Good form

By Dominic Loise

James dusted off the time he was known as Jimmy. 

This freeform shadow of former identity danced along his bedroom wall just above the writing desk as he prepared for slumber.

 A knocking play of the imagination beckoned pause with a tap-tap-tap against his window. 

Tomorrow announced it’s coming by the tic-tic-ticking of a nightstand clock swimming closer to midnight. Soon, he would be thirteen. 

Pen walked the plank into fresh ink as a new signature was lifted out of the dark thought pool. 

The end of the last letter swashbuckled up in good form. 

The old childhood name left behind with hatred. 

This new identity hooked his fancy as a feather in his cap. 

He falls to bed petered out.


Dominic Loise (he/him) is open about and advocates for mental health awareness, as seen with his essay writing for F(r)iction. His work has appeared in Alchemic Gold Poetry Society, Alt.Ctrl.Jpg, Analogies & Allegories, Calm Down, Clementine Zine, Collective Realms, Emotional Alchemy, Goat’s Milk, Innsaei Journal, Mulberry Literary, October Hill, Ouch!, Push up Daisies!, Raven Review, Re. Collective, Refresh and Silent Auctions. Dominic was a finalist in Short Editions’ “America: Color it in” contest.  You can find Dominic on Instagram @dominic_lives.

Day Race

By Felicia Zuniga

It trickles away helplessly

wordlessly

without warning

Who knows the things you could have

accomplished

if it didn’t jolt away

your lifeblood

if it didn’t slash

your face with wrinkles

if it didn’t choke

you of the talents

you knew

were harboring inside

somewhere

The sun performs its

perfunctory duty

The moon sneaks into

work on time

The seasons play their parts with

alarming bravado

How come you can’t keep up?

always lagging behind, winded

they are powered from within

You’re evidently unplugged

Leaking consciousness

evaporating fickle cells

that were once filled with

something

Blink and you’ll miss it

the idea that could have

brought you great fame from

today has just floated away

on a wisp of goodbye

on a strand of yesterday


Felicia Zuniga is a writer and communications specialist who lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and two young sons. She has been writing poetry for over a decade and has been published in a variety of journals including Contemporary Verse 2 – The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, The Antigonish Review, Montreal Writes, Existere – Journal of Arts & Literature and FreeFall Magazine. She has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Honours with a Creative Writing Concentration from the University of Calgary. Learn more at www.feliciazuniga.com.

*Komboloi

By Mary Chydiriotis

Waves lap and whisper 

seagulls squawk  

the constant pull of the sea

In your right hand

citrine drops of pressure and time

the thread pulled 

unconscious rhythm of the Kompoloi

beads click as time ticks  

Fragments of memory

transient storage in hippocampus

secrets locked away

a son gone

The sea a melancholy roar

howling wind a breathing moon 
distant lights flicker

a cargo ship fades into the past

beads click as time ticks 

on terra firma

Melpomeni guts and scales fish

Red Mullet (his favourite) 

Sea Urchins

Sardines from Kalloni 

where wildflowers grow

a bronze briki with a full belly

a backgammon board ready  

mopeds wiz by

children chuckle   

the sea breeze strokes your neck

you wait  

* worry beads


Mary Chydiriotis lives in Melbourne. She is passionate about coffee, dogs, books and social justice. Her poems have been published in local and international anthologies and journals. In 2019, a selection of Mary’s poems featured in ‘Poetry of the Sun and the Sea: from Homer to Slam poetry’, a Greek Studies course at La Trobe University. Loud and Red, her first collection of poetry, was published by Ginnindera Press, in 2020.

Summer in Spring

By Yuu Ikeda

Summer already

dwells in spring

I feel it

by my skin

In calmness of spring,

in warmth of spring,

howls of summer

resound weakly

The howls like blazes

fill my skin

with heat

gradually,

and then,

I’m swallowed

by summer

although I’m in spring


Yuu Ikeda is a Japan-based poet. She writes poetry on her website. Her published poems are “The Shadow of A Cross” in 3 Moon Magazine, “On the Bed” in Nymphs, “Love? or Death?” in Sad Girl Review, “Poetry Drops Like Raindrops Do” in JMWW, and more.

Mouse Bites On Moving Boxes

By Dominic Loise

Nibbles naw at the compressed corrugation 

till out of style shoes shuffle past 

barely supporting their fallen arches

a whiskered nose turned up 

at chewing this fine aged leather and laces

walking by with the assistance of the worn 

wood hand me down cane from the sealed off attic

grey blur along the wall border trim

barely seen in the corner of cataract covered eyes

one last home improvement project 

stepping out on cold garage cement 

to the tool bench by the permanently parking car 

hunting by memory around well organized compartment drawers 

then giving up the search allowing something free reign


Dominic Loise (he/him) is open about and advocates for mental health awareness, as seen with his essay writing for F(r)iction. His work has appeared in Alchemic Gold Poetry Society, Alt.Ctrl.Jpg, Analogies & Allegories, Calm Down, Clementine Zine, Collective Realms, Emotional Alchemy, Goat’s Milk, Innsaei Journal, Mulberry Literary, October Hill, Ouch!, Push up Daisies!, Raven Review, Re. Collective, Refresh and Silent Auctions. Dominic was a finalist in Short Editions’ “America: Color it in” contest.  You can find Dominic on Instagram @dominic_lives.

Undressed

By John Maurer

One must be comfortable in their skin

Before they peel it with scalpel

Before they lay it in front of the fire

Before they can stop calling it a mask

But this is blush and mascara on a ghost

And I am a raft on a river you can’t step in twice

Since those who know everything have told me 

There is nothing to know

That everything cancels each other out

That knowledge is a drunken game of tennis

Intelligence is the white woven net

This is what we stumble over

Yes, because we are drunk

Also, because we never stop playing

And a game that never ends

Is a game that can never be won


John Maurer is a 26-year-old writer from Pittsburgh that writes fiction, poetry, and everything in-between, but his work always strives to portray that what is true is beautiful. He has been previously published in Claudius Speaks, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Thought Catalog, and more than fifty others. @JohnPMaurer (johnpmaurer.com)

My North Star is Rhinestone

By Kate Miano

When he runs his hands over me, one part

juts out metal:

A freshly tilled valley,

by which his touches can trail

to other pieces of my topography.

Punctuating my torso for five years

it’s become as much appendage

as an arm.

A bejeweled wound, I carved myself

to map beauty.

Like a secret treasure I know it’s there

before anyone sees it.

My body’s North Star.


Kate Miano (She/Her) is a waitress/editor/writer/occasional nanny. She has an English degree from Suffolk University and has been previously published in magazines such as Venture, Overheard Lit, and Dynamis Journal. She lives in New York City and enjoys yoga, rooftops, and art museums. Kate can be found on Instagram and Twitter: @katemiayes.

March

By Felicia Zuniga

Slides in and out
as he pleases
warm some days
cold the next
an inconsiderate liar

Now he breezes in like a false spring

and blows hot secrets into my ears

promises destination vacations, sand and blue skies

so I pack away my wools

until he cancels last minute again

He acts distant on the phone

I can hear the wind in his voice

feel the ice in his touch

unexpected fury and fights

When I see him again

he’s green with delirium

drunk with indecision

by the time he’s gone for good

it’s already April Fool’s and I realize

the joke is on me


Felicia Zuniga is a writer and communications specialist who lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and two young sons. She has been writing poetry for over a decade and has been published in a variety of journals including Contemporary Verse 2 – The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, The Antigonish Review, Montreal Writes, Existere – Journal of Arts & Literature and FreeFall Magazine. She has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Honours with a Creative Writing Concentration from the University of Calgary. Learn more at www.feliciazuniga.com.

The Wait

By Felicia Zuniga

The wait seeps into your skin
stretching it into rivers of worry

It pours into your stomach
tightens knots and tosses acid 

The wait pulls on your hair
until it strips it of colour
Muscles and memories become dull
corroded by the salty licks of wait

It erases sunlight from your eyes
spring from your step
definition from your days

The wait creeps into your bones
Your jaw becomes tight from the grind
of teeth every night
The wait happens in your mind
but it takes your body too

You never know if today
will be the day and your heart
sits up like the sun every morning
then slinks back into darkness at night

You install routines you can set
your hands to
They shove you through the day
even when you try to stop them

You keep moving even when the wait
bites and stings and scratches
You still wait and you hope
in the mornings


Felicia Zuniga is a writer and communications specialist who lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and two young sons. She has been writing poetry for over a decade and has been published in a variety of journals including Contemporary Verse 2 – The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, The Antigonish Review, Montreal Writes, Existere – Journal of Arts & Literature and FreeFall Magazine. She has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Honours with a Creative Writing Concentration from the University of Calgary. Learn more at www.feliciazuniga.com.

Good for You

By Sarah Wood

When you tell me,

As the highest form of compliment, 

“You’re good for me.”

I think of all the ways I would describe you.

Never do I imagine

Using words that would suggest back 

A relationship to myself.

I made a list of things that are “Good for Me”: 

Cardio

Flossing 

Probiotics

Sunscreen

I couldn’t put your name, 

Beneath these

Magicless, Consumable,

Things.

Tell me, could you even see me without seeing yourself?

Or did we mistake self-sacrifice for intimacy?

To love you without leaving myself, 

I have to lose.

To love me without losing myself,

I have to leave.

I don’t want to be good for you. 

I want to be whole.


Sarah Wood is a writer, TEDx speaker and mindfulness facilitator from Michigan, currently living in New York City. She is the founder of Joy Soldier™, a community and toolkit to help people lead more joyful lives. She loves finding new books, hummus, and good questions. Sarah has previously been published in the Huffington Post and Thrive Global.