Spill — by Annette Hope Billings

A near-perfect carry technique

results in safe transport

of coffee from barista to table.

No slosh as hot liquid sways

in tandem with a measured gait.


Don’t look at it and it won’t spill.


Saucer-cup ensemble is slid slowly

onto a table’s solid surface

with careful consideration

to not waste such vital fluid,

to keep each drop its rightful side of wall.


Don’t look at it and it won’t spill.


Black ink on morning newspaper,

printed proof of latest violence

this time on foreign ground,

to soak up life spilled

from arteries to exsanguination.


Don’t look at it and it won’t spill.


Vision clouds at lists of victims

until eyes avert to waiting coffee—

lifeless now, cooled to tepid.

It and headlines are pushed aside

neither valid when left to grow cold.


Don’t look at it and it won’t spill.

~ Annette Hope Billings

Annette Hope Billings is an author and actress known for her spoken delivery. She has received a Renna Hunter Award for theater and an ARTSConnect ARTY Award in Literature (2015) Billings’ published works include A Net Full of Hope (2015), a collection of poems and Descants for a Daughter (2016), a collection of inspirations. Her poetry and short stories are included in a number of publications and anthologies. For additional information and performance videos, visit website: http://anetfullofhope.com/

Guest editor Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has two chapbooks, The Sum of Two Mothers (ELJ Publications 2013) and My Graphic Novel (Kattywompus Press 2015), a poetic memoir My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015), and Fast-Food Sonnets (Coal City Review Press 2016).

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