Leather Gloves | Paul Ilechko

Image: Jack B

Leather Gloves

It’s a curious flavor of darkness 
in the woods     the kind you might expect 
to find in the smoky heart of a dying fire 

a car is moving slowly under the arcing
branches of old oaks and hickories     as if
the driver is watching for something

he is quiet     his body seemingly awkward
in its posture    an unusual stiffness
is rippling from his shoulders  

he drank a cup of Lapsang Souchong
before leaving home     and the smoke
from his breath still baffles his eyes

there used to be CDs on the passenger 
seat     even though he never listens to music
he always fills the gas tank once it’s half empty

in his memory     there were passages beneath
his childhood home     where his mother 
used to rendezvous with a man in leather gloves

they always reappeared after an hour or two
always dressed for rain     always running down 
the springs on an imaginary clock

he imagines the man as his passenger     buckled 
tightly in     as they approach a tunnel     on both
sides     the steep walls of his mother’s thighs

he remembers his father sleeping quietly  
on a bare mattress on the kitchen floor 
in the days before their house burned down. 

Paul Ilechko is a Pushcart nominated poet who lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Tampa Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Sleet Magazine, and The Inflectionist Review. His first album, “Meeting Points”, was released in 2021.  

Two Poems | Robert Beveridge

Image: Noelle Vandenbroucke

The Inhabitants Are Like a Collection of Water*

When I heard that sound that can only
be interpreted one way, we shot up off
the couch, arranged our clothes,
and answered the door. There, just
as expected, the platoon of black
cherry gallons headed up by Harold
the Conqueror, Lord of the Realm
of Berea, West Virginia. We did know
we had to plan for the Battle
of Otterslide Creek, but we also
knew we had at least nine more days
before the sloth army arrived.
Harold pressed the issue; he was
concerned his troops would melt.
We bivouacked them in the chest
freezer, fed Harold frozen enchiladas,
and got back down to business.

* the title of this poem is a line from the trailer of the movie Church Money.


They burst in and say
this is a stickup but
they’re all holding
turkey sausage. You
turn back to the teller,
continue your deposit
of half a sheep
and a peck of bananas.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Stickman Review, Nebo, and Redheaded Stepchild, among others.

Mein Traum / My Dream | Cristina A. Bejan

Image: Kitae Kim

My Dream
English Translation

She stands there, clearly, near me
A girl, not so small
Ten years or more
I think
Also blonde
With brown eyes
Same as me
And she speaks to me in German
No English?
I say
Why young lady
We are not in Germany
Nobody here knows German
I have to know German
She tells me
I have to write in German
What did you write then?
My dreams
And nobody can see
Just me
And now you
I am just a foreigner in your life
You are my dream
In the United States, I dreamed of you in German
And I wrote everything down
At that moment, I realized
That girl and me – we
Are the same woman
And I remember very well why I couldn’t write in English
In my American West
My American mother would read everything
And my Romanian father was telling me
Green horses on the walls
And suddenly I see clearly
That the dreams I wrote down at age 10
Have all come true
I cannot believe that
But am I simply happy
And also a little alone with myself
And together with this world

Mein Traum
Original German

Sie steht da, klar, in meiner Nähe
Ein Mädchen, nicht so klein
Seit zehn Jahre oder so
Ich glaube
Auch blond
Mit braunen Augen
Das gleich wie ich
Und sie spreche zu mir auf Deutsch
Kein English?
Sag ich
Wie so Liebling?
Wir sind nicht in Deutschland
Niemand hier kennt Deutsch
Ich muss Deutsch kennen
Sie mir sagt
Ich muss auf Deutsch schreiben
Was hast du dann geschrieben?
Meine Träume
Und niemand kann sehen
Nur ich
Und jetzt du
Was ist dann passiert?
Ich bin nur Ausländer in dein Leben
Du bist mein Traum
In der Vereinigte Staaten hab ich an dich auf Deutsch getraumt
Und ich hab alles geschrieben
In diesen Moment, mir war klar
Das dieses Mädchen und ich
Sind die gleiche Frau
Und ich erinnere mich sehr warum ich konnte auf English nicht schreiben
In meinem Amerikanische West
Meine Amerikanische Mutter wurde alles lesen
Und meine Rumänisch Vater wurde mir sagen
Grüne Pferde an den Wänden
Und plötzlich sehe ich klar
Das meine Träume geschriebt auf nur zehn Jahren
Sind ganz passiert
Ich kann das nicht glauben
Aber bin ich einfach glücklich
Und auch ein bisschen allein mit meinen Selbst
Und zusammen mit dieser Welt

Cristina A. Bejan is an award-winning Romanian-American historian, theatre artist, and poet. A Rhodes and Fulbright scholar, she is a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Bejan received her DPhil (PhD) in Modern History from the University of Oxford. A playwright and spoken word poet (her stage name is Lady Godiva), her creative work has appeared in the US, UK, Romania, and Vanuatu. In addition to many scholarly articles, she has published a poetry book (Green Horses on the Walls), history book (Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania), and a play in Voices on the Move (eds. Radulescu and Cazan).

Two Poems | Leor Feldman

Image: Jelena Ardila Vetrovec


pink bubbles circulate her
purple knees

–gather in my pubic hair.
Pockets burst within dark scruff

criss-crossed, my legs besiege the tub
severing our ocean in two parts

my form conquering space–
an iceberg against a buoy.

Fur sprouts with the height of puberty.

She gathers white fluff in her palms, lathering soap in dirty-blonde locks
massaging higher and higher until she forms a tin hat–

fairytales we spew as a connection to our God.

Mom thinks I’m too old to bathe with friends now–
whispered against my bed sheets before “Goodnight” rests beside me.

I refuse to be without Clementine’s soapy mane. The rest of her is still
smooth and slight–

cementing our divide.

Nightmares of spiky legs, tangled leaves–
branches spit out across my jagged edges equating adulthood or–

even an end to our songs,
our fragile world
–built on an island of hot water quickly dying without steam.

Always Alone in Grocery Stores

Leor Feldman (they/them/she/her) is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. They often write of their body as a roadmap to illustrate how they’ve grown through chronic illness, while also exploring their relationship with their Jewish culture and queer identity. With a BA in Writing & Literature from California College of the Arts, Leor is currently working towards a Masters in International & Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver. They have poetry published in Humble Pie Literary Journal, as well as articles in Hey Alma and The Colorado Sun. Find them on Instagram.

her to my own | Devin Welch

Image: Doruk Yemenici

to my

saw a girl. she looked like you with someone who looked like me,
but taller with more weight. there were moments in the chais, rather
than this alarmed street with gum under my shoe and a ringing ear
and folks who don’t want me. the pubs with warm beer, I miss bars.
you’re a mother now. and the younger we age, two years equity and
sixty thousand exchanges they still looked like us. her less beautiful.

in the revolving barber’s chair i’m asked about my hair, but I can’t see in the passing
mirrors of the market where the drawn doors and portraits of those who’ve never been
here sleep behind the streetlamps. back to the cheap tabs and bad company where i can’t
tell love from brixton’s best. i thank god i’m not wet ‘cause i’ve floated that lido and i’m
sick of english words. i miss temperament, but can’t return to buoy in grandlake and not
course downstream. which i guess wouldn’t be so bad, not if I could stay on my back.

Originally from the front range, Devin Welch currently lives and works in London, UK where he recently finished his MFA at the University of London, Birkbeck. His prose, reviews, poetry, and films have been featured in publications across North America and Europe. 

The House We Build Together | Christopher Clauss

Image: Katherine Cavanaugh

Christopher Clauss

I do not ask her
if she believes
that the fairies will really come,
that they might be searching for a tiny backyard house
in which to dwell.
Even if they were,
no magical creature would choose
to live in this tangle of sticks
over which we have fussed
for far too long.
It doesn’t matter
that the bed of moss
will go un-slept in.
I will not worry myself
with exactness or proportions
of bark chair to mushroom table.
The fairies will never complain
about such things.
We busy ourselves
with flower petal carpets
and arranging decorations
of shiny quartz pebble just so.
The final product
is never quite what she envisioned.
The furnishings are rustic
and the roof keeps falling in
each time it is adjusted
by little fingers with the best of intentions.
She will remember
building everything herself.
When it is gone,
when the rain
and breeze
and rot have scattered the remnants
she will remember it
as a jeweled palace,
a luxurious home.
She will sleep comfortably
in her own bed
knowing the fairies
are well cared for,
imagining she had tucked them in herself,
kissed them gently on the forehead
the way Daddy does
before he whispers
good night.

Christopher Clauss (he/him) is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher in rural New Hampshire.  His mother believes his poetry is “just wonderful.” Both of his daughters declare that he is the “best daddy they have,” and his pre-teen science students rave that he is “Fine, I guess.  Whatever.”

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

The Stars | Zack Kopp

Image: Zoltan Tasi

The Stars

The cold stars clicking their claws together like crabs in a tank. History changes and runs off the page like butter. The world has been dragged through me, and I’ve been dragged through the world. We’re even. Stars twirl over stinking trenches, beginning a subtle magnetic resurrection that will take all time and never end. The mind is a machine to move matter. The scenes are super modern. The earth has us, and we multiply. Founded in an impulse of wild lonely need, not serious planning. The stars dissolve in my mouth not my hand. Let this life not be a torment. Let the stars stop shaking. Please, God. I will turn my greatest tricks for you.

Zack Kopp is a freelance writer, editor, photographer, graphic artist, and literary agent currently living in Denver, Colorado. His informal history of the Beat Generation’s connections with Denver was published by The History Press in 2015. Kopp’s books are available at Amazon, and you can find his blog at the website for his indie hybrid press at www.campelasticity.com featuring interviews and articles and links to other websites. His improvised novel, Public Hair, was described by one critic as “simultaneously the best and worst book ever.” The latest chapter of Kopp’s “fantastic biography” (Cf. Billy Childish), Henry Crank’s History of Wonders is expected in 2022.

And if / Şi dacă | Mihai Eminescu

Image: Birmingham Museums Trust

And if

And if the branches touch the window
And the poplar trees quake
That is how you are on my mind
And I slowly get closer to you

And if the stars touch the lake
Lighting it up, deeply
That is how I make peace with my pain
Illuminating the thought

And if the clouds though leave
They exit towards the glistening moon
That is how my memories return to me
Of you forever

Şi dacă

Şi dacă ramuri bat în geam
Şi se cutremur plopii,
E ca în minte să te am
Şi-ncet să te apropii.

Şi dacă stele bat în lac
Adâncu-i luminându-l,
E ca durerea mea s-o-mpac
Înseninându-mi gândul.

Şi dacă norii deşi se duc
De iese-n luciu luna,
E ca aminte să-mi aduc
De tine-ntotdeauna.

About the Poet

Mihai Eminescu (born Mihail Eminovici; 15 January 1850 – 15 June 1889) was a Romanian Romantic poet from Moldavia, novelist, and journalist, generally regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet.

About the Translator

Cristina A. Bejan is an award-winning Romanian-American historian, theatre artist, and poet. A Rhodes and Fulbright scholar, she is a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Bejan received her DPhil (PhD) in Modern History from the University of Oxford. A playwright and spoken word poet (her stage name is Lady Godiva), her creative work has appeared in the US, UK, Romania, and Vanuatu. In addition to many scholarly articles, she has published a poetry book (Green Horses on the Walls), history book (Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania), and a play in Voices on the Move (eds. Radulescu and Cazan).

Lover’s Kaddish | David Estringel

Image: Noah Silliman

Lover’s Kaddish

and walk beside me
down the verdant path,
‘cross this deathly sprawl,
reading poetry from tombstones
and the yellowed pages
of your tattered Lorca.
How sweet the ballads
and laments on the breeze
that sift through soft yews—
just yonder—
that shake
like fists
at wrought-iron gates—
at Heaven—
clutching their red burdens (in clusters)
like beating hearts
to breasts of evergreen.
Dance with me
to the whispers of cypress trees—
so tall
they cut the sky,
what God painted blue,
and the laughter of boys and girls,
as they duck and dart
from behind the pale bounty
of this garden of stone,
in perpetual games
of tag and Hide & Seek.
Will you find me
at dewy dawn
amongst sprays of grocery store bouquets
in cellophane wrappings
that cry silent tears?
Or in the cold of a moonrise,
contemplating our stars
and the gossip of earthworms?
When…o when,
will I see you, again?
Will memory outlast the letters
of my name?
Loneliness the promise?
There is no end
(so it seems)
to this longing, our endless game
(Who hides?
Who seeks?),

just a stone on my pillow
and the endless promise
of evergreen.

David Estringel is a Xicanx writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalorpress, Lahar, Poetry Ni, DREICH, Somos En Escrito, Ethel, The Milk House, Beir Bua Journal, and The Blue Nib. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published April 2019, followed Blood Honey and Cold Comfort House in 2022. David has written five poetry chapbooks, Punctures, PeripherieS, Eating Pears on the Rooftop, as well as Golden Calves and Blue (coming 2023). His new book of micro poetry little punctures will be released in December 2022. Connect with David on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website www.davidaestringel.com

Delayed Homecoming | Jayati Das

Image: Philip Myrtorp

Delayed Homecoming

For Tina and Ra

There are quite a few miles that crevice you from home,

Like the zip of your suitcase that flies between hope and not-hope.

I can only imagine how the fridge door must be slamming, unlike the one back here—

Extended supplies shunting faster than Turner’s baby,

The one that cries but never comes.

Do you wake each day to a finite line

And trace back the rhino’s trail 

You had smiled about the other day?

Does Bishop speak clearer now

And blur your vocabulary?

I am afraid I will forget your smiling hair

And the exact shade of your red lipstick

(The traces are already starting to drift).

Lie to me when I ask about happiness

Or perhaps halt the track of my question

(‘Are you home yet?’)

With a whistle or a red flag,

For then I can at least begin to unmemorise

Your face greeting me in some departure lounge.

Jayati Das is a research scholar from Tezpur University, India, and holds a Master’s degrees in English Literature frotm the University of Delhi. Her areas of research include representations of the Vietnam War, masculinity studies, and queer cinema. She has won over a dozen prizes in creative writing at the college and university levels. Several of her poems and stories have been published in The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, and e-magazines like The Golden Line, including a story in an anthology titled DU Love. Her published research includes essays on the Mizo poet, Mona Zote, race in Othello, and on Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.