Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins
A laundry basket cradles my hip. I trudge past
locked doors, hearing murmurs, lippy
lapdogs, a vacuum cleaner. The sudden scent of fried
liver guts me. An overhead light blinks off as I forget how to walk
away. I’m no longer here. I am 1971 —
A white kitchen table. A rose-patterned plate. Our window
reddens at dusk as dinnertime goes on and on. The cuckoo clock
tattletales while my mother coerces. Take another bite.
See? Bacon helps. It isn’t so bad. But it is. For on my tongue
a butchery blooms. A calf’s slaughter. It’s organ, gamy,
like a heart, like an overcooked mind. Her nurturing is too tough
to swallow. The light blinks me back to 2018.
How far a hallway can travel. Even as I gag,
my mouth still clings to her maternal insistence:
the fork nudging at my lips until her instincts are fulfilled,
long after we both have had more than enough.
Cyndi MacMillan’s work has appeared in Literary Journals such as Better Than Starbucks, The Dalhousie Review, Room, The Prairie Journal, The Windsor Review and Grain Magazine.
for a Cat named Sunshine
To love most truly is to never know
What moves such love, nor where it issues from,
As if the ocean's unseen undertow
Possessed you utterly; you must succumb.
And though the heart delights to be at one
With one so much the mirror of its soul,
The thrill of pleasure is at times undone
By separation sensed, which takes its toll.
No greater grief is knowingly incurred
Than that a lover takes on willingly.
Though long delayed, it will not be deferred,
But still the lover loves devotedly.
So soon the magic hours slip away;
Released from time, the memories will stay.
Previously published in California Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2016.
Michael Fraley’s poetry has been published in Blue Unicorn, The Road Not Taken, and Plainsongs. He has published a chapbook First-Born and an e-chapbook Howler Monkey Serenade.
Weeping in the City
If on Fifth, be cool. Lachrymate behind Versace shades
or if on Wall, let fall a single tear between the trades.
In Central Park, find a slant of schist within the Ramble.
Lean or lie there, weep unspied upon, as squirrels scramble
and egrets wade.
If at Saint Pat’s, nurse your woe in silence as you pray.
If at the Met, blubber with the Burghers of Calais.
If on the el, try to nab a seat but if you stand,
have your sputter, as with straphangers you jolt and sway.
They'll look away.
Or maybe not. I’ve noticed people crying and I’ve looked,
looked and heard, putting down my cell phone tunes or book.
And I’ve been seen in such a state, I’ve given in to grief
and made a scene, feeling mortifyingly absurd.
If at Starbucks, salt your venti latte with your tears.
If at Saks, suffer with the sore-footed cashiers.
And when you walk along the Hudson River esplanade,
don’t think it odd to splosh another incremental tear
off Chelsea Piers.
Kate Bernadette Benedict is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Here From Away (2003), In Company (2011), and Earthly Use: New and Selected Poems (2015).
Wash Me Clean
Rain wash down over me
and sing away my tears.
I walk alone on whispers,
fragile as faith confronted.
The tension reaching out,
with languid fingers of longing
grasping at my throat.
Conclusions never complying.
Prayers go unanswered
floating on a sea of doubt.
The litany of lust prevails
devouring the holy with the damned.
I beseech the ancient ones
to rescue my true self
and let the rain cleanse
my desires with its song.
Ann Christine Tabaka lives in Delaware, USA with her husband and two cats. Her poems have been published in many online and print journals, and she was a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize.
BRINGING THE NIGHT
I think that I will rest
long upon the open lips of night
allowed the lull of evening light.
I’ll make them full and black and wide,
or I am left with only sleep and covers,
their loveliness as patient lovers.
Even if I hide,
the night will find me soon.
David Hayes is a writer, researcher, psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst in-training. His writings include poetry, essays, articles, and theoretical research, and have appeared in journals, newspapers, and magazines.
I feel beautiful today
as if the multicolored sun shone
I think about a meteorites' shower
which has left a rose fragrance
and which the wind is carrying
a golden rainbow is coming out
in the sky now
my heart is becoming a structure
of one hundred crystals
which fabulous roses-people
have given to me
at the time of dreams' fulfillment
— of dreams about a pearl
this heart is warm as well as dear
like a magnificent flower
I think about a marvelous path
in an ancient forest
which has been covered
with a golden
dust by the phoenix and
enchanted by the Pegasus
my dreams will become real
such as the diamond heart
of the pharaoh in
an ancient legend that is being read
by people with pleasure in the heart
of Utah — in Salt Lake City
long live the dreams (!)
and furthermore a will-o-the-wisp — a bright light
over angelic stars
which are not burning ablaze
but are gleaming now
may be the most beautiful hummingbird
always buzzing (!)
his bird song — a sound of eternity
yes life is wonderful
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