Issue 2.2

Another Day on Delaronde by Charlotte Hamrick

On Delaronde Street sweat
runs beneath 200 year old
oaks and between breasts,
over gnarly roots and down
the curve of a belly.

Words of love, a melody in
French, weave through the
plumbago hiding
a pristine white gallery,
and wafts down the street,
fading into the distant sounds
of river traffic.

Laughter crackles with
the clink of glasses leaking
from behind wrought iron, amid
the slightly rustling palmettos.

Fans and pages turn, sun
tanned legs stretch out, day
dissolves into evening. Time to light
the candles and pour the wine.

When Water Rises by Charlotte Hamrick

Afternoon errands.
Rain
falling elephants and lions, thumping
and roaring.
Me, a little mosquito
in a car on Tchoupitoulas Street.
It’s beginning to flood, my foot
on the brakes falling straight to the floorboard
as water rises, the car floating slowly
amidst a cache of litter, planks,
a garbage can, and a blue tricycle.
Out of control, I let the waffling
steering wheel go, lean back with a Hail Mary
on my lips and think about wading
to the nearest bar for a screw-it-all beverage.

Typography of Life Lines by Kaela Martin

My father’s hands look like New Mexico,
all cracked earth and brush wire calluses.
In Gallup, every breath is sage and dust,
scrubby yarrow flowers crushed underfoot,
and car exhaust. If you held my father’s hands,
brought them to your mouth and kissed them,
you could almost see adobe walls and feel
the dry bark of a Pinon tree scrape against your lips.
You would find scars, old and pitted
as Navajo mountain dwellings, smashed pottery
and freckles of black smoke left behind.
If you held your hand in his,
felt the roughness of his palms, the back
of his hands dried and tan as leather,
the toughness, the strength still left
in his swollen knuckles, you’d know
how my state endures.

My Texas by Christa Pandey

Not only cactus, cowboy boots,
or flash floods and the endless drought,
those brilliant sunsets or mesquite,
but also German beer and sausage,
Tex-Mex tacos, Indian naan,
Thai red curry, Cajun shrimp,
and sushi Californian.

It’s New Year’s Day and
Chinese New Year, Rosh Hashanah,
Eid al-Fitr, and at last Diwali.
It’s salsa, country, jazz and Bach,
Broadway, poetry, and Pow Wow dance.

We immigrants and those who venture
here from other U.S. parts, do make our home,
fuse memories to fit the Texas zest,
the cowboy hat now covered up
with country pins of distant lands,
a globetrotting Tyrolean hat.

Mule by John Riley

Sometimes cats had to die or dogs
and the pigs slaughtered every year
at the first sign of winter and once
a mule was led away to be, I was told,
turned into low-grade dog food.
The old man who told me this liked to tell me such things
because he knew I slept fitfully and dreamed
about the death of everyone I wanted to love
and that this fear kept me from loving him
or loving anyone else.
I remember the mule’s name but that I won’t share
and that he had almost died two years before
from eating too much clover when he escaped
the dull electric fence and wandered through the woods
until he made himself at home beneath bright trees
beside the creek and ate until his stomach swelled
with gas and the old man tried healing him
until the mule fell asleep with his head in his lap,
there beneath the full summer trees
beside the creek that poured itself into the river
a mile downstream.

About the Contributors

Charlotte Hamrick’s poetry and prose has been published in numerous online and print journals, most recently including Mockingheart Review, Literary Orphans, and The Rumpus. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the 15th Glass Woman Prize. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets.

Kaela Martin is a Texas native studying Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin State University. Her poems have been published in Thin Air Magazine and Catfish Creek.

Christa Pandey is a well-published Austin poet who has tried to blend into the South as an immigrant. Her poems reflect some of that struggle. She has collected three chapbooks: “Southern Seasons,” “Maya” and “Hummingbird Wings.” Her individual poems can be found in numerous anthologies and journals. In 2015 she received her first Pushcart nomination.

John Riley has published poetry and fiction in Smokelong Quarterly, ConnotationPress, Metazen, The Dead Mule, Fiction Daily, Thrice Fiction, Willows Wept Review, Blue Five Notebook. Centrifugal Eye, St. Anne’s Review, Sliver of Stone, and other anthologies and journals both online and in print. He is the founder and publisher of Morgan Reynolds, an educational publisher located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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