Leftovers are by Frank Karioris

Leftovers are

Leftovers are, as I’ve said before,
one of the great joys of life.

Anyone who can’t see this, doesn’t
know the dictum: soup is always better the second day.

The power of food to move, mold, and make
us is best displayed in day-old bread

made into croutons, or breadcrumbs;
or the way that cake get ever so slightly crispy;

the cheddar goes a shade of darker white and hardens,
crunching down in beautiful tones.

The made-to-order-ness of a meal put together from parts,
the order of palettes is challenged in that moment.

 
Frank G. Karioris (he/they/him/them) is a writer and educator based in Pittsburgh whose writing addresses issues of friendship, masculinity, sexuality, and gender. Their work has appeared in wide ranging publications, including the Hong Kong Review of Books, Burning House Press, Truth-Out, Maudlin House, and the Berlin Review of Books.

Estranged by Kristin Garth

Estranged

Toile touching pillows, horizontal heads,
midnight confession — angel, she says. Heat
she breathes between whispering will burn red
then blue. Feet flitter together beneath sheets

with you. Irreverent, incandescent
undeniably changed, best friend birthright
lies enraptured, estranged — speaks incessant
of roses on does, lips twinkle gold in
twilight

details, delivery deepen fright. Young
like we are, from another time. You have
to consider she’s losing her mind. Stung
me first touch but subsequently behaved.

You have no words. She will offer no name.
It isn’t by angels sister is claimed.

 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2: One, Former Cactus, Occulum & many more. She has six chapbooks including Shakespeare for Sociopaths (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Press March 2019) and The Legend of the Were Mer (Thirty West Publishing House March 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), and she has a fantasy collaborative full length A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony forthcoming in June (Rhythm & Bones Lit) and Flutter (TwistiT Press) in January 2020. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), and her website kristingarth.com

The Apologies by Christina Strigas

The Apologies

Three a.m. searching for the earth she was born in;

Snow that never melts.

The final chapter that begins again—

I’m sorry I didn’t clean the house.

The fucked-up way he said her last name

as if it belonged to his heritage. It got

to her.

                                   

Every day changes her—

every new love kills her;

She never wanted to answer his message.

no,

Yes, he insisted.

 

 

Once with thirty years of need                                              

Riding over a city bridge,

She fell in love for the first time.                                            I loved you.

Once, after thirty years of apologies

She fell in love for the last time                                              I loved you.                 

St-Laurent river unchanging

under her lovers.

Death could crash inside her

Unquiet,

Troubled

Full of cancer cells

The dance of nail-biting sex

in two separate beds

 I’m sorry I lied.

You’d think she made a thousand mistakes a day—

That the Achilles heel

Meant her funeral was approaching.              

 

Her lonely coffin of lifeless               

unedited manuscripts.

I’m sorry,

 

I loved you, too.

 

Christina Strigas is a trilingual poet, raised by Greek immigrants, and has written three poetry books. Her latest, Love & Vodka, has been featured by CBC Books in, “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List: 68 Poetry Collections Recommended by you”. She is currently working on her fourth upcoming poetry book, Love & Metaxa. In her spare time, Christina enjoys foreign cinema, reading the classics, and cooking traditional Greek recipes that have been handed down from her grandmother.

Fig-Lover by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Fig-Lover

I could be your sweet girl
alive with groundwater,
my narrow passage
wasp friendly and edible.

One day you will find
my hollow ended stem;
a plethora of tiny flowers

heaving like an offering
from the heavens. Do not
flinch; I will blossom upon

the opening of your mouth—
bursting like a galaxy of stars.

 

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University where she was an English major. She is a nine-time Pushcart nominee and seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 her chapbook Before I Go to Sleep was selected as a winning chapbook in the Red Ochre Chapbook contest and in 2018 her poem ‘A Mall in California’ recently placed 2nd for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. She is the author of several chapbooks along with five full-length collections of poetry including Epitaph for the Beloved soon to be released from Finishing Line Press. She is the Editor-in-chief for The Orchards poetry journal and a member of Saratoga’s Authors Hall of Fame. She is also a member of The Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors. www.clgrellaspoetry.com

For Her Art by A.J. Odasso from Issue #18

For Her Art

Pale girl, willow-slim, sits on a plinth
in the square—sketches the spire opposite, caught

by the rain unaware. And ever since,
I wonder at her face gone still, upturned

to the clouds and the strain, her eyes closed
in serene defiance. In her stead,

I could hardly have done the same, and yet
I yearn to turn back to the time, the place

of this simple belonging. Then, I’d leave
my seat at the table, my hard-won meal

half eaten, fly to her side in the storm,
to ask how she is doing and where I

have gone wrong. Her dress red, her hair golden—
soaked, wind-whipped, and long.

 

A. J. Odasso’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Farrago’s Wainscot, Liminality, Battersea Review, Barking Sycamores, and New England Review of Books. A.J.’s debut collection, Lost Books (Flipped Eye Publishing), was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award and was also a finalist for the 2010–11 People’s Book Prize. Her second collection with Flipped Eye, The Dishonesty of Dreams, was released in 2014; her third collection, Things Being What They Are, was shortlisted for the 2017 Sexton Prize. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Boston University, and works in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. A.J. has served in the Poetry Department at Strange Horizons since 2012. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.