Joanna M. Weston


stopped at half-past
the New Year
to watch waves of green
pink fading to yellow
cascade the sky
blurring into
an impossible horizon
and taking stars
further into orbit
while we, anchored
to the roadside
heard a distant wind
and a faint voice

Neila Mezynski

Men Who Wait 

Why don’t cha’ sofa soft, hard to get up off for a days work.  Desert. Wasteland. Me, maybe. Suitcase packed. Twenty more years time to practice. Interminable. Tomorrow.

Michael Estabrook

In the old world

I - The old world is different
than the new world,
a more solid texture to things,
more resilience, confidence, timelessness,
everything with obvious purpose and place.
II - Outside my hotel window
I see racks of bicycles,
a woman pushing a baby carriage,
a bus spewing smoke,
the squeal of a train stopping
at the station slices through the dusk.
A black and white image like from a scene
in Casablanca flicks into my mind:
dark-clad people, wearing hats,
clutching themselves tightly pressing forward
into the wind, dirty snow on the ground,
in the background a Nazi car watching
like an untrustworthy gargoyle.
III - And I’m sitting here
in a comfortable chair in my hotel room,
trying not to succumb this early
to the jetlag and I’m thinking, as usual,
about you, at home looking after things,
missing me too, or maybe not.

Christopher Vola

Tonight is Losing Teeth

One evening Uncle spit into your brother and reached for a bowl.

"Snap Crackle and Pop," he said, and you shoved him sense then, for you and your brother, into the corner table next to him until his head hit white bread and you licked the ketchup off and your dad charged in (bellowing through the house with your tee shirts pulled up, fleeing to your room and hidden under your blanket, exposed). You would smack your bellies then.

Instead, things were quiet for hours. You fell asleep being aliens. Afternoons spent you up.

Your brother was fine, screaming at the wall, "We’re not afraid of you," regenerated, grown into two new heads, wormlike as you jumped, punctuating the word "kitchen" and wanting to know if you wanted some and laughing like crazy. At some point your brother’s throat was swallowing mint chips, silently muttering.

The weirdness of childhood. The things that make Rice Krispies (the snapcracklepop), the things that make your chair. You hadn’t considered the sharp things you did. You smeared ketchup on slices cracked open.

Your brother started wailing and left the bread on your plates. You ran around demanding to know what had happened. You, your heads, arms still in the sleeves, stomachs expecting horrible punishment at any moment.

"Oyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoy!" you thought.

Eventually your dad woke and came in. His head had split in two.

"Oscar the Grouch!" you shouted that over and over.

Uncle was having some ice cream in his “grouch” by landing on your butts instead of feet. You tottered from the kitchen as one expressing displeasure at a given situation. Your dad licked his lips. "Snap Crackle and Pop, the old mouth." One remembers the origin of this phrase.