Woman walking gripping a bottle of Mad Dog
By Angie Dribben
Early afternoon in Idaho’s March, snow
pressed against curbs against houses
against snowbanks against our backs.
Everywhere paths narrowed.
Some days she stands
on the corner screaming at someone unseen.
Her stabbing finger removes wind from air.
I know someone is there because sometimes
I yell like this too. A strip of pink
in her hair, a streak of hope, necessary.
How easy it is to slip into faith for a half hour,
long enough to paint your hair pretty,
believe that there will be more.
I know what it is to believe in forever-even-after
a husband gives reason to curl up in a closet,
hold breath until organs fail and it all turns blue,
after the first rape or the last
man who gives no choice
but to leave for nowhere, except a corner
of cold in winter, screams escaping
into winds casting cotton
candy floss onto limbs.
Angie Dribben’s poetry, essays, and reviews can be found or are forthcoming in Cave Wall, EcoTheo, Deep South, San Pedro River Review, Crab Creek Review, Crack the Spine, Cider Press, and others. A Bread Loaf alum, she is an MFA candidate at Randolph College. Everygirl., her first full-length collection is due out 2021 from Main Street Rag.
By Nick Gaudio
For all the delicate revelations
you can find in this unjust world,
at least one is in the rhythm
a firefly hangs when it exhales
light over a pond’s algae
one late-October night.
Mating is partly a philosophy
a firefly can’t explain on its own:
how light is the medium,
how they need hands
to cast themselves in a jar;
how hands need light
to trim away the dark;
how everything needs each other
to sear a hallowed yellow burn
into so many fateful forms indemnified
by this black forest’s trappings
before everything, too,
But finding few,
can we catch one?
This one to fly.
This one to be captured.
This one to escape hands
only to return as caught
& destined to be caught.
So when I see you’ve caught two,
poked a too-large hole
with a pen in a mason jar’s
it’s not without a subtle reason:
You’ve just imagined yourself
as a captive.
You’ve just imagined yourself
You’ve just imagined your
this is not by chance alone.
It is all merely a part
of the firefly’s brilliant
Nick Gaudio is a native West Virginian, a Scorpio, an ENFJ, and a Type 1 on the Ennegram. He holds both an MFA from The University of Michigan and the current record for most near-wins in The New Yorker Caption Contest (at 4). Instead of using his MFA to do any sort of good for the world, Nick has worked as an obituary writer, reporter, newspaper editor, professor, and as the head writer for theCHIVE.com
Everything is a Library
By M L Woldman
I’m in the third grade and everything is a library
Mrs. Griswold is a haggard old piece of gristle and she hates everything
I am reading about dinosaurs and Greek mythology
It is summer and I am in school as part of some educational experiment
they speak to me
“I too was unwanted in this world
but look how glorious I was.”
she speaks to me
“Here is something too magnificent to be believed
Here is something holy
fallen into disrepair.”
And Mrs. Griswold can only scowl in reproach
as I indulge wonders she long ago denied
M L Woldman is a GED graduate with a heart full of fire. Founder of Austin Poets’ Union, poet and playwright. 5th generation Texas.@MLWoldman