Brennan Downey, “Sympathy Dart Frog”

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Sympathy Dart Frog

I have to hire
a sympathy dart frog

to sit, and wait, in the palm
of my hand

to mutter the things
that feel strange for me to say

and so that I can effortlessly hand
to strangers this frog

when they are crying on the train, and
my body language

will convey something about
the universal nature of human suffering

instead of something about the
prevalence of human apathy


Brennan Downey is a wilderness therapy field guide in Vermont who was raised in Virginia and who once won an award for his laugh.


Tanner Lee, “Let’s Start with the Body”

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Let’s Start with the Body

down to roots that suck the inner thickness
between your hip and collarbone—
if your entire body were a mouth
then pour me in like a cracked egg
—what flesh of you reaches down
with its churned, folksy swell
and hangs on an iron hook
above a man who thinks he owns
your right to nakedness. harp
of bones strung from yolky sinews
sweetened with honey pistil
I want to reach down and sing
the old familiar. The west of Eden choirs
that crackle your heartwood
until there’s a heaven in your hands
a pink-white crease
a wildness, a careful suture
of a thread that only unravels
to catch droplets
that couldn’t find ground.


Tanner Lee lives in Ogden, Utah, and studies at Weber State University. His writing has appeared in Hobart and Glass, and is forthcoming in The Comstock Review and Lost Sparrow Press. He is an assistant blog manager at The Blueshift Journal. Find him on twitter @heytannerlee.


Tyler Gabrysh, “The Escaping”

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The Escaping

We climbed into the anytime night,
swept into the heavy forest like Jews escaping,
animals without worry of tripping
over freshly mounted headstones.

The hustling below hawkish owls
piercing us with their centrifugal yellow,
the brute trees quarantining us
through an unrelenting maze.

Thinking of safe cover
(imagining bear and wolf dens),
considering that if Buddhism is right,
we can indeed break our very minds.

And yet when darkness eventually lifted,
with our beds of moss and rock,
we thought only to reach
the river and map out a new future.


Tyler Gabrysh is a Canadian writer who has been a contest winner in Geist, Other Voices, and Open Minds Quarterly. He also writes his self-coined ALPs (alternate lyric poems), and his book reviews and interviews have appeared in several other publications. Among his inspirations are his two cats. He is yet another writer working on a novel.