“People” by Douglas Goetsch
Who are all these people . . .
ducking into boutiques, bouncing out
of cafés, younger, taller than ever—
Generation Dude? Generation
type w/my thumbs? We used to be
them, of course, only they don’t
have quite our panache . . .
“What Our Mothers Know as Love” by Sarah Kain Gutowski
The sow watches the farmer apply grease to her son,
a young boar with a wound long and thin where he rubbed himself
clean of bristles and skin. This itch belongs to more than just disease
and parasites. She recognizes the anxiety foaming on his chin . . .
“The How Come of My Father’s Gold Tooth with Music by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys” by John Bargowski
I hope he was dishing out more than he got
when some jealous hog-sticker
busted his smile-maker in that packed beer joint
across from a slaughterhouse on the outskirts of Detroit. . . .
“Linguistics” by Lynn Domina
The orderly aisle: fettuccini, fusilli, rigatoni,
round, folded orecchietti, edible ears;
cappellini’s wispy strands, trumpets, wagon wheels, screws;
for white clam sauce,
I choose linguini.
“Poetry” by Kevin Prufer
That car was burning. Are there any questions? It rested on its roof, flipped. Are there any questions? The windshield had scattered its pointed little thoughts over the pavement. Hello?
“The New Widow” by Susan Okie
She’s back among us. Lately, I’ve seen her—
sailing her boat at low tide, pushing
her shopping cart at the market . . .
“Move Along, Nothing to See Here” by Michelle Boisseau
Like a fly from the air, Christina was zapped
from a crosswalk when she was five,
Rosemary from a highway in Ohio,
Rick from a tennis court.
“What Comes Next” by Ann Linde
My father did the killing and the cleaning up. In the fairy
tales he put me to sleep with, there were plenty of sweetmeats
and tigers for every journey. He shook them out of his hands,
or so I imagined.
“All the Way to the Bone” by Vern Rutsala
Words from the East
the leaves, whispering
news of the dead
you can’t stand to hear, . . .
“When the Boy Arrives with a Telegram for John Berryman, Berryman Turns to His Student Phil Levine and Asks, ‘Are You John Berryman?’ ” by Amy Newman
When the boy arrives with a telegram for John Berryman,
Berryman turns to his student Phil Levine and asks,
“Are you John Berryman?”
“No,” says Levine. “Then I must be,” says Berryman . . .