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Other notable works by Hannah Larrabee and Michael Fisher.

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Jenn Monroe-

Arrhythmia
with thanks to Uncle Walt & Nina Marie Tandon

It
is so
easy to
get stung up along
electrical line white noise buzz
shoestring tangle, dangled into voice swarm head rush noise–
when we are nucleus, embryonic charged, merge of small and large, the outlet.

_______________

Destiny Would Be Hyperbole If It Weren’t So Obvious

No, she does not look like me. She is pink where I am yellow,
her eyes blue, mine green. What you see is our history, linked
as we are, by something I know exists but cannot name. Not god
as you think of god, but perhaps goddess as they do in the East.
I wrote of her the day she was conceived by others, woke with her
name on my breath. What she will mean to this world I cannot imagine,
but I do know she lifts the mood of a room. I joke, magic baby.
She scares me in this way.

_______________

In the Absence of Patience

Mourning doves nest in the eaves above our side door
and I watch them sit on what will be their brood. I can see
only part—one sweet head, one gentle eye blinks curiosity
at my two blinking back the same. Other birds have young
peeping at them at the feeders, but these doves waited
until their nest was done. I know the anxiety of their wait.
What will happen when the baby arrives? Will they protect
with their lives the one for whom they’ve built everything?

_______________

She Asks Me To See Myself At Seventy

Gray hair spins around my face like cobwebs, and I settle
in a faded red wingback chair facing a window.

It isn’t a bright day.

Dressed in a turtleneck and pants faded to match dried hydrangea,
posture straight, but gentle, my breath does not fog the pane.

Brambles gnarl my garden path, knotting tightly at the gate.
Tea shivers in my grandmother’s rose-print cup.

Ash dusts the book fallen open in my lap, cold embers
from the fireplace behind me.

Beyond this, the large room withers.

_______________

Growing Season

My roots sink into compost—potato peels, green pepper guts,
stringy stuff from bananas rotting.

You’ve got to stir it up, spread it around, use it for planting, otherwise
it’s a pile of decay fit for flies. I pretend I’ve lost the key to the tool shed,
the shovels are in there and so is he, waiting for me to let the light in.

In my first memory he is backlit in front of a gray tent. In photos he sleeps
while I nurse empty bottles, toddling in his shoes.

In a dream I shot him inside the paneled office of his repair shop.
I walked into a lovely day—shirt sleeves, cobalt sky.

Some things grow wild with neglect, even under your own roof.

Thick branches burrow, heaving linoleum and concrete like ice.
Long fingers extend beyond soil to mantle, straining,
for the warmth at the core.

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Jenn Monroe is the author of Something More Like Love (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She is an assistant professor of writing and literature at Chester College of New England. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Petrichor Machine, Tygerburning Literary Magazine, and The Lindenwood Review among others.

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Hannah Larrabee-

Heliopause

“Voyager 1 will cross the heliopause sometime within the next one to three years,
making it the first human-made object to come in contact with what lies beyond
our solar system.”

Snow is the backdrop.
Things continue
to live
quietly, unharmed,
only hushed.

A child is carried
in this way
through city streets,
blanketed and warm:
a universe
of safety.

We are meant
to stay within each
other, to leave
the confines is to feel
silence. One town over
a man’s wife strayed,
so he wounded
another man
then turned the gun
on himself.
He left her alone.
Silence.

Out there,
in a bolder place
than this,
Voyager 1 nudges
against the heliopause;
it is the farthest
we have ever
been.

No one waits for it
save for a few
scientists,
and the morning
news. And no one
waits for her,
not anymore.
The papers all say
he was only good,
the kind of man
who cannot be
replaced.

Voyager 1 snaps
a photograph
over its shoulder:
the Earth no bigger
than an egg
glowing in uterus.

Snow is the backdrop.
At home, she wraps
herself in a blanket,
no longer home.

Voyager 1 turns
off its camera
and listens
to darkness.
It is not silence,
is it.

_______________

Drink

Oh, the things we pour
into glasses
to get at each other,
to get outside
the daily one-room schoolhouse
of living;

think of how
we have done this over
and over, and still
are no better at it.

Oh, eloquence of booze,
dissertations
defended,
wounds reopened,
rifts revised,
in vino veritas;

think for a minute
back to when you asked
for us to share one last drink,
(it wasn’t the last)
to talk about things
we never had before,

and think back
to how we left the bar
early, not one thing learned
despite drink.

Oh, there was anger then
heavier than a barn door
pulled together
and padlocked;
there is nothing drink
can do to anger
but allow it to speak.

Oh, but we do not need it now
and so we ask for it
(in love) in warmth,
we ask for it
in the conversation
of dinner,
in the conversation
of old films,
in the patience required
to teach me to dance.

And not needing it
frees us,
leaves me smiling
into your shoulder
so that you won’t see all
my happiness
as you spin me around
the room, oh,
a slow building
burning.

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Hannah Larrabee lives in two worlds, and the only thing that seems to follow is her writing. By day she works in radio, by night she teaches writing, and in between there is always writing and the reading of writing. She considers herself tremendously lucky to have spent several years studying with Charles Simic, to have completed an MFA in creative writing, to have engaged in two fields of work that keep her going, and to have found one person who happens to be the subject of quite a few love poems. She’s also a newshound and a fan of pre-prohibition drinks, and conversations that involve both of those things.

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Michael Fisher-

Live Music and Cocktails at Ralph’s Diner

Short necks, long necks
lines of brown bottles
and shot glasses shine
like cubic zirconia
under a blanket of seared beef.
The bouncer uses his degree
in engineering from MIT
to shine a mag light on Ids.
Consecrated night, late summer.
Days get shorter
before black jean boys and girls,
who twitch to top forty spinning
through their bodies,
feel a hint of a new fall.

_______________

Worcester, MA

This is an ugly city.
The old man stretch pastel shirts
over their guts, patina skin–
empty espresso cups
flies and ants, also ugly
lap ouzo out.
The school kids
single file and second hand
next to stucco mud side buses,
yellow paint behind their bruised hair–
almost parody of their fashions.
And the punk, blood dried
like cinnamon spilled
over his shirt and mouth
grinning to know his left canine
is swaddled like a newborn
in someone’s fist.

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Michael Fisher lives in Worcester, MA. His first collection “Wolf Spider” is available through plan B press.

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