Tag Archives: Free verse

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.

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.

The Assault

By Anthony Aguero 

He lunged towards my body:  

Erect knob cutting towards the East. 

He wanted me dead or unknowing & 

He wanted me dead while shirtless &  

Glistening: beautiful stone skipping 

Across quiet water distracting the eye 

From seeing the boy at the bottom of 

The lake. Drowning & already dead, or 

Assumed deceased, & blue at the lips, 

He is advancing towards my body: 

Rustling Oleander trying to slip into 

My mouth. I release my tongue, but 

Not for pleasure — for escape & He 

Only sees a boy with snapped arms 

& thinks This! is mine — this & so 

He moves closer; stones in his eyes, 

& his cock is billowing wisps of smoke 

— the machination of his body 

Is about to prepare for his sweet-kill. 

But I know of his next move & I open 

My mouth in defense of this: my body.


Anthony Aguero is a queer writer in Los Angeles, CA.His work has appeared, or will appear, in the Bangalore Review, 2RiverView, The Acentos Review, The Temz Review, Rhino Poetry, CathexisNorthwest Press, 14 Poems, and others.

CHARRED EDEN

By A.E. Vogt

There’s salt water in the fields,
tree sap in my hair and
my own bloodied lip was the only honey I tasted all year.
The branches of a dying season claw through my sleep.

Everyone who has touched me
held a hook behind their eyes.
I used to cry to the bile-pale sky for warmth
but the ice won’t hold you, the snow refuses to forget.

Everyone who has held me
carved their name into my tongue
and I swallowed with gratitude.
As it bows over my shape –
sparse as the knee-high forest in winter’s grip –
the chimney shudders and spits more ash
than it’s never known.
If you follow the tracks beyond my blackened bone
you will find the catalyst on his belly,
begging the underbrush for shelter.

If you’re looking for a place to lay the blame:
tie it around my ankles.
If you’re searching for the killer:
don’t look at my grey tongue.

The match in my charcoal fist is still warm.


A.E. Vogt began writing poetry three years ago. She often draws inspiration from her childhood, growing up on the Canadian prairie. She is passionate about writing pieces inspired by elements of nature, folklore, religion, and her experiences of womanhood. When she is not writing, she is busy being a freelance photographer, painting with watercolors or getting lost in the forests near her home in Germany. To read more of her workcheckout her website.

UNSOLICITED LETTER TO GIRLS WHO GIVE TOO MUCH

By A.E. Vogt

What you seek is buried somewhere
between your chest and your cheek.
Dig with honest hands.
Learn your root, your thistle and your tender.
Hear the hum, the choir of creeksong and mooncry.
Curate the blooms, the fruit, the beauty.

The open arms you ache for have been
within you since your Genesis.

Your heart hides an Eden.
You are all you will ever need.
Everything else is just petals on your crown.


A.E. Vogt began writing poetry three years ago. She often draws inspiration from her childhood, growing up on the Canadian prairie. She is passionate about writing pieces inspired by elements of nature, folklore, religion, and her experiences of womanhood. When she is not writing, she is busy being a freelance photographer, painting with watercolors or getting lost in the forests near her home in Germany. To read more of her work, checkout her website.

The Large, Dark Centers of His Eyes

By Bobbi Sinha-Morey

He sits in his patio again

eyeing us as if we lived

in a dollhouse, probing

everything we do inside

our mobile home watching

every movement as if he

were a higher being who

could possibly tease open

our door with his thumb and

interpret our lives, a knowledge

blooming slowly in my mind

like a flower that he’d love to

live comfortably like us for

the rest of his life, and I know

he doesn’t like us – a two-sided

jerk, and one day I peered back

at him before it was daylight.

That’s when I saw the large,

dark centers of his eyes like

new pupils fitted inside by an

unseen hand. I imagined him

an oculist examining me and

my husband behind the glass.

In my dreams wrinkles on his

face looked like cobwebs and

each time I saw him outside

my world begun to tremble.

I could see inside whenever

he pleased because there were

no blinds on our windows.

He could see my husband

napping, me in my pajamas.

One day just before dusk I saw

mosquitos in the air spinning

around his head.


Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene’s Fountain, The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine, Miller’s Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red Kimono, and Woods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and her work has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology in 2015, 2018, and 2020 as well as having been nominated for The Pushcart Prize in 2020. Find her online here.

AT THE SALON

By Juanita Rey

My friend Aury cradled my head,
pretended her hand skidding across my hair
was running water.

We were in the kitchen
in the heat of the summer,
ten years old,
pretending we were wealthy clients
in some fancy beauty parlor.

Even our mothers never
went to such places
but we’d peered in windows,
witnessed the silky shine
that emerged
from busy fingers, creamy lather.
Such a contrast to our tangled curls,
our hurried baths.

Every age we were
the arch of a brow,
the jiggle of a waist,
would imitate the women
we would someday be.

Even now
when I bend backward in the shower
and close my eyes
to avoid the shampoo sting,
it still feels like this is a game I’m playing.

I’m always ahead of myself.
I can never catch up.


Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.

This Is What Happens When You Read Foucault Backwards

By Ann Pedone

what I meant to say was there is trouble
between my legs can you smell it
watch the tape again and you’ll see
all of the milk being sucked out of me
everything gone but the edges of the sky
open my mouth and I’ll tell you the first word
I learned spread my legs and you will see my
ancestors still clinging to my bones
pry me open and I’ll teach you that love
has never been anything but exodus


Ann Pedone graduated from Bard College with a degree in English Literature and has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. Ann is the author of the chapbooks The Bird Happened (Leave Books), perhaps there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining of sappho. (Cup and Dagger Press) as well as the forthcoming DREAM/WORK and Everywhere You Put Your Mouth (Halas Press.) Her work has recently appeared in multiple journals including Riggwelter, Big City Lit, Contemporary Verse 2, The Phare, West Trade Review, The Open Page Literary Journal, Slipstream, Rogue Agent, The French Literary Review, SAND, and The Shore.

Re-Reading Jacques Lacan’s Desire and Its Interpretation While on Vacation in Crete

By Ann Pedone

Imagine if the taut young skin of a word, say mari
gold deliverance or promiscuity, suddenly rubbed
up against the fleshy part of your inner thigh, the
soft concave of your belly, or that deep curve in
your neck. That spot he always says smells
like cyprus and almond and bone.

Have you ever tasted burnt honey. It’s unbearable.
Like a husband lost to the night. Or an owl in
a woman’s chest where the heart used to be.

Out of so few words he spread her legs. I’m going
to eat you. I’m going to eat all of the light out of you.

Makes you wonder, which is the more fragile
mechanism, language or the body.


Ann Pedone graduated from Bard College with a degree in English Literature and has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. Ann is the author of the chapbooks The Bird Happened (Leave Books), perhaps there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining of sappho. (Cup and Dagger Press) as well as the forthcoming DREAM/WORK and Everywhere You Put Your Mouth (Halas Press.) Her work has recently appeared in multiple journals including Riggwelter, Big City Lit, Contemporary Verse 2, The Phare, West Trade Review, The Open Page Literary Journal, Slipstream, Rogue Agent, The French Literary Review, SAND, and The Shore.

The Coffee Maker

By Dominic Loise

The machine in the lobby was placed as a nicety. Something warm and inviting offered visitors like yourself. It maintained the body heat of their initial handshakes. A first attempt to show the corporation cared to learn about others too by offering, “How do you like your coffee?” 

Your ceramic mug held the first sip of truth. A streamlined, sigil logo on the exterior contained the burnt out and bitter from spilling over. What artificial sweetener and 

dry powder pampering combination could you bring to the organization? 

More from Goat’s Milk Magazine

Current employees tried all the corporate kitchen counter alchemy fixes of ingredients bought for an extended boxed in shelf life. Are you a green, six months, resume hopper giving the cauldron a quick burst of youthful energy before tipping it over to start again? Are you a freshly cut vital organ from another competitor? Or will you stay the long haul wishing back to this day?

The coffee maker bubbled bottom charring residue. The burner is not turned off in time. As you waited in the closed-off lobby, being told it should only just yet be another twenty minutes. Contracts were being reviewed. Magical laws wiped continuing their conversion into legal rhetoric.

You get up and walked out placing the empty mug by the glossy brochures. The cycle had been broken. Time weaved and waved back towards you. Saving yourself time for one last cup of coffee. 


Dominic Loise lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is open about and advocates for mental health awareness. His work has appeared on Alchemic Gold Poetry Society, Analogies & Allegories, Calm Down, Raven Review, Refresh & Short Editions and in Collective Realms & Emotional Alchemy.