By Heather Wheat
The day before my daughter’s
sixteenth birthday, I apply a
wax strip to her lip, make sure
it’s even, and wait.
The night I was in labor with her,
I did not know what preparation
meant. I was unprepared for
her, for life, for myself...
What the Forest Thinks of the Axe
By Brett Dionysius
the forest looks at the wooden-handled axe
as a victim, a scarecrow, even a collaborator.
as a victim, the macabre practice of flensing
heartwood from pulpy bones to create trench-
art; a lampshade, a cavern of angels crafted out
of human skeletons that becomes a souvenir...
By Robert Beveridge
in my shower
two days now
I talk to it
Girl, 5, survives two days along river
By Monica Fuglei
Her grandfather once plucked berries from bushes, showed her
the differences between chokecherries, wild strawberries, baneberries.
He died in river accident at Whirlpool Bend.
Searchers found his body near the island.
The berry lesson: What to eat or avoid. Their hands spilling
with fresh plucked huckleberries, sumac, twisted stalk, elderberry...
By Leticia Chairez
On "Prickly Pear and Fisticuffs" by Ada Limón
I'm sorry to the man who thought I was too loud.
And to the men who ask me why I’m so quiet.
My mom taught me about “la tuna”,
a bright-red fruit, poised atop the cactus.
The inside, full of seeds and flesh,
protected by its barbed layer...
By Susan Harman