Free Verse with Vera Ignatowitsch
Yet deep within this dire stirring,
I still curl near you, on a
worn velvet couch, pull
piles of pillows below our feet
next to my limp beige bra,
your torn suede slippers, the floor
pink vials, violet pills, pots of vomit,
pools of vaseline
I rub jelly into bed sores
cover you, tuck our soft afghan,
stripes of apricot and tomato,
under your skin, sweep
sweats of silver hair
from your forehead
and fall asleep, a dog
by your feet until
Stacey Z Lawrence teaches Poetry and Creative Writing in Maplewood, NJ. Her work can be seen in Chaleur, Dream Noir, Vita Brevis, and others. She was short-listed for the Fish Poetry Prize 2019.
After kindergarten you gave up wearing girly things
played with Star Wars figures, action heroes and Legos
with a lightsaber dangling from your belt.
You were thought of as a tomboy
often regarded as a boy in restaurants
and kicked out of the girls’ restroom at school several times.
You wore skater shoes and Tony Hawk clothes in middle school.
Your hoodie covered your face when you received “Best in Shop”
and I was embarrassed by your style.
Then in high school when you got soccer MVP and had a girlfriend,
I just thought you were gay —
but in college when you bought men’s shoes and went to a barber
it hadn’t quite hit me that you were becoming your true self;
I didn’t realize how badly you’d wanted to be a boy for so long.
Now at 21 you have a new name and use the men’s room
you give yourself the shots and wait for top surgery
you seem so happy, and I admire your classy style.
I rejoice seeing your maleness and applaud your bravery
the deepest You is fully emerging
Welcome to the world my son!
Kalila Volkov is the author of Hiking Trail, Treasure Land, and Fishing for Equilibrium: The Power of a Diary. She delights in choral singing and cooking up poems.
My Blizzard Man is Gone
no longer will he come—
snow covered hat, boots he forgot to wear
leaving his feet chilled in sneakers
and knee-high snow
there will no longer be that persistent
banging at my door
cursing to let him in before he freezes
nor will he slip into floppy slippers
or sit upon the couch in black hoodie
wrapped like a mummy in a furry afghan
. . . still not warm enough
no longer will my arms stretch around
his big belly, my legs rest across his lap
as he snores through the movie, wakes
and asks what he’s missed
no longer will his fingers
‘tickle the ivories’
or his raspy voice sing out
in jazzy down ‘n’ dirty blues
no longer will he complain the food
is too cold, the coffee not strong enough
everything needs more spice
my blizzard man is gone
eighty-four was all the breath he had
I will sit at the window, watch snow
mounting on the lawn and where
his old grey Toyota once sat . . . a driveway
covered in drifts
Gloria g. Murray has been published in literary journals including The Paterson Review, Poet Lore, CQ Quarterly, The Bridge, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Limestone Circle, The Long Island Quarterly, Lynx Eye, Xandau, and others.
Behind the smiles
beneath the alabaster
blood, vessels, tissue,
The skeleton stands erect
There is movement of muscle
we see as flesh
and conveniently forget
the entrails, the guts
inside the young supermodel
same as the old derelict.
This complex human body
so strong and yet so fragile
built for procreation
Lynne D. Soulagnet has had poems published in the Paumanok Review, Long Island.
I saw a suicide today...
at the corner of Woodhouse and sleep,
where the stoplight never made exceptions for us.
The same spot where your weary head dropped to my swollen shoulders,
when your eyes met the twin comets coasting September skies,
and heard the whispers of affirmation from their silver tails.
I was your one.
In the glass heat and sable air of the night,
I saw the boy join his most zealous dreams.
He grabbed your hand and closed his eyes.
Ben Pello is a student currently enrolled at Siena College. He loves writing in general and the art of language, but mostly sticks to writing poetry.
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