ALEXIS POPE POEM
I guess my secret is out. The family with better
smiles came in the red minivan. You look
glowing with your nose, sunburnt and still
ours. All these wood bees. I don’t
know the time. I have sold the clock.
Can you make the sound I’m missing
with your mouth? Take the scrub
brush to the cookie sheet I’ve made
of my apathy. Tell me again please
because I have forgotten. I am no good
anymore at thank you. Last night
I went to sleep & there was a kiddie pool
on the other side. Even the pink
flamingos had names. My hands were raw
meat. I’ve sewn you this apron
from every grocery list I’ve written.
Each time I whistle a new kind of fruit
flutters out like a moth in the meadow.
A white ring of skin on my finger.
What are your eyes doing over there?
I’m terribly embarrassed of all my crumbs.
Without a paddle I head into this
evening’s river. I have no one
to share this campfire with. A final mouse
scurries out of the kitchen behind you.
MIKE KRUTEL POEM
Not every part of me is on fire
but who led you to believe all my parts
dwell in their rightful sockets?
The dye will be inserted here
and then bleed out from there.
The answers where the cracks leak!
Call them the names of rivers we harbor—
Cuyahoga, Apalachicola, White.
They keep people on one side from teaching
people on the other side how to make better baskets.
It is fine to have constant thoughts
of what you wear on your head. I’m talking
about hats and unfiltered admiration. We’re in love
with the trees! And the taste of happiness
basted in pretty much everything.
“You keep gargling these confessions
and soon enough will end up ended up,” said my father.
“I was planning to make a sandwich,” I said. 5
WHAT A TREMENDOUS NICK STURM POEM WE’RE HAVING!
The baby beaver of our love lives in a gas station
restroom It chomps orange peels It chews abandoned
pearls into the shape of your face I believe a grain of rice
is enough We ride a skateboards in the sink in impossible
tank tops We pray to the brown scribbles of this stall
Hymns punctuated by a flush The paper towel unfurls
like a river A plunger sticks itself to the ceiling
and begins to glow The attendant has made copies of the keys
and on each of them is a cloud On each of them is a cloud
shaped like a woman with an avocado There is your father
with a sickle sweeping it under the door to crop our baby
There is my father gutting a fish beneath a rainbow canopy
Yet I can think of no better place to mural our love
Yet I can think of no better place to love our mural