205 lede

Fever Dream. by Bryan Edward Helton

Have you ever been in a bed / that became the palm / of a ghostly hand / and listened to music / struggling to escape / one high corner of the room / and the song became / a deer’s head lifted / on a dark highway / or an inexplicable / ditch-drowned book / crumpled soggy mud colored / or a large ancient house / abandoned in the forest / and caught in the raw spring
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No. 205 20220508

Contrary to Robert Frost by Renée Francoeur

He circles round.

He comes back to her in twelve-grain bread crumbs. Razor-edged squares of mirror. Pieces of memory. The genesis: a static clip of Marlon Brando’s voice, the shadow of a strong hooked nose, the thick scent of rain at night on a steel bridge, burlap coarseness on her cheek — the palm of a working man.

Release. by Stephen Lightbown

In sukhasana I observe myself, sat in my wheelchair
in front of a painting. There’s a row of terraced houses.
I watch myself stand from the wheelchair
and walk into the canvas. Through the brown door
of a house like the one I lived in as a child.
I do not question how my skin has stretched
into a stride. The painting looks like a Lowry

I Could Have Saved John Denver by Berendsje Westra

The sun is low, this autumn morning in the Monterey Peninsula. Songbirds twitter in swaying treetops as our eyes meet for the first time. He’s wearing a blue and white gingham shirt, jeans and tan cowboy boots.

“Can I help you?” he says in a gentle tone.

I tell him I’m from London, but then I hesitate and just stand there, fidgeting with my fingers; looking past his slim frame at the swirling shapes on the marble wall in his hall.

Familiarity. by Lana Bella

A tier of noonday sun pinned down
magnolia boughs breaking
through the glass,
claret glow scorched sweat back
into your skin, much like an omen
cinched to lips on the smattering
of proverbial conversations.
How you crossed the length of
my stirring in tall, slow steps,
bone-girdled on the bulbous sack
of the lunch-hour's long giraffe-tongue.