Jackie Olsen, “In the World, Of the World, All the World”

Jackie Olsen is a poet and writer of stories and essays living in Colorado. She loves all the seasons, including dandelion season, bug season, and snow plow season.

orange line

In the World, Of the World, All the World

In the vivid, sloppy wonder of peach season
I am quite manic, a springing creature of the deep forest
eating my fill of the peak of the year, eating!
Eating all the shoots, all the bounty, all of it, all
bound up in the glory of the light, so much light–

It will stay forever, this light, it promises
endless feasting and rutting and running
long languid days in the shade,
still and fertile, hidden, vibrant.
And the green! Verdant green,
overwhelming, overtopping last year’s brown,
shameless and slutty, this green.
It sustains this everlasting season in pounding heat–

Over shimmering pavement, the doe delicately
minces with her fat baby, as
traffic stops, in salute to the small wild things–

The things of summer, the fleeting green season
When, fecund and ripe, dripping with sweet love
a peach is mine, all mine, envelops my hands,
devoured dripping over the sink.





Jared Carter, “Wraith”

Jared Carter’s most recent book of poems, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in Morgantown, West Virginia. He lives in Indiana.

orange line


O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost,
       come back again,
Out of the utter darkness. Most
       abandoned when

The self prevailed, we knew not where
       to turn. Sustain
Us now, indemnifying air
       and sun and rain

And all that signifies belief
       in less, not more,
In what is there—a stone, a leaf,
       an unfound door.

—after Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (1900–1938)

Hélène ZiXuan Wang, “Woman at Her Toilette”

Hélène ZiXuan Wang is a young writer and poet born and raised in Beijing, China. She showed an interest in the arts since a young age, and is known to incorporate elements of music, dance, painting, and foreign languages in her poetry. Her education at an international baccalaureate school fostered a dash of duality in her voice: multicultural yet grounded within herself.

orange line


Berthe Morisot. Woman at Her Toilette, 1870-1880. The Art Institute of Chicago.

Woman at Her Toilette

Was the world separate or all in one?
Flowers flew in my toilette forever.
I wore a white dress and felt like a white swan.

Where had I ended and where had the room begun?
Silk, tulle, blues, lavenders…all seemed silverly lit.
Was the world separate or all in one?

Blond feathers for a swan, pink blush for a human,
I hid these secrets in my hand; the mirror never knew.
I wore a white dress and felt like a white swan.

Thin air pirouetted on my skin; brushstrokes ran.
I faded as a ballet fell away behind my back.
Was the world separate or all in one?

In a dream, I was a swan painted by a woman.
Air never dried my wings, it softened her hand.
Was the world separate or all in one?
I wore a white dress and felt like a white swan.

Ann E. Wallace, “Remember this”

Ann E. Wallace, a poet and essayist from Jersey City, New Jersey, is author of the poetry collection Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag). She has previously published work in Clementine Unbound, as well as in Huffington Post, Wordgathering, Halfway Down the Stairs, and many other journals. Follow her on Twitter @annwlace409 and Instagram @AnnWallace409, or read her work at AnnWallacePhD.com.

orange line

Remember this

That even in this wrenching
week that has taken so much,
and always, there is movement,
bits of life that stutter and grow,
or quietly hum along, as they should,

that there are cherry trees turning
from showy pink to steady green,
that orioles are landing in
our gardens, filling their spring-
time bellies before flying onward,

and that, as a student’s gentle
prodding reminded me, this knot
of heaving pain will soon soften
and spin itself anew into a sacred
web of memories, mine and yours,
that, once shared, will nourish
and carry us through our sorrow.