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ARGUELLES , JOSE
CASTILLO STREET, SUSAN
ELFORD, PATRICIA ANNE
NEUFARTH HOWARD, SUE
Emptied of sorrow,
dry eyes scoured by grieving
gaze into the past.
Susan Castillo Street
|In midwinter blue
Wood-burner glows and flickers
Flaming eye of light.
|Wrinkled, closed-faced scholars
scuff, scuff, scuff along the quad,
bitter joe in hand.
|Greasy streets, boiling and fierce
Time goes on, they pulse and crack,
From secrets, from pain that we can’t face
Patricia Anne Elford
|My huge Lip Smacker, uncapped, prods memory.
My pink gloss, blotted, kisses Kleenex.
Someone essential is missing.
|My tongue wanders through
The cavern of your ear. Dizzy,
You spin into my arms.
|A couple discusses their options
Fifty feet from the hospital entrance
Where the staff are on a smoke break.
|We bathed our bare feet
In Barefoot Pinot and smashed
The bottle on dry concrete.
they plan it the night before
in the hamper: how to flee
their partners in the whirling cave of heat
|I’ve fallen through my discord
My spirit is replete
Many times before I’ve fallen so damn deep
|Foreplay is forgotten.
Why bother? Toes
recoil with haste.
|autumn prefaces the bitterness
hiccups in the bodies of water subside
winter, cocooned in death and life
|High in the weave of sun-topped leaves
the five-color bird gargles brightly,
staying slightly out of sight.
|Love induced dreams
inebriating throughout the night
sobering with the first morning breath
|The soldiers make no bones
About their lust that hangs like dust
In the heavy air
|Night rolling thunder,
The sky bursts in flashing lights --
Raindrop tears appear.
|Autumn’s requisite --
Cascaded senescent leaves;
Bare beauty revealed
|The rising dawn crest,
Relieves the insomniac
Of ardent mirage
|I watch the butterfly land,
realizing what it already knows,
that this moment is all we have.
|A heart set upon forgiveness
As it breaks and breaks and breaks
It’s tired chains upon the rocks
|They lied about the least of things,
Until one night, punchdrunk,
Their tongues dissolved like rain.
|Children are bused into the sewers
at night wrapped in scarves of frayed
nooses made from lipstick stained collars.
|I try to picture what it was
she saw in those final days,
after she could no longer read.
|Empty bottles of rum hidden
under the house, secret
stashed away broken promises
|Stallions clash in battle
the sovereign one wins
King of his pasture
Remind me that
|as we come together I come undone
the undressing of an amateur ventriloquist
with what is gained by the removal
|Snow-crusted ground warms
Poppy seeds scattered and raked,
Promise of red blooms.
|Gull drops cracked conch shell,
-- My trophy today.
|Gray skies laced with limbs
Winter trees gnarled old men
Spring leaps through their nets
|broken heroes coming home
blood flows on desert sands
Sue Neufarth Howard
|truck’s porker spill
pigs on the run
|Skyward reaching beech
With tributary arms
Dancing the winter’s waltz
|My quill gives birth to sound,
Life springs forth on blank pages,
New breath to words yet found.
|Some words sparkle, so we look up,
reach up- like a skyscraper at night
penetrating the shadows of humanity.
|Bones emitting truth
stack, one atop another
|She slips across the grass
A ruffle of a girl
Her shoes emerald like the zoysia.
|Swim back to sleep without disturbing
the water. Listen for the lone flute.
Hang the coat there.
|Towering church spire
Slices through the drifting fog
Patter of raindrops
|Love reaches out
rejection hits hard
love recoils ready to strike
|where is my future -
seems like any place but here
yet here my heart is.
|It’ll be worthwhile though,
all of this spinning in circles.
We need many more revolutions.
|watching friends emerge
from grieving to laughter
monarch of resilience
|Silently the waves push through
Eternity, churning up memories
And dreams long forgotten.
|I’m held spellbound by the strange magic
Come alive during the ten minutes
Of dusk in this Arizona desert.
|Meadowlark on an old fence post;
Spinning spokes spill
Shadows in the sun.
|August makes six weeks
Ginger mare with bandaged leg
Boredom in her eyes.
|Seasons changed last night.
I hear trucks grind slow uphill,
wet sounds damped by snow.
|Take this fractured self
I’ll feed you
make me something whole
|autumn breezes blow
tossing leaves on arid ground
to crunch before rain