Juanita Rey

A COMEDY I am the pregnant womansitting alonein the cinema. The screen crackles awake.A light ray shines above me. Real life ends,thank God.Vicarious begins.I emerge fromthe swill of my day to dayinto another’s script.No wonder my face glowswith expectation. But behind me,some guy is talking on his cellphone. A couple in front get all close and sultry.And…

DS Maolalai

A working class suburb. in kilbarrack it’s a strangecombination – flowers like stonesin gardens, blue silencesurrounded by brown warmth. it’s a working classsuburb, but it’s been sofor sixty years – most of the workersare retired. I live herequietly, sitting in my grandmother’s house,paying rent while she molders in a nursing home. the day collapses inward, mossyas cement…

Kara Goughnour

My Father Shares His Photo Library in the Family iCloud Among many things, my father takes photos of a Michelob Classic Dark tap handle, filmy renditions of sand and sea (maybe Tampa, maybe some place I don’t yet know), selfies taken seemingly by accident— my father looking down at us, down through us, down at…

Alora Young

“For a Black Girl” When you hear the words “for a black girl” you probably think of nothing at all… because unless you live the violence that is suffering in silence nothing wrong with those words crosses your mind because you can’t see the boys who ruined my birthday by making monkey noises at us…

Bethany Fajardo Howard

El Castillo above the sea waves watches the stout Castillo built by Spanish hands the ghosts of soldiers long since passed are immortal in its garitas darkness of past years is remembered in cells of Torre Antigua the vain elegance of San Felipe’s kingly might is carved in stone today another flag adorns its ancient…

Celia Bland

Damned Nantahala Lake was created by Duke Power as part of the New Deal’s electrification project.  It flooded the Cherokee town of Aquone, first mapped by conquistador Hernando De Soto in 1540.  Tobacco clots before it’s combed. Call it cash crop and cuss its shag clotted, combed, carded, and shredded like Carolina barbeque. Its stink…

Rachel Stewart

The Plainest Ring He builds her houses in the trees so she can sleep When she wakes, he brings her milk and bread for breakfast They sit on the branches together, watching the sky change colors One day, he asks her for the plainest ring she can find She says she doesn’t know where to…

Miguel Guerreiro Lourenço

CALLOUSES AND BROKEN LINES   The sun had burnt his hands ever so slightly, like the colour of black tea touched by milk. Unsweetened and rough, bruises and scars dotted his skin. A worker’s hands, his mother said. There were lines and curves, fleshy and raw, some ran down his fingers, others adorned the knuckles….

Shirley Jones-Luke

There’s No Luxury in Poverty   My family was poor   government cheese     free box of food for Thanksgiving   sleeping on a cot until I was in my twenties    couldn’t afford a bed    roaches & rats as roommates   emergency room visits drained limited funds   doctor or medicine or rent or food    going out was a treat…

Roberta Senechal de la Roche

Nor’easter   Do not say I wanted to lie with you just to make an end of journeys, to make a wave. I could always swim to land, alone.   I could take everything you lost and more but we have so little time to find a transept in this storm, what kinds of things…