TENNESSEE WALTZ by Allyson Seconds
UNDER THE STAIRS
by Jim Conwell
It is 1956 and I am sleeping under the stairs in number 94,
with my sister whose prayers are stronger than mine.
The fear that Mummy will never come back
Is unravelling my guts and
I am worried that I am leaking away.
Aragh Jimmy, don't be silly.
My Aunty Ann will say.
You're not leaking away.
Sure your mummy will be back soon,
With a brand new sister.
Lookit, aren't you looking forward to that?
I am wordless, incommunicable, lonely, lost.
Take me in your arms. Hold me.
GAZING BALL by Katy Brown
TO THE LABYRINTH
by Kara Synhorst
First, forget about a Minotaur:
this labyrinth exists for those who choose.
No walls but instep high, little more.
To walk away is only to quit, not to lose.
And grasses grow between the stones
but not on the trail itself, which is worn down
and the maze is long enough to ache my bones
and the center path takes you the long way 'round.
I find myself on the outermost ring again.
Fuck this, I think. I will leap to the center, spin.
I will take giant steps, tangential, out. But then
I am near, I am nearing, I'm in.
The center circle holds a folded note, a stalk of lavender, a gem
a coin, a pinecone, to my mind a diadem.
TEA TIME by Aubrey Laughlin
THE BITTER END
by Timothy Pilgrim
When she becomes remote,
draws black curtains over green eyes,
keeps you, your touch, at bay,
know no way exists
to foster hope. You see, she's folded
your memory creased it really,
really creased it placed it
at the end of a scrapbook she calls
her life. All bits tossed away for good
for you, for bad. She's whirled off
in dirty wind, gone coffin gray.
Time for you to fade, decay.