Margaux Novak, “Peeling Oranges”

Margaux Novak has been published internationally in Little Patuxent Review, The Worcester Review, Sanctuary: Audubon Society Magazine, and Wraparound South. She is a recipient of the Guy Owen Award and winner of Dartmouth College’s Frost Place Poetry Award. Novak was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize for her poem, “Sea Witch,” which appeared in Little Patuxent Review. Novak received a master’s in creative writing from Dartmouth College. She was raised in coastal North Carolina and now resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Find her online at

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Peeling Oranges

It’s that first puncture I crave,
when I dig my thumbnail
wound-deep into the freckled rind

and the skin peels back a little,
spits up at me.
I separate peel from body,

pull back a thick layer of web
where pith abandons fruit.
Help unfurl its cayenne skirt.

I recoil the rind to my nose, breathe—
when you breathe an orange you have to
commit; can’t turn from that fresh hope—

Citrus sluices across my tongue
sweet, tang, the way summer
feels: full, dusk-lit, gone.





David Anthony Sam, “Now Is Not the Time to Talk about Guns”

David Anthony Sam, the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria, lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam’s poetry has appeared in over ninety publications, and his poem “First and Last” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award. Sam’s five collections include Final Inventory (Prolific Press, 2018) and Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson, the 2016 grand prize winner, GFT Press Chapbook Contest. He teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College and serves on the board of the Virginia Poetry Society.

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Now Is Not the Time to Talk about Guns

The dead are too warm and bloody.
The living have not had time to mourn.
The news cycle has not had time to move on to the next big thing.
The politicians have not had time to bank the latest contribution.
The ammo manufacturers have not had time to refill the stores’ coffers.
The earth has not had time to swallow all the dead.
And there has not been enough time for the next gunman to vindicate
the silence of legislators with another shooting for which
now will not be

    the time

          to talk

               about guns.





Jared Carter, “Resurrection”

Jared Carter’s Darkened Rooms of Summer was the first book selected for the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series and was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. Carter lives in Indiana.

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The body rises up at last,
     it cannot keep
Its distance from what comes to pass,
     when more than sleep

Is beckoning. To bid adieu
     and still to bless,
Savonarola reached out through
     the flames; and pressed

Against them, Frida Kahlo sat
     upright, as though
Awakening at last from what
     is merely show.




Hiram Larew, “Over and Besides”

Hiram Larew’s fourth collection, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. Find him on Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet, and at POETRYXHUNGER.COM.

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Over and Besides

Praise for lives of curve
For arrivals’ grins
For pures that blend
and windows’ ledgings

Praise in ways that lift
Through pockets’ wings
Through beams of firsts
and eyes of deepest stories
Through ringing branches
and pink dirts of Spring
or brimming

Praise with hearts of over and besides
with more of slowly turnings
with running hills and lifted ears
Praise with inside’s shimmer tinge
that almost flies with ever-flowing