Armistice                                                                                   by Arden Levine

As they sleep, so sleeps the conflict.
Their wounds drink healing breaths
under the blankets, their undulation

of terror and grief becomes
the rise and fall of their chests.
In the morning, his closed eyes

deliver a desire for treaty
to replace cease-fire. She will
lay down her arms around him.

Arden Levine is the author of Ladies’ Abecedary (Harbor Editions, 2021). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, RHINO, River Styx, Spillway, and other journals. Arden lives in New York City, where her daily work focuses on housing affordability, homelessness prevention, and equitable community development. More at http://www.ardenlevine.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.

Drafts of Every Obituary for a Death by Suicide             by Maya Williams                                                             after Olivia Gatwood





Maya Williams (ey/they/she) is a Black multiracial nonbinary suicide survivor who is currently the seventh poet laureate of Portland, Maine. Ey has work published in venues such as Indianapolis ReviewFreezeRayThe Portland Press HeraldHomology LitglitterMOB, and more. You can find more of their work at mayawilliamspoet.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.

Mourning                                                                         by Shuly Xóchitl Cawood

While standing at the kitchen sink, I peel an orange, its thick 
skin slick on one side, soft on the other. Pieces tear off in my hands, 
 
hands I pull weeds with, use to clap for other people, press numbers, tap 
on black keyboard, smooth the back of my husband when he’s hurting, 
 
when life wears thin. The orange breaks off in tiny sections that burst with joy. 
Through the window above the sink, out in the yard with its white shed 
 
and split-rail fence is a darkness I know. Soon, I will leave this house
and walk the street I’ve lived on now for more than a decade. The whole world 
 
goes with me if I rise early enough, the light still easy and loose. The birds 
will call good morning the only way they know how—through song, and I long
 
to sing, too, but I am still finding my voice. The birds will busy themselves 
with their own findings—worm and seed, grain and grub—and all of us
 
will be eating the sky with our eyes, feeding on the clouds. Trees will swish their leaves
in their waking, too. And I will walk until I am back home again, and my hands
 
will twist the brass knob, and I will call out my husband’s name, and it won’t be song
but he will hear it, and he will rise like the light of any new and better day.

Shuly Xóchitl Cawood is the author of The Going and Goodbye: A Memoir, and the story collection, A Small Thing to Want. Her poetry collection, Trouble Can Be So Beautiful at the Beginning, won the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry. Learn more: www.shulycawood.com.

Guest Editor Lori Martin is associate professor of English at Pittsburg State University. She’s had both poetry and fiction published in magazines like Prick of the Spindle, The MacGuffin, (parenthetical), Room Magazine, Grass Limb, The Knicknackery, The Maine Review and upcoming in The Tampa Review.  Martin is poetry editor for The Midwest Quarterly.

Mo(u)rning Ghazal              by Shawn Pavey

Heavy rains for the better part of twenty four hours.
The river rises, water overflowing its borders.

Thunder fills everyone standing with dread, but lightning
cracks the air, opens us to all the sky’s murderous powers.

Beside a propane tank behind my studio, at the edge
of an overgrown gravel drive, sway black-eyed Susans and lacy wildflowers.

Strong black coffee punctuates overcast mornings.
Cigarettes are good, too, but I don’t smoke those anymore.

Last week, chatted with an old and dear friend who’s writing a book
on “The History of Reading” that I want to devour.

He told me it’s cancer. He told me the executor of his will
will send me his lifetime’s book collection of analysis and verse.

I do not want my friend to die and neither do I want to end.
I am exhausted from saying goodbye, yet here we are.

shawn pavey

Shawn Pavey is the author of Talking to Shadows (2008, Main Street Rag Press), Nobody Steals the Towels from a Motel 6 (2015, Spartan Press), and Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse (Spartan Press, 2019). He is a Co-founder and former Associate Editor of The Main Street Rag Literary Journal, and a former board member and officer of The Writers Place, a Kansas City-based literary non-profit.

~

September Editor James Benger is the author of two fiction ebooks, and three chapbooks, one full-length, and coauthor of three split books of poetry. He is on the Board of Directors of The Writers Place and the Riverfront Readings Committee, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online workshop, and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and children.

New Year       by Rick Alley

rick galsses blurry

Was childhood
your first
failure?
Remember the snow
growing so old
it was such a sooty
scarf?
When the crows came
to manage your grave,
when all their twigs were
   arranged,
did you think about
that Christmas
when your fever was
so mean?
Was that you who stepped
clean through me
in Trafalgar Square
last week?

Rick Alley‘s poems have appeared in The Chattahoochee Review, Mudfish, Poetry East, Willow Springs, Graffiti Rag, Mid-American Review, Eclipse, Elohi Gadugi, Conduit, Smartish Pace, Ellipsis, Luna Luna, Electric Pamphlet, and concis.  He lives in Norfolk, Va.

Laura Lee Washburn Guest-Editor, 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 microchap prize is named in her honor.