Ostara, 2016/ Bri Mellott

In the summer I will eat nothing but fruit/ Let the soft flesh slide down my throat/ And into my belly where it will rot/ Until I am fat and round with seeds

Every Fairy Tale Starts With a Dead Mother/ Anna Lea Jancewicz

So when June’s mama drove off the twisty mountain road that rainy spring midnight after drinking herself into a starry stupor at the Thirsty Stallion, June took it as an omen of magical things to come.

Cooper Will Be Dead Soon/ Zachary Davis

“You’re saying you’re not available at all on Tuesday, then? You’re certain there’s no wiggle room there?”
“No, I’ll be unavailable that whole day, and every day after that.”

Spoils of War/ Beth Gordon

Graffiti/ on playgrounds, well-fed alpacas in the palace garden,/ mutated children, sleeping in discarded gift/ boxes outside the nightclub./ We begin to seep/ through cracks…

Squeeze/ Joshua Stewart

Grandpa dug the game warden’s false teeth right out of his face/ buried them in his dresser near the painting of Jesus on the wall./ As latchkey kids, the first thing we learned how to do was unlock/ every gun case in our mother’s closet…

Plants/ Chance Dibben

The F U scrawled on my car’s hood/ has gotten deeper/ my teeth can hold anything/ but a smile…

The Workhorse/ Lucy Crowe

Oh, those hands – they sifted fall soybeans and pinched them to gauge the moisture content. They tugged wet cornstalks from the corn head, they wielded hoes, shovels, hammers. They patted the dog and held the child, circled the waist of the woman he loved.

Wardrobe/ Meg Weber

That thread from before snags at me, unravels all the way through my chest as the weight sinks in. I can feel the bottom edge of her words, can sense what she might mean. She’s desperately unhappy and can’t find her way out of it.