Poetry: “Alexander at the Library” by Aaron Benedetti

Alexander at the Library

His hands are basins. They brim
as he handles books. The left one
turns a page. Today I read Russia
in his features—maybe Doctor
Zhivago. I consider asking why
he has never traveled. Or, I imagine
his eyes on me. When he rises, at last,
he draws one hand along the stack
while he walks, before he pauses
at the cavity he left.

Aaron Benedetti is pursuing an MA in sexual dissidence from the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. He received a BA in English and political science from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Poetry: “They Were Garnet” by Darren C. Demaree

They Were Garnet

Embolism in the shower,
her eyes folded into the tile
and I was left with one kiss.

We planned to date
on her return to Wooster,
but by Fall she was a scholarship

and a photo there. I went
to my writing classes
and counted how many girls

wore men’s dress shirts
with two buttons undone.
There was one more,

and I slept with her for a while,
but her eyes were only brown,
the tile remained garnet.

Darren C. Demaree is living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the author of “As We Refer to Our Bodies” (2013) and “Not For Art Nor Prayer” (2014), both are forthcoming from 8th House Publishing House. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations.

Poetry: “Gavone” by Lynn Hoffman

I was here before you and you

and youse especially.

When there was room to hide

on downwind side of brownstone stoop

or in the alley by Carmine’s

where me and Eddie

doo-wopped, doo-wopped.

I owned the street.

It was wild then

feral, forest, lamppost trees

offa parking lot steppes.

and we were the wolves

or the pups anyway

and we feasted: red-gravy sheep

christmas geese.

and bitches-man, there was bitches.

There was gods here then,

the hydrants, mailboxes and mammas

it was like Easter Island and

everybody watched and nobody saw.

Now the Christmas lights on the Avenue

are all white and polite and there’s

nobody left to sniff the ground,

to bare their teeth,

to howl.

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