A chronological archive of poetry published in Cleaver’s quarterly literary issues from 2013 to present …

WHAT MATTERS IS OUR HANDS by Mars Hu
WHAT MATTERS IS OUR HANDS after Charlottesville: anti-racism protesters by Mars Hu It's not that your mother was afraid herself, ...
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gravy strain  by Davy Knittle
thin a little ice for me but keep the slip melt slouches melt-ward and it's regular bad is it time ...
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THE MORNING AFTER ANOTHER COMING-OF-AGE FILM by Daryl Sznyter
THE MORNING AFTER ANOTHER COMING-OF-AGE FILM by Daryl Sznyter I dream of a man cutting into my stomach and you're ...
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UNDERSONG by Martha Zweig
UNDERSONG by Martha Zweig Dawn: eight neighborhood bullies congregate spoiling to tweak a perfect day. They stalk tinfoil glints in ...
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Cliff Saunders author photo
COLONIZING THE WORLD by Cliff Saunders i. The walking stick: an unlikely mast a bit long-in-the-tooth. ii. Good news: red ...
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1968 by Matt Muth
For three nights we watched Vietnam documentaries, mom slipping into the TV, the TV blooming the blossom of '68 back ...
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TWO POEMS by Lee Sennish
Cars backed up to where the geraniums manned the empty lifeboats in the square, we went to see the grounded ...
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MIXED MEDIUM ART by Stuti Pachisia
MIXED MEDIUM ART by Stuti Pachisia Scenery 1: The sky is a permanent state of dawn, or dusk, if you ...
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CAMPAIGN PROMISES, a poem by by Ann Babson, featured on Life As Activism
Curtains checked for anthrax, podium erected. The balloons will fall to the floor if elected. The ass-groper, interloper, and false ...
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FOUR POEMS by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, featured on Life As Activism
He doesn't notice the desert. The smell of the dead rising, birds or fish, saltwater feeding on air or salt ...
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PERFUSIONIST  by Kelsey Ann Kerr
I wear my love for foxgloves on my digits, nibble on each to slow the fibrillations ...
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NAMING NAMES by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
Daddy’s Pet fucking chrissakes Slewfoot conglomerates banging eachother Brock Road puddle son of a bitch Mongrel Palmer light the east ...
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White balloon floating against a bright blue sky
In the ground, the real never of a boy How a couple recovers I do not know Whose heart Agony ...
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KEVLAR ON OUR BACKS by Matthew Schmidt
We gave ourselves matching haircuts but only temple rye cures. Temper your dog but only scaremongering ignites crows. Shared the ...
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Clown wearing full makeup, a curly wig, and peace sign glasses playing a dusty violin
Sunlight sealed behind cirrus behemoths, I am deep in left field. Suited up in stripes, I wait for something to ...
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TWO POEMS by Brendan Lorber
On the eve .....of never forgetting.....I still want to run away.....from you together..... or not run..... but bite or register ...
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SEOUL IN OCTOBER by Soleil David
If I could be anywhere in the Fall it would be Korea walking rubberized pavement to the top of Namsan ...
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RESISTORS by Amy Miller
He taught me how to bend their arms so they stayed. To solder them solid with lead and resin, perfect ...
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THE RATION OF INDEPENDENCE by Michael T. Young
When coarse human events become necessary, people dissolve, a gloom powers profit, the claws of paper and paper’s God hold ...
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STEREOCARDS: Doubles by Kyra Simone
Some still see the shadow of the earth’s other moon, a ghost satellite over a ghost tide before one light ...
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VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL by Michelle Brooks
Before the puppet show, Melissa and I split a stolen Valium. As the children gathered, a dreamy feeling descended on ...
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BEASTLY by Erin Slaughter
Call to me at the bottom of the stairs and wrap me in your breathless summering. Confession: my lips are ...
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TWO POEMS by C. John Graham
Geometrically speaking, lines are illusion because lines have no width. Yet we know the end from the beginning. Velocity differs ...
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TOUCAN by Mag Gabbert
My favorite thing About Keats Is his belief that I might Leave the world unseen I once left An imaginary ...
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STILL LIFE WITH GIN, FALCON, SECRET by Ed Taylor
On the terrace, huddled against sun, the ticking air and hissing in the grass— at the palazzo belfry suddenly a ...
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ABOUT NOW by Bruce McRae
Meanwhile, in the airy labyrinth, in a bathtub full of corn liquor, in the red barn on a hillside. While ...
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[THE COYOTES ARE JUDGING ME] by Nina Murray
The coyotes are judging me. The coyotes are excellent judges of character attuned to minute oscillations of will opportunistic in ...
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TWO POEMS by Jaimie Gusman
so it begins [spring] leopards from a crowd of moss hills bloom I don’t live there; I built my ship ...
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MONDAY MORNING by Babo Kamel
The palm trees outside the window are waiting to wed. But the officiate is late. They stare at each other, ...
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ALL THE DOORS ARE HUMMING by Lucy Anderton
a simple star-crack unwinding in ropes of flat out shaking silver. The white bird is not raveled in thought when ...
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A BLACK OPUS by Penney Knightly
I could be a constellation, I have a cryptic, enticing tale it has lions and swords and those things, blood ...
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BrOkEn GhAzAl fOr AfRiKa by Bola Opaleke
in Afrika there is a way you beg forgiveness for future sins today in a broken language the same way ...
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MY CHILDREN BUILD “EVERYBODY’S DREAM LAND” (“Anybody Would Like to Live Here”) by Maya Jewell Zeller
Begin by skinning an animal. This plastic woman has, like, 200 acres, and she has so many couches, and she ...
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COUNTRY FUNERAL by D. G. Geis
I never knew you were Baptist. Nor, I suspect, did you. Perhaps it was the funeral director or your most ...
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PUGET’S CHILDREN by Jenny Montgomery
It is a relief to pass beyond the flesh and become instead a column of information. Puerile, we watch pulp ...
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THE SUBMERGED MIND (Report by Turkish Naval Intelligence: Primitive Twentieth Century Code) by Michael Dennison
Category is a submarine, Soviet, riveted together in pointless hurry by convict labor, Lesser Class, something for Black Sea, obsolete ...
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BULLY NOTES by Jack Israel
when he beat me up he had me against a row-house screen door, blows like birds flying at my ears ...
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REMAINS by Callista Buchen
Bury me under feathers. My mother wanted me to be an actress, a singer. I paint in wings, in white, ...
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AFTER by Alexandra Smyth
Sunlight through kitchen window, porridge swirled with raspberry jam. Mouths clotted red, a bluebird sings: on this morning, how can ...
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THE PIETA, a poem by Samuel Son, Featured on Life As Activism 
charred, acrid smell of gunpowder smokes from the holes in Philando’s body, which carries the stigma(ta) of all things dark, ...
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YOUNG WARRIOR ON HORSEBACK, a poem by Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, featured on Life As Activism
His back toward us, he faces history and history is armed with AR 47s, water cannons, grenades, Andrew Jackson, and ...
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TWO POEMS by Leonard Gontarek, featured on Life As Activism
Philadelphia smelled like Vermont today, after light rain. A fly buzzed four or five clusters of crocus. The sky draped ...
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THE DAY A LITTLE GLOOMY, SKY by J.C. Todd
The day a little gloomy, sky not exactly low but grackles higher than they ought to be, their oily, boat-wake ...
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YOU’RE ALWAYS IN MY HAIR by E. Kristin Anderson
I’ve seen the future and it will be puffy-eyed. We’ll rise like an army of teeth, you and me seeded ...
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THE SPECTRUM by Merridawn Duckler
The mood of the river is to glitter which also is a way to deflect, if I had to name ...
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BLACK CHAMELEON, ORANGE DOG, YELLOW LIGHTNING by Max Sheppard
Ghosts ruined our party. We were a mess when the lampshade began to shake. I was so drunk on whiskey ...
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CLEARING by mud howard
I walked alone at night inside the throbbing dome of men who thought I was a man and did not ...
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MARE TRANQUILLITATIS by Walter Bargen
I made it to the moon and nothing changed. If I had something urgent to say nothing changed. If I ...
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BEGINNING by Shinjini Bhattacharjee
All the fruits bursting with prophecies without an easy way through the branches of apricot tree. Outside, the snow crowded ...
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GREEN by Tina Barr
When I lift the lid of the compost bin heat swells toward me, the first layer: clippings from grass mown ...
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AS IF IT ACTUALLY LOOKED THAT BLUE. by Gary Lundy
a sky reproduced in pixels. or oil acrylic. to match what then is believed seen. how our seeing displaces the ...
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ALOHA by Sean Flood
she plunged below the line of the ocean and saw lava exploding into the emptiness she saw sea become land ...
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[ITS SHADOW IS HELPLESS HERE] by Simon Perchik
Its shadow is helpless here festering the way your fingers lean over the watermarks not yet covered with paper though ...
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JEROME IN THE WILDERNESS by Martha McCollough
In a God’s-eye view all the edges are sharp Tiny but distinct Jerome picnics on a ledge with his apocryphal ...
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BOTTOM FEEDER by Dylan Krieger
but nowadays your garbled barbles never tasted better. no matter how much your bog moss makes love to the gutter, ...
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NOVEMBER NIGHTMARE by Valerie Fox
My bag disappeared with my passport, my keys a little vial containing a sliver of bone. I was stalked by ...
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TWO POEMS by Aaron Simm, Featured on Life As Activism
Scientist of The Lambs Scientist on the western front Scientist I’m hunting rabbits Scientist speak no evil Scientist not at ...
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Ask June Cleaver
Dear June,   I read your letter from the woman whose date stole a bottle of rosemary from her cabinet, ...
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Prickly pear cactus
along the pathway through live oak and cedar trees ant trails lead to dead cicadas and worms I look for ...
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LETTER TO A POET by Jeanne Walker
Midnight ticks in a quiet lab around one sleepy dork who, suddenly sits up, hearing two black holes larger than ...
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HYDROQUINONE by Sean Flood
Black skin tastes better when the wheat has already been threshed; just a kiss. I watched her "paint her face" ...
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AUGUST VIII by Katy Kim
I flick brother’s ear; say you could hide something in here. Stonefruit maybe, or the yolks we collect from Narragansett ...
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ON HOLD: by Elizabeth Morton
I can hold my breath for three minutes flat in the superstore aisle between woks and waffle-irons screaming catchphrases in ...
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DESCRIBE TO ME YOUR INITIAL REACTION WHEN YOU GOT HERE by Kristen Brida
When I first showed up the halo of my silhouette dissolved like a jolly rancher I began to put my ...
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APRIL, TAYLOR HOLLOW by Brenda Butka
Leafing out, the trees blur in green mist, celandine poppies bright fingerprints at their feet. The persistent creek has hollowed ...
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Boy looking to the side
I remember when the doctor first told me the red-with-yellow-frosting sores on my legs were something called impetigo, all I ...
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FLORIDA MAN by Tyler Gillespie
And that spring a man beat his 94-year-old grandma then ran off with her jewelry and SUV. Judge set bail ...
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UNFINISHED by Peter Grandbois
If I opened my eyes from this pretended sleep, I wouldn’t be salting the driveway before dawn, though the snow ...
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FUTURE ECOLOGIES by Madeleine Wattenbarger
Today’s look: be merciful I gently suggest that you check the earth on which you stand— Ye are actually pretty ...
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DARK, DARKER by Jeevika Verma
dark, darker when I frown into this mirror a depth takes my forehead inside there is a little white man ...
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ESSAY ON TAKING TOO MUCH ADVIL P.M. by Preston Eagan
someone else’s car / a big dude dragging me up a flight of stairs / seeing my brother / we’re ...
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WOOD LOT IN APRIL by Michele Leavitt
I lose the trail, or it eludes me. Led astray, the bent-down saplings keep their flex, may even rise ...
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TWO POEMS by Flower Conroy
A door you thought locked, not. How riddles work. Sometimes the truth’s warped I mean wrapped in humor, & often ...
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NOVEMBER 2016, a poem by Lynn Levin, Featured on Life As Activism
This November blew down to the just-reaped fields a hectic of leaves. More golden leaves than fevered leaves but the ...
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WINDOW SEAT, a poem by Molly McGinnis, Featured on Life As Activism
On my flight back to Washington at 4 am in air marbled by night and snow I leaned against the ...
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TWO POEMS by Gemelle John, featured on Life As Activism
So They Will Time is the lightbulb burning for the first three traffic lights And blinking after that Is the ...
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VOTE TRUMP CHALKED ON A WALL IN MY RUSTBELT CITY, a poem by Freesia McKee, featured on Life As Activism
Walking home from the protest We pour water from the bottle another marcher gave us over this temporary sign With ...
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AND SOMEHOW THE MAN ON CNN IS ASKING IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE, a poem by A.K., featured on Life As Activism
and horns crawl like an apology out of my skull; my tongue splits in two and gropes the air in ...
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TWO POEMS by Jeanne Obbard, featured on Life As Activism
Suspect in transgender slaying says 'manhood' was threatened” - NY Daily News, April 1, 2016 Manhood: more fragile than the ...
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FACT CHECK, a poem by Laura Yan, featured on Life As Activism
yes, let's argue over semantics while decapitated bodies and babies litter hospital floors in aleppo and not-my-president unites with Russia ...
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F M K, a poem by Sybil Kollappallil, featured on Life As Activism
Two months ago they played FUCK MARRY KILL He picked me as Fuck and the other brown girl to Marry ...
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THE DAY AMERICA DIED, AGAIN… by Joel L. Daniels Featured on Life As Activism
shhh… this is not an essay. no, this is not that. not a poem. not a bomb. not hydrogen. this ...
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SIEG HEIL/Their Shoes, a poem by Howard Debs, featured on Life As Activism
The shoes are made of iron presumably to preserve the symbolic footwear, but they are attached along the Danube’s stone ...
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NIGHT IS LONGER, a poem by Leonard Gontarek, featured on Life As Activism
anarchy isn’t for everyone can you hear me now find your soul paint here on a saturday night light is ...
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TWO POEMS by Leonard Gontarek featured on Life As Activism
Walt Whitman With Light On A Lake The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem. The land and the ...
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Cherry Tree
My mother’s mother, Widow of the Episcopal Bishop of Idaho, sat her namesake My sister, seven, On her lap and ...
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STILL LIFE IN A SHIVERING TOWN by Matthew Gellman
Get cozy. You pull me under starlit covers, coax the past from my throat. The blue-veined suburbs. Winters gathered like sticks ...
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Office building with glass walls
Any interested parties herein? I sought to execute a release, they ended up executing me. The conscious pain and suffering, ...
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CONDITIONAL [FALL 2009] by Nicholas Fuenzalida
if he hadn’t planned to go hunting with his father if his father had kept the rifle locked away if ...
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DECEMBER by Matthew Burns
I will, and I will Walk into the morning Light falling like snow: a flurry: Life. Cold is and I ...
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CHAMELEON and CAMERA MAN by Justin Jannise
CHAMELEON He liked to watch me change. I slipped a bra strap over my left shoulder. The room darkened. As ...
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Person holding a French Bulldog puppy
the glass of water he breaks after our only night out this week, a slow drown for him at the ...
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SHEEPSCOT WELLSPRING CEMETERY by Michele Leavitt
SHEEPSCOT WELLSPRING CEMETERY by Michele Leavitt Mercury shrinks to the bottom of the gauge, and you follow the stone wall ...
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PUSHING THINGS by Matthew Mogavero
I threw my sandwich wrapper out in a trash can. On the side of the trash can was the word ...
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DON'T TOUCH by Elisabeth Lloyd Burkhalter
Magnolia to aloe, silver-sheened river, and shallow. We are minor in the composition but figure prominently. Often now I think ...
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Burnt painting in a pile of ash
you know that photo stuck into the side of a frame in the den you know, the photo of Katie ...
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THE UNBORN by  Kika Dorsey
They are cutting down all the trees for Christmas. Pine and spruce lay bundled on warehouse floors, and I drink ...
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WINTER BEFORELIGHT by John Timpane
Winter beforelight. Lamp by lamp the house of night shuts. Dawn enlarges; a father turns off the lights, loves each ...
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WAKING UP IN AN MGM MUSICAL by Roy Bentley
I don’t know whether I’m awake or sleeping, but I know the past is the prison we break into, a ...
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