David P. Miller, “Warning”

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Warning

Warning: I brake for acute childhood memory.
Warning: I brake for cloud formations.
I brake for radio waves bounced from the ionosphere.
I brake for the enlightenment of all beings in this very lifetime.
Warning: I brake for bunnies.

Don’t like my driving.
That’s not a question.
That is a command.
Do not like my driving.
I execrate my driving and expect you to do the same.

If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see
your scalpful of vipers turned marble,
the terminal whammy of your frozen face.
Oh. I forgot you weren’t a Classics major.

I brake for art’s sake.
I brake for reasons shared privately with God.
Does my driving arouse misgivings?
Then call 1-800-AUTOPHOBIA
and don’t blame me, I voted for—
Watch out!
Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, bunnies!
I warned you, damn it.

If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see—
Lord in heaven, I can’t see.
Please tailgate.
Please follow closely.
Don’t blame me, I voted for you and you alone.
I was kidding about the vipers.
Please gape at my mirrors.
Ogle my mirrors!

 


David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages, was published by Cervená Barva Press. His poems have recently appeared in Meat for Tea, riverbabble, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and What Rough Beast, among others. His poem “Kneeling Woman and Dog” was included in the 2015 edition of Best Indie Lit New England. With a background in experimental theater before turning to poetry, David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for twenty-five years. He was a librarian at Curry College in Milton, MA, from which he retired in June 2018.


 

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Kevin Casey, “Waiting for the Guide to Return”

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Waiting for the Guide to Return

The moose lay ruined on its back, listing downhill
on the clearcut, rent from stem to stern, legs canted
like the spars of a foundering ship. The last hour
of the last day of the season, and now we wait
for the winch and more muscle to haul the carcass
off the mountainside. From this height we watch the river
bottom fill with dusk as the sun descends. Autumn’s red
and yellow embers are snuffed to somber gray.

In the darkness that climbs the mountain like a tide,
in the silence of this shaman’s prefecture,
we push off from the shore through rising mists, as if
afloat within the moose’s empty hull. Night laps
against the horizon’s coast as we drift beneath
the dome of sky braced with ribs and sinew, washed
with the cool scent of spruce buds and yellow birch.

At last headlights appear at the mountain’s foot
like candles, and the yip and cry of coyotes
echoes through the valley like a choir.

 


Kevin Casey is the author of Ways to Make a Halo (Aldrich Press, 2018) and American Lotus, winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). And Waking… was published by Bottom Dog Press in 2016. His poems have appeared in Rust + Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column “American Life in Poetry.” For more, visit andwaking.com.


 

Kevin Casey, “Hexagenia limbata”

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Hexagenia limbata

North of the Firesteel River mayflies
form a vertical regatta, frozen
on the porch door’s screen, the sails of their wings
casting shadows in the sodium light.
Years in the mud, two days on the dry side
of the lake—this will be their final night.
Their adult form has no working mouth;
they now live moment to moment, sustained
in the end as if by memories alone.
Voiceless and sated, they’ll weigh anchor
once the tide of night has withdrawn
and the fog lifts from the riverbank,
pushing off into day and their awful doom,
this singular and wondrous chance.

 


Kevin Casey is the author of Ways to Make a Halo (Aldrich Press, 2018) and American Lotus, winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). And Waking… was published by Bottom Dog Press in 2016. His poems have appeared in Rust + Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column “American Life in Poetry.” For more, visit andwaking.com.


 

Emily Lake Hansen, “Wild”

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Wild

By the pool we drink from buckets.
You sneak in shots when I’m not looking.
Don’t be a wet blanket, you say. But
there are rules I’m still uncomfortable
breaking. In the gulf later, you spot
a stingray and swim up closer. Look!
you point with glee at his clouded body.
I stay closer to shore, imagining
what one must look like in the wild,
if its fins seem like wings the way
they do on TV, if from your vantage,
you can spot the end of its barb,
if you can tell from closer whether
its mouth opens slowly or quickly
to catch the minnows beneath it —
does it even eat fish? Years back
at some sad sea park, I tried to get
closer. I wore a snorkel suctioned
to my face, green fins on my feet.
I took a step into the shallow tank.
All around me, rays swam about,
their fins overlapping into one gray
mass. The instructor said, Go ahead.
She pointed forward to the deeper
water, to the rays and sharks making
a home out of captivity. I watched
from the edge as if held there
by invisible strings — you planted them
long ago — unable to jump out, my legs
liquid and jelly. I mustered all
my strength to reach a finger out
and touch a spongy wing. It felt cool
and slimy, the residue like a word
on the tip of my tongue.

 


Emily Lake Hansen is the author of the chapbook The Way Body Had to Travel (dancing girl press). Her work has appeared in Nightjar Review, The McNeese Review, Stirring, and Atticus Review, among others. She received an MFA from Georgia College & State University and currently writes, teaches, and plays too many children’s board games in Atlanta.