179 lede

The black cherry tree. and 3 more, shorter, by Anastasia Cojocaru

IT was at the back of the garden / by the coșar filled with last year’s corn. / There were only a couple of steps/between the coșar and the edge of the forest. / A long field of corn was stretching/from the wooden fence facing the road / to the black cherry tree. // I’d find the green corn in its husks / with the longest silk / and pretend it was a doll with long hair.
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Charles Springer has degrees in anthropology and is an award-winning painter. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has published in over sixty journals including the Cincinnati Review, Faultline, Windsor Review, Packingtown Review, Gertrude and Passager. His collection of poems entitled Juice is forthcoming from Regal House Publishing. He writes from Pennsylvania. To read Day at the Beach, Charles' contribution to this issue of Squawk Back, click this block of text.

Firefly. by Lauren Keil

Lampyridae is pale
here in the south,
dying with
the ice.

Carla-Rosa Manfredino's... On the pier

We changed that winter
when the leaves dried and
turned in on themselves.

The sea stays the same
standing on the shore
it is seasonless.

In the Gaze of Quasimodo. by Alan Britt

In the gaze of the priest, the cat-o’-nine-tails
graced the back of Quasimodo.

Slicing glaciers into his flesh.

In the gaze of the priest, between the sweet lips
of the king,
blood like fruit trickled
down a tapestry of fools.

E m 1 7. by Fin Sorrel

                          Static became the most televised, and
                          frustrating hamlet to live inside, with
                          wilting boots, blossoming trips across small
                          grocery stores,

in segmented hobo jungles, the fruit cans switch to pots
and pans, hang from the limbs of willow trees, leaning over
flames of brass liquor store towns

California I'd Bless Every Part. by Reba Beauchamp

Lo-static on Sunset & row upon row of cars
gurneyed against the road & the grain in-heat so dead-still

anyone watching might think them the frozen echo
of long-dead commotion. Los Angeles is a relic undigging itself

over & over: the city’s been warned earthquake but
when falling into its own eardrum the whole event’s by design.