, spreading outwards. I fill the crevices of places that once made me uncomfortable. I expand and echo; no longer silent. I am unhushed – loud- the voice my mother never had. I am vivid, plum and persimmon, seeping into the cracks of confinement; staining the walls you built to contain me. I […]Read More Immense – by Jennifer Mariani