Two Poems by Katelyn Roth

At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

When I take her daughter
onto my hip in the Egypt room, 
my cousin says babies are the best 
tour guides if we will only follow
their eyes to the dizzying
spread of ceiling tiles, thin,
needle-sharp arms of lights
straining to us, the nearby slope of
some woman’s neck, the warmth
in her pale hands. And in the 
gift shop, a tiny water wheel
turns and turns and turns. Her baby rejects
my two offered fingers in favor of her own
palm. She is everything she needs.
Mass Shooting

i go to Lucille
Clifton again, to 
“the times.” on my bed
in a chiffon dress, soft
to the floor, i eat
the body 
can feel good things
too. we can make
a home here.
ear buds without music
muffle even the
silence. i am
so full and so hungry.
i eat in the bath.
i almost text
my ex. i am 
than i can ever remember
i collage. i want
to finish, push, 
make something. so I 
make myself 
stop. feelings
just have
to be felt.
it is hard to remain human
but we are, and 
i am.

Assistant Editor Katelyn Roth has a master’s in poetry from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press, in Apeiron Review, and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. Currently, she lives in Columbus, Ohio where she is an MFA candidate at Ohio State University.


A Poem by Laura Washburn

The Gathering
     “There will be another eye, a strange one, beside
       our own: unspeaking under its stony lid." –Paul Celan

When the old man comes dragging his sack,
the children run away from the fire.
Sparks snap and glide, then fade. Whole worlds
whistle and break. Even under the perigee moon,
the woods are dark. Moonlight berries soothe
and lure. 	     Children run away from the fire!
The old man has come dragging his sack.

When he drops back into his crevice
and rock, he drags the deep sack behind him.
The gray stone of the third eye knows
in its slow blink every terror in our skulls.
   Hands reach up
to cup us as we gather. Hands reach up,
but dumb, we run away from the fires.

This poem will appear in our Editor-in-Chief’s new collection, The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark Books, 2023).

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso ReviewHarbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor. The Book of Stolen Images is in the publisher’s hands today and can be purchased from Meadowlark Books.