COUGH AND CALL ME BABY
BY SCOTT THOMAS OUTLAR
First day in a new habitat
but surrounded on all sides
One more cigarette burn
on my lung tissue scars
Kill switch cool gauge
I don’t miss you
on days like this
but I do wonder
who I am
and what I’ve become
Something is amiss
and you don’t call me lover
Coffee with rum
to break the fast
at 2 p.m. on the front porch
where dad used to give
some of his best advice
I could use a slice
of humble pie
when pride is ready to goeth
before the fall
BY ALYSSA TRIVETT
A friend called me late one night
four Springs ago
when all the basements flooded
and told me they wanted to rip all of the frames
off the walls to put them in a block party fire,
to twist stop signs like Sherman’s neckties
and to let all of their positive/negative thoughts
run out into traffic as a child with change in their hands
pillaging to the ice cream truck.
Only to settle down
under a lonely streetlight
in film noir
before the last line is muttered
and a gunshot is heard off-screen.
The rage is kind of like that,
my friend said.
THE SUCCUBUS’S WITHDRAWAL
BY NATHAN HARRELL
Panic is heaping acid dust
Like faded coalmine canary graveyards
Cartwheeling the breach of pain.
She disappears into shadowed pines
Burying light as she pirouettes.
Wind blows against the curtains
Of her windowed oracle face
Like breath from the reaper.
Gleaning cipher and chapped speech
I two step into vagary.
Storing apologies like winters cold
Hiding from epiphany’s dancing riddles,
The silence is vermillion thunder.
Lost are the licking whispers
Like flames extinguished between fingers.
Biting back the knifes edge
Failing to flee lost scriptures
And forbidden blood-stained relics,
I trip calmly into warmth
Like war-time pale ghost fever.
Unable to grasp the words
Thrown at me as ice,
I flee on phantom feet
Groping, thrashing, like death to
Lay in her cemetery eyes.
BY TODD FISCHER
A leaf falls to grassless ground
The tiger paces in its pen
Outside the cage a wall of flesh
Oppressive eyes boring through
The prisoners contained
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