Todd Mercer

DEFCON 1

“Jesus wept,” Mom said,
that prominent forehead vein flexing
as her offspring scattered to the four points
of the compass, no one lingering
to see the explosion, or what landed where.

Todd Mercer coined the popular culture term “high-tracked” (becoming side-tracked from one’s stream of thought due to being high) and wrote a digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, which appears at Right Hand Pointing.

Todd Mercer

Collect

I called Eddie Kendricks
when I felt all hope was gone
and Eddie to his credit
mumbled heartfelt support
like it wasn’t 3 a.m.
in Detroit, Michigan.

Todd Mercer coined the popular culture term “high-tracked” (becoming side-tracked from one’s stream of thought due to being high) and wrote a digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, which appears at Right Hand Pointing.

Munira Sayyid

Answers my mother expects 

I married him because
our nose rings matched

and he said,
my eyes held rainbows
that didn’t die with the sun.

Munira Sayyid writes because she does not like swallowing words.

Monica Flegg

Conservative Measures

I too
trim stems
of lilies,
delphinium
and trillium,
delaying beauty’s
inevitable
fade.

Monica Flegg isn’t aging as gracefully as tulips do, but she’s trying.

Devon Balwit

Saint Jude

Always scavenging, my husband
cannot say no to a free box, arms
spilling castoffs, broken things,
books in languages he cannot even read.

Devon Balwit religiously guards her one countertop. Anything of her husband’s that touches it gets swept to the floor.

Devon Balwit

The End

We clean the rental house before we go,
regretfully, room by room, gathering up
all we brought, much as we will do
with our bodies when it is time.

Devon Balwit is fighting the good fight and refuses to dress her age.

Devon Balwit

Now I Have What Once I Wanted

When young, I envied
the character-filled hands
of the old, with their ropey
veins and swollen knuckles,
so unlike my smooth doll-baby
hands, as yet unproven.

Devon Balwit‘s only regret is that she doesn’t have more than 10 fingers for silver rings.