THE SUMMER NIGHT
by James Lee Jobe
The back porch was screened in
and dark, and all night we made love there.
This was long ago in our youth, a hot night,
a bright moon and a dull street lamp,
a porch swing, an old sofa covered
with a white sheet. Naked, your skin
shining with sweat, you seemed to glow
above me. There was loud music on
inside the house. You picked up the beat,
pushing me down on the sofa. June Bugs
on the street lamp made odd little noises,
then I, too, became a June Bug.
I became a summer night.
MY HEART IS A LEAF by Allyson Seconds
CALAVERAS BIG TREES PARK
by James Lee Jobe
The Redwood tree was 1000 years old
and I opened my sleeping bag for a nap.
There were actual openings in the side of the tree
the size of small rooms. No one else was around.
Inside the tree I dreamed of a day we never shared.
We climbed rocks along a swift mountain river.
It was a hot summer day, and we stripped naked
and jumped in. We drank wine and you kissed me.
"Why did you have to die?" I asked you that, finally,
after thirty years of mourning you. "Everything hurt."
That's all you would say about it. You knew I loved you,
so I didn't say it this one time. Then you smiled
and asked me if I wanted to swim again.
And I did. I really did.
FOR THE BIRDS by Allyson Seconds
by Stephanie Anne Williams
Her quiet heart speaks the ebony, the draught
That drains her perk, spoken cold and drowned
Spit lines, vapor burr and bramble slew
Spotted croak for memory lines, dipped ink
Curled in blood wrapped kink in feral eyes
Drawn to the flap, the edge of cloud, dancing
Wild in soft-spun plagues, chipped gnomes of
Black-and-white, fraught moods with deviled
Pink with spite at the murmur, trim blend at
Soaked in torn fur, she cries wolf to ripples
Of Him beckons, "Jesus, Jesus," at lover's whim,
Groaning palely to dimpled grime, knife her
Heart with greased come, to dwell in virtues,
In gorged realms
But shame weaves in and out, speckles her
Sodden split with dreamlike trends, swelling
Broadly, tidally, conferring prayer with death
And as she mends, she lights, she stains her
Stuff with lull, to sing the ash and let her grow