Ian Willey

Red Bandana

If I set off on my run early enough
I sometimes see that woman with the red bandana
coming back from her walk, arms swinging, full of smiles,
her legs long and painfully thin, like the screech of a pheasant
staking out its territory, somewhere in the brush
on the edge of the woods.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Ian Willey

Rubber Band

It’s hard to believe now
but we don’t have any pictures
from those days on the lake,
nor does mom remember them,
and my brothers were too young,
so that leaves me and my memories
of corn on the cob and a steaming cauldron,
plus one little thing that somehow ended up
in a box full of postcards and letters:
a rubber band, small and thick, not very pliable,
the kind used to keep a lobster’s claws shut tight
so it can’t hurt other lobsters while waiting
in a crowded tank smelling of the sea,
bubbling on the surface,
crystal clear below.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Ian Willey

Replicants

I’m not sure when it happened
but someone has replaced our son with a simulacrum,
possessing the same DNA and general knowledge
but without the will to utter more than a syllable or two when pressed,
minus any interest in any of his previous obsessions
like the flight routes of major airlines (international and domestic)
or the ruling amphibians of the Devonian Period
or anything, really, apart from soccer highlights on YouTube,
who looks at the two of us as though we don’t exist
and never really did, like Santa Claus or the Loch Ness Monster,
Christopher Columbus and John Lennon,
and what disturbs me most
is that he may be right.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Sarah Kobrinsky

The First Meteorologist

She stepped out of her dark cave
in her bare feet and her deerskin shift,
sucked the index finger
of her right hand,
then thrust it into the sky.


Sarah Kobrinsky‘s collection, Nighttime on the Other Side of Everything, is forthcoming by New Rivers Press (Autumn, 2019).


 

Debbie Peters

Numbed Down

With any fist
a face can be punched
leaving its owner
gasping for air,
her breath stolen
in an act of violence
so common in images
created to entertain
that no passerby even
bothers to intervene.


Debbie Peters lives in New York City and is an attorney by profession.


 

deb y felio

One Night

I lie here beside you listening to the thunder
and remember the conference last week in New Orleans
where I ran into an old dear friend, and we spent
the one free evening dining and drinking
then returning to his room to talk about old times
and our strong desire to reclaim an unclaimed past,
but for better or worse the vows were stronger,
and I told him the promises, as ragged as they were, still meant something,
so we parted again with what-could-have-beens in our suitcases,
and when you broke the reverie just now with your question
what are you thinking,
I lie and say nothing.


deb y felio writes because besides reading, what else is there?