c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art

EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Laura Martin

B-Side by Allyson Seconds
B-Side by Allyson Seconds


By Laura Martin

Brave the flight
out of your warm, disheveled nest—
the sun is just beginning
to lift its chin
over the mountains
you cannot see from here,
the unbearable chatter of daylight
is still just a whisper,
and it doesnít smell like city yet.
If we go now
we can sneak the first footprints
across frosty lawns
turn cartwheels on lonesome sidewalks
leave love letters in empty mailboxes
before the newspaper hits the porch
before the cats have found
their way back home
from night-prowling.


By Laura Martin

He buried the cat
sat us down on the couch
explained—briefly—Godís will, etc.
bowed head
closed eyes
recited the Lordís Prayer
asked if we had questions
(we had none)
told us to leave that part of the back yard alone
Donít play back there
then, forbade crying
deemed it selfish
to want the dead back—
to coax them out of
no more pain no more hardship
no more worries
"Someday," he said
"we will all be so lucky."


By Laura Martin

Nicotine-stained wet-dog musty
corduroy ribbed arms worn down to bare thread
and black, shiny flattened stain where elbows go
(will rub the paint right off the wall
if you lean too far back)
supermarket tabloids piled high on the floor nearby—
The National Enquirer, Weekly World News,
The Star, The Sun, The Globe, People Magazine
trashcan piled high nearby
spilling into the beige plastic bowl
full of black springy bristly wire curlers
and pink and white plastic hairpins,
a bright orange margarine tub full of cigarette butts floating
in water sits on the endtable midst
Avon books, empty prescription bottles,
TUMS wrappers, a clutter
of bills to pay, writing tablets, BIC® pens
an overflowing ashtray, 1/2 empty packs of Marlboro
(golden label, soft pack)
TV blaring nighttime game shows
the dog is underneath it all
chewing on a curler—
Dad spreads his mechanical pencil set out on his lap
and constructs his dream house againagainagain on gridpaper,
mom has been sitting there for hours
mirror in one hand
tweezers in the other
mouth tightly pursed to one side
obsessively picking at the hair
that grows
out of the mole
on the side of her face.

Laura Martin
Laura Martin

Laura Martin is a freelance writer/photographer/graphic designer whose features, essays, stories and images have appeared in such publications as Sacramento, Solano, and Via magazines, the San Jose Mercury News, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Susurrus, Tule Review, Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets, and Medusa's Kitchen. Last year, she was the grand prize recipient of the Second Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest and was nominated in 2012 for a Pushcart Prize for poetry. As an Amherst Writers and Artists affiliate, Laura leads private writing workshops in the Sacramento area.

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