Leaving Orua (The Last of the Estuary’s Sun) by Gregory Dally

It could be called piquant, the tangleft by a haystack once it’s dried.The rain has dispersed. You breathe in.It’s an indulgence that has you imagining tussock fire. These vapours can only keep moving your atomsin a quest for the ultimate condition.You assay the tide’s fleet of shiversaround your legs and your mind. It’s soothing to take in the coolness on light raysturned in jade over … Continue reading Leaving Orua (The Last of the Estuary’s Sun) by Gregory Dally

Father and Son by John Grey

He’ll listen to me all right.He knows what’ll happenif he doesn’t. He’ll be down any minute.You’ll see.Or he knows what he’s in for,the little monkey. I’m going to call him. Matthew!Matthew! Matthew,I’m gonna come fetch you if you don’t come down this instant! I’m coming upstairs right now. I’m counting to three,One two three. I’m coming to get you!(Night falls & I fail.My power is … Continue reading Father and Son by John Grey

Traveling to Work Through the Streets of Manchester by David Hay

There is nothing but violence.The maelstrom of black rainBuries the street preacher, with his ink-dried voice andWords full of pain and burnt-out candles. A massacre was lodged in the breeze.I saw homeless men and womenUnder the archways and beneath feet;All was the perfumed emptinessOf my black coffee morning sigh,And the causal flick of emotionless change. Go back to sleep,Urchin of human conscience,Covered with the streets’ … Continue reading Traveling to Work Through the Streets of Manchester by David Hay

A Faux-Symmetrina by Sean Chua

We kissed once, during first year. I spat afterwards, laughing. She mixed tea leaves in her dorm room for friends. Dried, packed with tiny bows. Mine always tasted rather tart. After that year of classes, I lost the time to go outside. Instead, I wrote. Letters flowed easier than texts, and were cheaper than candlelit meals. I never sent them to anyone, though. Years later … Continue reading A Faux-Symmetrina by Sean Chua

When We Were One by Jen Gupta

Those years were yellow –  a summer sun flirting with bedtime. We could talk to birds, we could speak cat. The shed in the backyard was our secret home. We hid blankets and plastic teacups filled with wild berries inside the old wheelbarrow so Dad wouldn’t find them on his search for a garden shovel. Each day we woke with the first peek of light, the cicada’s first hiss, to wipethe tear drops … Continue reading When We Were One by Jen Gupta

The Miner by Kurt Van Ristell

They worked him ’til his fingernails turned mulberry,Peeling from their beds like autumn petals.They used new therapies to fix his crumpled distals, Alloyed his carpals with an icy clutch of metals. But soon after, his miner’s arms collapsed –Each ulna splintered like an ocean’s daughter-streams.And so they weaved his alabaster frame of bonesWith endless reams of printed black graphene – Light as an iron feather. … Continue reading The Miner by Kurt Van Ristell

Where I Belong by Cara L McKee

The places where I belong arethe fairytale-real wooded spaces,wearing leathern boots and wrapped in wool,or up on the wild, windy moorendlessly searching Heathcliffmay I never find himwith hair and cape, whippinglike funereal pirate flags in my wake. The places where I belong arethe storied stone circleswith cup, sword, and athame,and crescent on my brow,or on the wide staircaseof some forlorn manorgiven long ago to more … Continue reading Where I Belong by Cara L McKee

Selkie Soliloquy by Bailey Merlin

I’m a Selkie searching for the skinyou buried to bind my body to yours.Or maybe you were the Selkie and I’veforgotten the tragedy of digging in the knife,tightly twisting until your epidermis dislodged,complete; but I can’t really remember and nowwhen I dream, your mouth opens to reveala gaping maw; I think you look like a heron,then imagine I’m a fish, a red herring readyto be … Continue reading Selkie Soliloquy by Bailey Merlin

Torridon by Laurence Morris

The hills of Torridon rise up and are no more or less than that.They are sandstone, gneiss and quartzite,not sleeping giants or rock eruptions until we name them so. Yet the morning light falls on them like a salmon in the waterhaving caught the scent of spring,that old dream of being a better soul if only in some other place. And while pathways hold meaning, … Continue reading Torridon by Laurence Morris

Evolution by Craig Dobson

November’s cold enough to make melinger in the hothouse, eyeing an okapibucking its extinction in the Congohere, in a deserted zoo in Hampshire. Braving the chill, I come close enoughto touch a rhino – and would, just tobreak the lie I tell myself about its skin:nothing can be that tough, living. Light fades, saving these from mydistraction, from that strange senseslipping from me now, between … Continue reading Evolution by Craig Dobson

Accidental View by Craig Dobson

A stone through glass, breaking time,shards falling, leave me in my teens again:bending to the ruined greenhouse panewhose stained wood frame could standanother coat, the few tomato plants behindnot thriving anyway, the unwound ball of stringand open bag of slug pellets, slung to one sideof the potting tray rigged up from a sheet of ply.But, as my eye comes even, I see splinteringfrom the start … Continue reading Accidental View by Craig Dobson

Saudade by Melissa Ashley Hernandez

If I could, I would bottle the soundof a Game Boy startup, the way safetyscissors glide through construction paper,the shutter of a Polaroid camera,the kshhh of a spinning yoyo,and create a perfumeto spray on my pillowto remind meof it, like an old lovethat left on good terms. I would savour the notes of my morningsandwich in Dad’s teal ‘95 Corolla asFresh Air played on the … Continue reading Saudade by Melissa Ashley Hernandez

Trapped by the Undertow by Susan Rouchard

The water beckons; I launch my body into waves. Below my feet, sharp rocks and sea urchins, in every nook, glow purple. Salt coats my arms. I slice through the ocean’s realm. Rainbow fish gleam, caught in a puddle of spilling sun rays. My breath squeezes in, out. Water drapes me. I face an infinite swell. Muscles become taut, pluck me back. I turn my … Continue reading Trapped by the Undertow by Susan Rouchard