Level Three Emergency

We’re snowed in
at a Motel 6
and I’ve still got it,
the gold chain we stole
from your mother
that rainy Easter.

Tell me to turn up the radio
and dance like we’ll die here,
frozen and hungry, naked.
There is no resisting fire.

I could last forever, a jewel
thief for you, searching
for enough amber
to fossilize our love.

Tell me to wear this gold
chain around my neck, a collar
or dog tag to show the new world
what you mean to me.

We’re snowed in;
I could last until the sun
thaws us from the past
and frees us from this room.


Rajnish Mishra – Sunday Evening

Sunday evening

Sunday evening is worse than Monday morning,

The fear of death, says Sir Francis, is worse than death.

A sickly feeling rises and churns in my stomach,

even now, after I’ve lived through such seven hundred

and seventy non-workingSundays. It’s the same every time.

It starts rising from Saturday. In the morning

a panic reminder rings, a tightening in intestines.

Saturday evening warns me that the next

will be the last before death comes again.

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Abigail George – Exodus or the spark of life is electricity

Exodus or the spark of life is electricity
(for my mother and father)

He remembers hearing the words
we are not couples that fight all
the time. He looks at his wife who
is not speaking to him. ‘We are
who we are’. And thinks to himself
that the sea is tired. Perhaps
as forlorn as he is. He’s a man in the garden. He imagines the sun

covering the dark water. Cold to the
touch. He wonders what the right
language of love is for winter guests.
How to make peace with his wife.
He wants to embrace her. Take her in his arms

as if she was a girl
again. Brush her hair out of her
face with his granadilla hands.

Forget that he is in the autumn
of his years. He wants to forget
that he used to do this for a living.
He wants to know if his unhappy
marriage is on the verge of cracking up. He wants to know
if she’s finally going to leave him.

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Allasandra Raceen Buckner – YOU


So I’ve heard all these people
rappin’ ’bout relationships
But I’ve just lost one
‘Bout 6’2 with some attitude
But I just wanted him
All to
But I wasn’t the only one
The man up there
was calling him, too.
Dad, now that you’re gone,
I just don’t know what
to do.
You were loving, caring,
and intelligent.
You were always there
for me.
I will miss laughing with you
because, that’s what we would
always do.
I remember when
I was only 9 you taught me
the basics of
You were a
never taught by anyone
but you.
All I want to do now is
take my life
but I can’t do a recap
of you.
That’s an unforgivable sin
and something I don’t
wanna do.
So now all I gotta do
is stay close and
the things I did
with you.
I never wanted you
to leave but
that’s what you had
to do.
were a man that
would do anything to
achieve his dreams;
would spoil us
and make us feel
like queens.
That’s what made you happy
and us too,
After grandma was gone,
you were, too.
let the bad stuff take
care of you.
We told you
everything would be okay,
and that’s what she told
you, too.
All we wanted was for you
to get help but
that wasn’t somethin’
you wanted
to do.
went through thick and thin
for us,
and that’s what we had to do
for you.
You asked why He did this
to you,
but he has plans for everyone,
including you!
He saw that you were hurting,
but He knew what He had
to do.
He knew it was going to hurt
a lot of pople
including you;
But it was the best
for us- even you.
Dad, I miss you a lot
and you know
that, too;
But now I know
to not let the bad stuff get
to you.
You’re happy now and that’s
all that matters to me-
that you are you!

Daddy, I love you.

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Love or Some Other Implement of Exfoliation[1]
“Things have to keep breaking until they’re whole.” –Constance Plumley, “La Nuit”

The thing about the bombing of Dresden
was all the china. An entire industry
reduced to dust in the space
of a few hours.
When you showed
me your heart, Constance, I saw
a street, filled with rubble, blue-
flecked pieces scattered between,
and I asked you if you’d let me be
the jeweler with pots of glue
and molten gold. Days spent
with loupe attached to glasses,
a harvest of shards deposited
in a burlap sack,
then nights spent
at the jigsaw table, piece after piece
rotated, rearranged, until one demitasse
cup approached completion.
You clutched
my arm and begged “don’t leave me”
again and again; I told you
our work had just begun. An entire
profession remains to be reassembled.

This is the work we do, and from it
we shall emerge, not new, not pristine,
but stronger, a semblance of what we
were before. Imperfect but together.

1The title is a line from Tim Staley’s “Duet”.



Brutal Truths and Lying Light

You can peel off your scars
like so many old and dirty
band-aids. Pain makes a great
affectation, don’t you think?
The writers want you to reveal
your third nipple in the season
finale. Give them an expensive thrill.
Make no mistake, this is a game
of ratings and dogs’ breath.
Take another swig of condensed
Windex, another bite
of urinal cake. Breath is freshest
when it’s blue. Nice to see you.