Brickstone by Akeesha Williams
Falling by Shannon Williams
A Deeper Blue by Kaleigh Cook
7 Seconds by Nick Dill
Flight Custodian by Marie Weaverling
"Northrop Frye Meets Kendrick Lamar: The Four Phases of Frye's Monomyth Applied to a Rap Album" by Susana Spradling
Eating My Pierogi by Marie Weaverling
White Leaf by Marie Weaverling
Natural Disaster by John Dibert
Maybe by John Dibert
Moves in Space by Akeesha Williams
Love's Cruel Flame by: John Dibert
Space Weather by: John Dibert
The Day I Die by: John Dibert
The Bread and the Knife by: Joey Balawajder
Ladies by Imani Wilkins
Bliss by Amanda Williamson
A Quiet Scene in a Dark Forest by Jamie Tyson
Cartooning by Jamie Tyson
Writing Race by Jamie Tyson
The Editor by Erin D'arcy
I knew a boy by Samantha Fulare
The Faux Sober by Jamie Tyson
Blood of the Behemoth by Jamie Tyson
The Church by Jamie Tyson
The Broken Toy Soldier by Jamie Tyson
The Average Gatsby by Jamie Tyson
Floral Print by Jamie Tyson
Gluttony by Eleni LeVan
Serrated Edge by Eleni LeVan
Too Many Thoughts by Eleni LeVan
Mirror, Mirror by Ashley Farley
Child by Vincent Sbarra
Sleep Easy by Vincent Sbarra
The Puzzle by Vincent Sbarra
Mirror Mirror by Ashley Farley
Crush by Ashley Farley
The Cast by Ashley Kendle
Certain Uncertainty by Shawn Christ
Dream of America by Shawn Christ
Far Beyond the Point by Shawn Christ
The Poet's Love by Shawn Christ
The Way the Sun Used to Shine by Shawn Christ
Thompson Run in the Summer
By: Josh Sterling
Running at the speed of those eager summer bees
my friends and I race along the ancient sidewalks
of Hydetown's only real street
to the bridge over Thompson Run.
We slide and tumble like reckless stones
from the end of the masonry span
down the dirt path we had forged last year.
Toward the water.
Our tired, worn shoes show their age this year.
Our "Crickin' Shoes".
After repairing our old, stone dam,
we begin our hunt: The recruitment
of this day's combatants.
My crayfish is a champion-to-be.
His claws are vices of death.
The circular battle pit is dug where water meets shore.
Like ants on a drop of soda we huddle around.
Our tanning backs absorb the sun's excited gaze.
By: Christina Seymour
tastes like mildew
on a campfire twig,
blackened with soot
and seething heat—fire
toasts petals to husks.
Drops of lemon
temper the toadstool-must,
to gums and wet teeth.
By: Quinten Fletcher
clink – “that’s seven!” – clink, clink – “eight, nine!”
when the roof was still red
our two families would converge
on Pizza Hut at lunchtime,
where our mothers bought tickets
that our fathers had earned,
tickets granting unlimited access
to a buffet teeming with pizza,
thick- and thin-crusted, pumping off steam
like the paper mill near my house,
slices divided in the pattern of the spokes
on the wheels of my bike,
and cinnamon-encrusted breadsticks,
which we double-dipped in pasty icing.
my friend and I, close as two sides
of a fastened zipper, would savor
the banquet with our eyes,
saliva pooling, stomachs begging.
clink, clink, clink – “we’re up to eighteen!” “keep eating!”
laughter saturating the air around us
like the cigarette smoke on the other side
of the restaurant, we became builders,
erecting a tower of dishware, which rose,
plate by plate, clink by clink, toward heaven,
a modern-day Babel. After the thirtieth story,
building became a struggle,
stomachs distended like overfilled balloons.
building codes were strictly enforced:
one slice or breadstick per plate.
clink – “thirty-seven!” “we have to get to forty!”
sometimes a well-meaning waitress,
alarmed by the height of our skyscraper,
would reach purposefully across our table
and be frozen by a cacophony
of icy shouts.
our greatest hour of gluttony resulted in
a masterpiece forty-five stories high,
proudly gleaming in sauce-smeared glory.
my friend captured a picture of the tower,
though its image was inscribed into our memories.
Circumstance has unzipped us. When we meet,
silence stretches into years,
and our gazes refuse to connect,
like the negative sides of two magnets –
but mention plate-stacking, and we laugh
like boys again, unburdened by grievances,
and for a moment there is nothing but the past –
for a moment we are friends.
Pure; unadulterated; undiluted
By: Marjorie Laydon
Slackened atmosphere of the dinner crowd seeps into the clack of my flats.
Thin, lipless glass—a wide bowl of velvet amber swivels.
Full-bodied, warm, the glistening warning—say hello.
One swirling fingertip, lazy lip captured by teeth.
Hosed toe gathers shadow exploring slack's underbelly.
Ragged inhale, downcast eyes—glimpses of the bare brush of eyelet lace.
Rings of glasses—a parting kiss in the plush carpet.
Slender insteps, trails from cuff links to black frills.
Sucking sounds, mouth at the crooks of elbows and knees.
Honey and salt—like squirming ants in my navel.
Effervescent subtlety of bubbles, silk, and the remains of pure endlessness.
Daybreak's teeth piffle the frosted panes.
A lingering dream—love neatly displaced.
An Adult Lullaby
By: Marjorie Laydon
I want to be the fat peach
you eat under the 4th of July sky—
a pink, dusky sweep—
my skin tight, pried
open, tiny blond hairs
split wide, my juices
sweat down your lips, too careless,
too sweet—keep gouging the looseness—
make your way across me—
pluck my pit, my fickle fullness,
suck my ridged redness, allow my top leaf
to flutter, to fly high, bottomless,
too close this heat,
my desert-skin blushes—
your fingers pinching, pulling deep,
close enough to crush.