Chapters, timers on stoves, toothpaste—
these things warn about their ends. Timing
belts. Miscarriages. A skinny little trans-
planted tree giving up on itself. These
don’t. Like an open-armed daughter who
tears across a playground. Like a tired one,
almost grown, pleading carry me carry me!
Ghost moments. Like you and I talk.

That daughter kisses me goodbye and
gets on the Metro de Madrid. Three stops
to her apartment. I turn into the day.
An old metal-cased phone booth rises
up and out of the concrete crossroad.
Sky-blue side panels, grass-green tented
top, matte metal face, buttons to nowhere.
Nothing to hold onto. Slathered in symbols:

resta’irador / Hello My Name is / De meulbles y

antigüdades / numtas / 91 478 30 42 /

Nana Karamel Tatoo / IBIZIA59 / JUAN GALGO /


Palimpsests and echoes, messages crawling out of
bottles, regrowing tentacles: acetylcholinesterase
in action. We have this protein, too. Los Madrileños
reaching out and receiving. Even though their ghost
lines ache. Even though those lines have been

Chapin Cimino is a creative writer living, writing, and teaching near Philadelphia. Besides connection, she loves daughters, risotto, properly made sidecars, cities without skyscrapers, and raising her heart rate. Chapin’s creative work has appeared in Hippocampus, The Write Launch, The Dewdrop, and The Curator.


The headline says, “Rosebuds on remote
island die from water shortage,”
and for the next three weeks, the networks broadcast
the bees that are lacking honey, shaming
the greedy Americans for their plastic water bottles.

“If only they could wait a day for another cup of coffee,”
the article begins, “the rosebuds would receive
their fair share of water and could feed
the bees that are shriveling into jellybeans.”

Overcome by guilt, the Americans try to save
the dehydrated blooms. They shut off their water and
live like gatherers. Anyone seen within arms distance
of a faucet is fined three hundred dollars.

After three months of conservation, they’re told
the rosebuds still haven’t recovered, so the Americans
storm the island carrying truckloads of water,
heartache, and honey. Upon arrival, flocks of bees
buzz overhead, and the Americans are greeted by a field
full of vibrant red. The Americans clink their keys
in their pockets and shuffle around. The next minute,
everyone gets a headline alert that says,
“Rosebuds on remote island have risen.”

Chris Faunce is a writer from Pennsylvania. He graduated from Drexel University in 2023 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He won Drexel University’s Creative Writing Award for Poetry in 2019.

Scenario in Surreal

Spy into her casement’s window
At her apartment she putters
Front door fastened, two closets shut, cabinets
She has a nest at the office where she clicks away
She has a nest at the movie house

Stadium 5 seating re-running Gone With The Wind
A daunting grand buck
At a doorsill swears at her, “I don’t give a damn”

The woman is not trying any more, last week she tried
She walked herself into a Chagall painting at the museum
To realize its encompassment
To query how lovers decalcified float in the air
To observe in the gallery next how winged cherubs inviolably hover

The lady’s purse holds a book and a pencil
The point’s been blunted from lists
The yellowed paperback has tea stains
She repeats to herself, “Give me Peace”

The sun radiates
A fact comes upon her
She cannot grasp what it is, it was there and gone
The woman cannot move, she is pinioned
The moment void of weight
A neither before nor after the moment

She drifts to the gardens
It is the vacant end of the mall by the lake
Debit and credit cards have not discovered it
A bluebird and a cardinal flit on a branch
A great blue heron wings low over water
An updraft exits toward blue
A fluttering, soft, as in askance

The woman flies up

Aside from his writings and professional career, including 20 years of university teaching, Harvey Steinberg of Lawrenceville, New Jersey has devoted time to voluntary leadership in arts and civic organizations. His poetry and prose have been published extensively and his artworks have appeared in dozens of juried shows. Many of his poems can be read in Agitations and Allelujas (2022, Ragged Sky Press, Princeton, NJ) and in numerous literary print journals.

June Moon

Don’t rhyme “June” with “spoon,”

unless maybe it’s one

that’s bent back & tarred black,

nor “moon” with “June”

unless you mean the bug big

as a car now battering my screen.

“Soon” also is suspect.

Expect it to be the same

as when pairing “breath”

with “death” in a previous line–

the poem had better

have depth in infinite fathom

& the rhyme, at least

one reason for being

besides the chime. Time is not

on your side, friend.

The end is too near to waste

even one unstressed beat

on a repeat of anything.


Yes, it will take some work.

Wait, do I hear you complain?

So you impressed yourself

slant-rhyming “duende”

with “pudendum,” but look—

already been done

& more than one time. Ditto

for subbing in “dog”

for its reverse rhyme, “God.”

It’s true both are dead

so far as I know, but—never mind.

The point not to repeat

a tired trope. The point is to hope

things will be better or different

—at least try to make language new—

I triple-God dare you.

Rebecca Foust’s seventh book, ONLY (Four Way Books 2022) earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was featured on the Academy of American Poets 2022 Fall Books List. Her poems, published widely in journals including The Common, Narrative, POETRY, Ploughshares, and Southern Review, won the 2023 New Ohio Review prize and were runner-up for the 2022 Missouri Review Editors Prize.


Crows & their eyes’ starry glint,

brassy anklets of sparrows, ruby-crowned kinglets:

among these trees all limb & lung, each is a jewel


churning hours, draping Earth in necklaces of song

that rain onto my bed of ringlets

black as crows & their starry glint.


My dark volunteers decide where they belong.

Abiding by the current of these glossy rivulets,

I shrug at the slim rings crowning my head, fussy jewels


I swear stand on end when the crows arrive each dawn.

Breezing from the trees (those gem cabinets)

the crows nearly appear to wink—that starry, starry glint.


I toss them some peanuts on the roof and lawn,

willing our adjacent lives to better bisect,

hoping they’ve glimpsed in this gesture a jewel


of goodness. The human shock of my face gone

softer, daily, till in beaks of black intellect

the crows carry a kinship with my own starry glint.

All limb & lung, wing & song, each of us: jewels.

Basia Wilson is a poet with a BA in English from Temple University. A finalist for the 2022 Banyan Poetry Prize, Basia’s work has most recently been published in Voicemail Poems and bedfellows magazine. Selected for Moving Words 2023, her work will soon be adapted for animation in an international collaboration between writers, animators and filmmakers with ARTS By The People.


When my friend’s tongue seized up, writhing
in its chamber, it must have reached for something,
anything, it seemed, though who was I to tell?

The hour took forever, when, out of the muck
of syllable and stutter, he said, shit, and I knew
a barrier had broken, the first bricks tumbling

out of his mouth. Out of the warehouse district
of the southern brain, graffitied in obscenities
and roses: the throat of a motor that won’t clear,

won’t turn over, but we were going somewhere.
Not progress as we knew it, no, but what you hear
gasp in a shattered object, or creak in the chains

of swing sets in the breeze. A little damage is always
the first to arrive, last to go. Even silence breaks
something when it breaks, and if the music’s good,

your ribcage shakes, your heart flits on its trapeze.
If you are listening, you know, the way a garden
knows where to spread its net, to clutch an earth

whose body hangs over the dark of the other side.
For it is always there, the fundament, the stranger,
the midnight sky. I saw it in eye of the bewildered

creature, as we rode in the ambulance together.
Welcome back, I said, although I never heard him
curse before. Or after. Welcome back, my friend.

John Kucera was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Carlow University, where he studied English Literature and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Arizona, where he teaches, writes, and plays with his pet turtle, Stumpy.

5 x 8

Take the afternoon train toward


Fill the saddlebags of your Harley.

Go in peace.


I will wait under the birch

for the owls to cry.


Hitchhike to Columbus.

Carry a calico bandana full of lightning.


I will remember the hedgerow,

the small silver trout,

the history of icicles,

the taste of juniper berries on your tongue.


Pack your trunk, take your pistol,

Measure the wingspan of a barnwood flag.


I carry a snail in my backpack.

He chases a grasshopper

under stones.


Heartsick, your highway

whispers ‘tomorrow, heart,

ache’. This is a film,

twice forgotten:

a spaghetti western,

this balloon lifting

you from sleep.

Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner-city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent chapbook is A Field Guide to Northern Tattoos (Main Street Rag Press.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant and is currently Poet in Residence at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her newest collection, NO.HOPE STREET has just been published by Kelsay Books.

Filling Up

On a winding road this side of South Mountain

which looms beside the less and less quiet valley,

we park the Jeep just past a roadside spring

that streams from a pipe fastened to a rock.

Such an insufficient description, I know,

but you don’t need to see it, just trust

that today as we lift empty plastic jugs from the back

and pop the caps to fill up on the free spring,

I’m stuck in time, or maybe just seemingly so

because nothing passes—not a car, a bike, or a breeze,

not a sound from the songbird likely stuck somewhere

deep in the somewhere trees erectly still on the mountain.

I’m bound by the thought of us here, somewhere

in the muck of life and all that’s falling

each day—each leaf, each dripping drop, each glimpse

of sunlight reflecting from the cascade of uncertain endings.

Someday I’ll ask where this went, where it fell or what it

fell into. But if I stay here, stuck, just one moment more,

I know I’ll find a way to slip this into my pocket,

zip us up, cap these jugs, preserve the roadside spring

that begs us to drink—drink from this leaky mountain,

as if we seek the answers or even know how to ask.

Wes Ward was born in Dover, Delaware, though roots tie him back to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where his dad was raised. Now a familiar stranger to Philadelphia, Wes lives a couple hours due West of Independence Hall and teaches high school English and college writing. He earned his Master’s of Arts in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Queen Anne’s Lace

To my mother, Elizabeth Worthington Shelly


A coarse scatter of gravelly buds

with a bare wire undercarriage,

a stem like baling twine,

and the aroma of last night’s dowsed fire.


No silky petals here:

you look like the doilies old ladies lay

on the heads and arms of chairs

to soak up sweat and body oil.


How cruel, they named you for a queen

when you were always a working class flower,

a Depression bloom.

There was never any luxury for you:

nobody took you into their garden

to cultivate or to coax.

You grew up in worn out fields,

in ditches along the sides of roads,

nurtured on rocks and exhaust fumes.


And that one purple dot in your center?

The one legend says is lacemaker’s blood?

That’s yours: shed along with your last tear

before you learned never to cry again

no matter how much it hurt.

Steve Shelly lives in Devon, Pa. and has worked for many years as a psychotherapist. His poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including The Atlanta Review and Philadelphia Stories. He works as a Volunteer Guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Bic Breath

To view “Bic Breath,” by Jake Price, click HERE.

Jake Price is a sophomore student at Susquehanna University pursuing a degree in creative writing. He spends most of his time reading his work to his cat, Raven, who has yet to give him any feedback. Jake has an Instagram account where he posts his poetry, @‌nolenprice, that has amassed over 3100 followers as of writing this. His poetry has been published in Rivercraft Magazine, Poet Lore Magazine, and Sanctuary Magazine. His short fiction has also been published in Cream Scene Carnival and Querencia Press.