City of Hope                                                                              by Nicole Tallman

This city seeps hope—
a stitched wound that heals after each rainy season.
In the neon pink sky and the electric blue of the ocean,
each day gives rise, ebb and flow
to the hustle for more and more.
But what is more?

If it’s traffic, noise, pollution
it’s less.
We want less.
And in the moments we grow tired of chasing excess
we summon the mourning doves that call
at night, in the starry heat, beckoning the slowdown.

In these moments, we too take our time,
tend to those who struggle,
those with lives grown too heavy.
We carry someone else’s bag of groceries.
We hold the door open.
We gift fruit from our backyards.

Nicole Tallman is the Poetry Ambassador for Miami-Dade County, an Associate Editor for South Florida Poetry Journal, and Interviews Editor for The Blue Mountain Review. She is the author of Something Kindred (The Southern Collective Experience Press), co-editor with Maureen Seaton of We Who Rise from Saltwater, Let’s Sing!, and her debut full-length collection is forthcoming in the summer. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @natallman and at nicoletallman.com.

Guest Editor, Joan Kwon Glass (she/her) is the biracial, Korean American author of NIGHT SWIM, winner of the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest, & is author of three chapbooks. Joan is the Editor in Chief of Harbor Review, a Brooklyn Poets mentor, poet laureate of Milford, CT, a Connecticut Office of the Arts Artists Respond grantee & poetry co-editor of West Trestle Review. A proud Smith College graduate, she has been a public school educator for 20 years. Her poems have appeared in Diode, Rattle, South Florida Poetry Journal, & many others. She grew up in Michigan & South Korea & lives in Connecticut with her family.

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