I am trying not to let the clang
of the cat’s dish against the cold
floor disturb any more of this
morning’s air. I am trying to give
sound enough space in this space
so that it feels welcome, and leaves.
Interruption is key here. I am trying
not to be paralyzed by the unexpected
burst of noise and disruption as the food
spread like the stars of a firework
onto the ground. I cannot let this ruin
another day, cannot let its potential
to be good escape through the gaps
of my startled heartbeat. The clang
is not a gun shot, it is just a clang.
The morning is not a movie theatre,
it does not need to be escaped. I am
not a victim, I am not a victim yet
My lips dried against the rain
like flowers turn their backs
on the moon
& I can’t say I missed it. The relief,
I mean. That primal thirst setting
me up to wake and want
something more. I want
to stick a needle to my face
and suck the poison I know
is there, watch it ooze out of me
all green and gold. I want to love
water not just because I am
water. In fact, that makes me
love it even less. I want
to suckle all the love
from the breasts of pink
petals, understand what they
know so inherently about darkness
that I don’t.
Micaela Walley is an MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Huffpost, ENTROPY, Hobart, and other places. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend—Chunky, the cat.
You knew the taste of dirt on your tongue
long before poor came a beat after,
the smell of cigarettes and cork
familiar and foreign in the house you grew up in,
the house your father died in,
the house a marriage died in.
We need all this space between us
to leave enough room for the skeletons in our closets.
I had a dream once that I was beside you
when your house caught on fire.
We watched your brother run back inside,
and the crows flew low in the sky.
I think the grass has grown back by now.
Grace Phillips is a 21-year-old writer and student from Danville, Indiana. She was born to overthink and drink far too much caffeine, both of which she does in the name of writing. You can find more of her work on her website, gracewritesbooks.com
After the painting by Alexa Karabin
everybody dies when the sun is shining
somewhere think about it alone even when we are together
there are moments full of cicadas and sun
in the past right here that’s how it feels today
like broken glass and waking in grass
and all of the light that once held the body
of an intact bottle or a father alive in front of our eyes
is gone and what he speaks now speaks up to us and
from the damp depths through the soil’s black vest
emerges a thing new & wise and therefore carrying
with all darkness all light
what we feel present in absence which is grief in relief
Scott Bade earned his Ph.D. in creative writing at Western Michigan University (WMU). In addition to teaching at Kalamazoo College and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Scott is also the coordinator of the WMU Center for the Humanities. He is a former poetry editor for Third Coast Magazine and editorial assistant at New Issues Press. His chapbook My Favorite Thing About Desire was a co-winner of the 2018 Celery City Chapboook contest. Scott Bade’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his poems have appeared in Fugue, Shadowgraph, Reed Magazine, Foothill and elsewhere.