Three Poems by Jonathan Ukah

“Then you arrived like fresh tulips in winter,/the shape of my heart, the color of gold;/you turned the weeds in my garden into roses,/every rock on my farm was a bar of chocolate/waiting to feed our future generations…”

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Three Poems by Ace Boggess

“I scan rooms with a happiness detector,/which is like a broken Geiger counter/that stays silent while the bombs go off.”

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Off-Road

Denise Gromov

“Age isn’t just a number, as we’d heard/it’s how we get here. I’m twice my daughter’s age/and neither thought we’d haul ourselves this far.”

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The Elegant Trogon and Poem for Robert Desnos

“I have/a secret pigeon in my heart./I keep it in a cage composed of object lessons and feed it/moral law.”

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Lost in the Woods

(JP Valery)

“Lost in the Woods is a symptom/of heart’s sudden loss/of direction registered in small/persistent cramps and little gasps.”

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That Wind

(Collab Media)

“Night’s ink congeals on rice, coating peas/like black sea pebbles glistening in the harrowed/moonlight staring through the shattered kitchen window.”

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“Mandarin Duck” and Other Poems

In shallow ripples bathing together in pairs, as may be seen by the deep, clear waters of Xiangjiang.”

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Rossetti’s Notebook (1862-1869)

(La Ghirlandata (detail), 1873, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Oil on canvas. Guildhall Art Gallery)

“Nonetheless, a worm/had eaten its way through any number/of Gabriel’s lines, some of his best./He had to reconstruct them from memory,/or compose them anew.”

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Let It Be Known

“On its dead claws and back, mottled and plain,/from a long beach whose gulls roost on an edge,/Inscrutable.”

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“I ask your forgiveness; I am a mountain tiger”

(“Ginevra de’ Benci” by Leonardo da Vinci (c.1474-1478)

Why does she ask forgiveness?/For what and from whom?/Why does she call herself/a mountain tiger?”

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Life Cycle of the Cabbage White Butterfly

Examining for mixed motives the flaws/That turned their city-cousins ash-/Grey. She labels one Snow-in-Ghana,/As though she doesn’t trust her own desire.”

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The Return

I am alive and you’re alive, and hope exists,/but I have to bid farewell to these words of mine,/which I will never shout, because I’m but a man. “

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The Indian and Draw Near, White Man

(A crèche in Peru by Edilberto Mérida. Photograph by Juana Moriel Payne)

“And working together, what might we become?/citizens of a single kingdom./you could find it all in the palm of your hand/alongside Indian, yellow and black.”

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Walking the Butter Mill Trail

(cuatrok77’s “Vegetation of Florida”)

I sometimes think I don’t belong here/in this wood–that the tree’s knots/are frowns grown for me, or the leaf crunch/is a worm cracking a crass joke at my expense.”

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Turkey Buzzard

(Juana Moriel-Payne)

“Here on a narrow one-lane/overgrown with cattails and ivy/the circle of turkey buzzards draws closer.”

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