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Illustration by Douglas Rouse

Bus Driver

By Kese Chartier

On the evening commute I said to you,
Driver, I'm not sure
you have my best interests at heart.
This ride is unpleasant,
and the destination doesn't look like home.
You've taken streets with which I'm unfamiliar,
and the landscape looks hostile at best.
If every passenger is equally important,
are any of us really important to you at all?
You tipped your hat to me and replied,
"Shut up and sit down.
I'm trying to drive this thing."

Of The River

By D. E. Newton

Optimism sprouts
Blades of grass, the prairie
A growing idea
Countless among the others
A flash in the sky
Fire blinds the eye,
Sons, daughters,
Unrecognizable of mothers

The danger lies
In wait, it targets all
Aims to confuse
Ones who have escaped,
Tortured, some from death
Ache of its lover's breath
Will it not rain?
Seeds sown, not replaced

Of the river
Men, women run
To drench their seeds
Feed the ideas, countless,
Equality of dreams
Truth for hate
Love endless
Ever flow from parched lips

Lillies Lie Beneath the Soil

by Kathleen Dreisig

When memories take flight,
I know I loved you all besides tonight.
In yesterday's fleet of darkness,
I thought of you much less.
Can it be but five thousand lies,
I tell myself for morning rise

 Fledge by Noah Mauchly

Fledge by Noah Mauchly


Moving On

By Laxmi Khatiwada

  Sometimes in your life
You have to put heart on
  Top of stone and smile

A Night Upon the Mortal Sin (villanelle)

By Gabrielle S.

It seemed the farther we drifted the more my head would spin
I was intoxicated by the softness of your face
As the pinpricks of light danced across our skin.

Oh Darling, what bliss is this? I thought with a grin.
My dress was off white and I was as delicate as lace.
It seemed the farther we drifted, the more my head would spin.

Your practiced hands navigated my body as though the helm and I were kin.
Who cared what would come after this moment, in this place
As pinpricks of light danced across our skin.

Desire took control, and I tried to remember how did all this begin?
Our bodies molded together from the heat, a feeling I will never erase.
It seemed the farther we drifted, the more my head would spin.

Like a boat riding the waves we rocked together on the satin
Sheets. The stars, heaven's eyes, watched from space
As the pinpricks of light danced across our skin.

Our silence was enough to confirm what we both felt within.
I smiled at the thought of what we committed on the Mortal Sin
It seemed the farther we drifted, the more my head would spin
As the pinpricks of light danced across our skin.

Paperback

By Tyler R.

You are a paperback copy of my favorite novel
all coffee stains and bent pages.
You are a cracked spine holding yellowed pages
rain spatters on a faded cover

You are hot tea
fireplaces and blankets
snowy days with nowhere to go

Your corners are dulled by countless hours
of careless handling.
Colors faded from too much time
in passenger sears
on hot summer days.

You are notes in blue ink
scrawled in thin lines
in the margins.

You are a paperback copy of my favorite novel
often mistreated
but loved nonethless.