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When We Were Seahorses
by Aoibheann McCann

The FIRST TIME I met him was at the bottom of the sea.
Any religion or cult will tell you that the highest state of being is just merely being. Not having to bear petty feelings like jealousy or rage, not caring about material things.
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Beside a Mother’s Death Bed. ( & Lullaby. ) by Michael H. Brownstein

A black fog squinted into crevices between her teeth,
India inked her gums, her breath a ragged windstorm with a kite,
the kite dodging and dipping, flipping and shifting,
a tree branch, then—

Fata Morgana. by Neil Ellman

By what witchery
does its image appear
a squall in the distance
of time and mind
an albatross
skimming the waves
on its endless flight
a shadow of a shadow
walking the edge of the earth
on pattering feet?

Plainsong. by Keith Robbins

That first chill in the late summer air
ignites a primordial fear of mastodons with steaming flanks,
of watchful eyes in caves. The constellations flicker softly
over cattle frozen solid in Wyoming, in Montana,
in the Dakotas. They still stand. My belly squirms
with an urgency that feels both nostalgic and filled with dread.
I must tunnel deep. I will be hungry soon.
Tomorrow I wear black, and the true mourning can begin.
But there is no contest, no thought of struggle.
This you learn quickly, rising bloodied on the count of nine.
By third winter you submit gladly to the yoke.
You bend your back to carry the load
of your own particular sorrow—now,
strangely, your great romance as well.
Every morning you strap it across your shoulders,
slog to work beneath a sky that bows your head
with every imaginable prayer, with loss and lamentation.

George K. Karos' Diaspora in Channels of Life

I am always concerned how I will survive the day,
And the night within the day, and so forth.

Everyone feels differently garnishing empty space.
We are all beautifully alone; aging children, pleasure seekers
And loyalists to creation.