Of Desire/Hope

Written in response to the Mali Hostage Crisis Burn. Imagine a hotel room a splitting open inside a dark heat   a hymn   shining like sparrows in this cavern A dua* being whispered for peace.   *Dua is the muslim word for personal prayer/supplication. by Caitlin Springer   Caitlin Springer currently resides in a small coastal town in central …

Dear Cinderella (or To Whom It May Concern)

I.   Little girls starving themselves brittle and family secrets glossed in simper abide by midnight curfews, closing their barbed cage doors behind them. Not women in crimson juice on taffeta, eyes in conflagration. Not you.   II.   When broken birds cannot be distinguished from timber we’re forced to burn it all. Reducing the innocent to the ash you …

Healing

The fencer lunges forward the opponent parries but fails and both collide corps-a-corps while the blades flash and clash and leave their signatures in oozing blood that coagulates soon. Steamy tears in droplets combine into streams of hot molten lava and flow on the obdurate terrains digging deep furrows that soon get lined with scabs of moss. The keel of …

On Receiving a Life-Threatening Diagnosis

Has Death asked me to step out on the floor? For a tango, long and difficult? Will I need attitude, strength to learn new steps?   I don’t expect a polka. With luck a waltz, a whirl of warm music in which I’ll get lost rising and sinking in my partner’s arms.   If the evening is long, I’d like …

Ashlie Allen

Blood Clot   Through pink tinted lamp light, I tilt in the chair, hair sliding off my shoulders until my countenance is black with Japanese heritage   Last night, I woke myself up laughing Your eyes, ivory with silver shimmer, fell on me I cradled them until they busted like a blood clot being bitten   You said “I can …

Here’s what I remember

A hooker with the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians tattooed on her side. Four hundred thirty six Crown Royal bags. How much I hate stuffed olives. Not dating Jane Fonda. Ted Bundy’s last meal. Arguing from design using a cockroach. God being ambidextrous. The never ending generosity of drinkers trying to pick up women in a bar. A billboard: “My …

Ansel Oommen

Fugue   I lived ambling through a dream   It was nice– the scenery was pleasant And in my naïveté, I lay Anesthetized Sniffing poppies As the clouds scrambled for the east   They warned me to follow them   I laughed; they were mad   Did they not know they were part Of a story I composed A poem …

Grilled Miracles

My daughter looks at the sky as if her real life might fall out of it. Air pressure shifts hope in her bones. She sleeps long in the afternoon, confident of her basic knowledge of gravity.   You have no faith, says my son, who claims to see iguanas dance in Copán. I saw too much to believe anything, I …