Alan Zhukovski

Sunny Haiku

Sunlight foxes.
Hens of clouds.
Risky business.


Birds in yellow.
Risky dresses
Of the sun.


Sticky birches.
Resin water
In the pond.


The door of light.
The night is locked
Inside the space.


Electric rats
Are licking water
In the storm.


The stream of light
Has burned the valley.
Cruel war.


A tiny lake
Behind the bridge.
Another country.


A future tree
Has dug a tunnel
In the pavement.


The night is gone.
There is no time
To burn the river.

Jeremy Aufrance

Him, 1950
Escape Plan

I’ve said it before but didn’t mean it
and meant it before but never said it—

pack your things, put them in my truck
and say goodbye to this smoke and dust town.

The men down at the diner chuckle
when I come in the door. They aren’t afraid

of me, talk about your kids, call you
“another man’s second helping”

like I don’t know. I try to ignore them,
but how can I? Is there a secret

you’re not telling me? I can’t take the eyes
on the back of my head, my burning ears—

but there’s nothing for us here. Grab your kids
and come with me to Nowhere, Ohio.

This isn’t a life, only a trap you’ve gotten
stuck in. It’s time for you to stop worrying

and come with me. Let them keep talking.
Let’s build ourselves a life we’ll both fit into.

Diane Webster

Parking Lot

Like a mother making sure her child is safe,
like a thief timing comings and goings,
like a child peeking out from hiding
to see if anyone still searches
I sit in the bar’s parking lot.
If I go inside, everyone will know
I look for another for a drink
for a dance for a night.
I just want to talk, find someone I like.
I don’t drink, don’t dance, not
a one-night stand --
I don’t think.
Sit in a booth with a mysterious aura,
see if I radar in to someone.
Wait for her to catch my eye
or could I be so bold as to touch her arm
and say, “Hi. How you doing?”
Could months of getting-to-know-you
pack into an intuitive consent
to demolish my walls?
Could I haul my ass out of this car
and walk inside?

Daniel Gallik

Two Reasonable Adults Discuss a Good Marriage

He was surprised she accepted his idea so readily.
He had a smile on his face when she entered the kitchen.
She asked him if he was feeling comfortable, maybe even hungry.
He did not understand what she meant by that.
She stated that sentence again and waited for a response.
She had been very, very polite lately, and this statement made her smile and smile; feel warm inside.
She had her head raised in an elite fashion, waiting.
He said that he was feeling rather good, that he actually felt good about himself and where he was heading.
She asked again if that meant he felt good about himself.
She said she was also interested in whether he was hungry.
He looked into her eyes and said, that yes, he was hungry.
She told him that supper was soon and that she had planned a rather formal evening of food.

He again peered into her eyes and said he had a hunger.