You don’t read how weak it was…

You don’t read how weak it was
though this windtorn composition book
steadies its lettering for afternoons

the way beginners wave their arms
making room for the Honor Roll
mixed with stone, not yet the pages

– these dead are used to it: words
put together by a still-warm crayon
and you too no longer move

leave them nothing except an afterall
in writing and on these sheets
hillsides to fit inside your name

holding it between your fingers, higher
and from the struggling dirt, over and over
making mountains, clocks, emptiness.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The B Poems, published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities”, please visit his website at http://www.simonperchik.com.

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As if a rope, half bone…

As if a rope, half-bone
half pulled from your chest
the way this dead branch

tells you everything then closes
though the wood won’t burn
– so many things are made from doorways

and she was left inside
with nothing to sit on or a stone
that will fall by itself, broken off

to die alone, whispering goodbye
for two and this dirt not yet
just another hole that weighs too much.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The B Poems, published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities”, please visit his website at http://www.simonperchik.com.

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The glare this plate thins out…

The glare this plate thins out
eats the way each star
tells you it’s still alone

though rim to rim you bring
a rain smelling from a narrow road
holding down the Earth

till everything is dirt and she
is sitting at a table, asks you
to hold her hand, childlike, fill it

lets you swallow the afternoon
even she will remember, your lips
circling down in flames and hunger.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The B Poems, published by Poets Wear Prada, 2016. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities”, please visit his website at http://www.simonperchik.com.

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Dementia

In some heavens, there are pear
trees chopping themselves down
because there are no bees
and the soil is thin.

At times they laugh and stack themselves
into lucid piles of wood.

Angus MacCaull lives in Nova Scotia, where he is an associate fiction editor at The Antigonish Review and host of the reading series Print Preview. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, filling Station, The Town Crier, The Review Review, Calliope, Candelabrum, ASAP Zine, and CV2.

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Border Crossing

We packed the U-Haul.
Small furniture and electronics.
Seasonal clothing.

A toy gun that showed up
one Halloween—so much more than
anybody could carry.

At the border, we sat in the dull
light of the station while
Dad unpacked everything for the guards,

well past midnight. I must have slept
in the hard plastic chair.
Do you have receipts for these things? they asked.

As if the laws for a family
are made outside it.

Angus MacCaull lives in Nova Scotia, where he is an associate fiction editor at The Antigonish Review and host of the reading series Print Preview. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, filling Station, The Town Crier, The Review Review, Calliope, Candelabrum, ASAP Zine, and CV2.

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Alice Devises a New and Improved Form of Execution

Turn the page and be done with it.

Nettie Farris is the author of Communion (Accents Publishing, 2013), Fat Crayons (Finishing Line Press, 2015), The Wendy Bird Poems (dancing girl press, 2016), and the micro-chapbook Story (Origami Poems Project, 2016). She also writes book reviews and the Spotlight on a Press feature for Blue Lyra Review.

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This Is Before

This is before the first day of school
and rowing downriver to the docks.
This is before seeing death a first time
and watching rustlers on the television.
Before my fringed jacket, proudly worn,
and my favourite shirt, with balloons on it.
Before killing the bird I’d always regret
and autumnal games of touch football.
And that dream of leaves I can’t shut away.
Before Miss Duke’s legs set me thinking
and the horses were lost to the fire.
This is before truth mattered
and my parents walked the way of the Earth.

And this is after.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island, BC, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy (Cawing Crow Press) and Like As If (Pski’s Porch), all available via Amazon.

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