Contributors in this issue
The gas is off
our children are cold.
Do you love me?
I heat water in the microwave to fill
the sink to wash their faces and hands.
Do you love me?
I sit up with the space heater
watching for sparks. Our children
are barely lumps under layers of quilts.
Your love leaves me cold
leaves me hungry
Enough becomes less when divided
into three small mouths. I've gro wn
too old, too practical for promises.
Sing sweet songs that rise on the steam
of pots of boiling potatoes. Look at me
with soft eyes as the furnace awakens with a roar.
When our children run past me in bare feet,
white cotton t-shirts grazing their thighs.
Then I will know you love me.
Postcards from an Ambient Life
My pen broke just now and
sticky and oh so black ink has affixed my fingers to it but I don't want to
stop writing because I'm outside and the sky is this turquoise blue as if the
night can't drive out a hopeful day and fireflies are playing hide and seek
with me one moment glowing green to my right and phosphorescent to my left
far off above my head, they play visual tag. The male cicadas are loud and we female cicadas are silent
but my pen is still writing broken and bleeding sticky black ink.
We do things for the damnedest
reasons like go off to be alone because we don't want be alone.
Our photography teacher told us to 'see the light.' I'm a poet, so I thought it would be easy. But it wasn't. Until one day at the bus stop, I looked up to see the streetlight still on in the early morning hours. Its light shattered the early morning rain into a curtain of crystal shards that pooled onto the black asphalt street. I saw the light for the very first time. Is it that difficult to see love? Is it so subtly hidden in plain sight? Have I looked past it because I expected an overwhelming 4th of July explosion of whistle and color? The 4th of July only comes once a year. But the streetlight comes on everyday to light the school children's way to the yellow and black bus. It backlights the rain and shines my way home. Yeah. I think that's love.