Petrichor | Mārta Ziemelis

Image: Matt Artz

When you leave the desert,
your mind forgets the heat,
but your body remembers.
When you leave the desert,
the smell of wet dust
right after rain
lingers in your nose,
hopeful, electric, forever refreshing.
When you leave the desert,
the desert keeps a piece of you.


Mārta Ziemelis is a Toronto-based emerging poet and established literary translator. Her poetry has appeared in The Ice Colony and CRUSH Zine. It is also forthcoming in the Sapphic Writers zine “Out Of The Wardrobe”. Her Latvian-English translations include “Do you exist, or did my mind invent you?”, a poem by Gunta Micāne (TransLit Volume 11: An Anthology of Literary Translations, 2017), two short stories in the anthology The Book of Riga (Comma Press, 2018), and Narcoses, a poetry collection by Madara Gruntmane, co-translated with Richard O’Brien (Parthian, 2018).” Instagram.

Rotting Eaves | Michael T. Young

Image: Del Barrett
Across the park, an old clock tower
surrendered itself to moss and vines. 
Tendrils coil along the clock hands, 
twine the gears and down the shafts. 

Finches knit knobby twigs, grass, and leaves,
nesting in vents and through the hollows 
where the eaves have rotted, remaking 
what we leave behind into the life that follows.

Michael T. Young’s third full-length collection, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. He received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His chapbook, Living in the Counterpoint, received the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. It has also appeared in numerous journals including Cimarron Review, Gargoyle Magazine, One, Rattle, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Facebook. Twitter

Naming Water | Carol Willette Bachofner

Image: United States Geological Survey
Gwantigok, Penawahpskek, 
		Passamaquoddy, Pashipakokee,
long rivers, long through the land you flow
long through us will you flow,
flowing from where the rocks widen,
from where pollack feed us.

Piscataqua, Androscoggin, Cobbosseecontee,
		Olamantegok, Quahog,
where water lies between the hills
through the sheltering place, 
to where sturgeon gather together
to red ochre river, color of our children.
Shellfish place, treaty-making place.

Sebastcook, Seninebik, 
		 Skowhegan, Baskahegan,
our stories flow
through little channels,
bearing rocks and memories
from where salmon leap the falls
to broad open waters,

turning back to where wild onions grow,
With birch and ash along their backs,
long rivers of first light
through our families flowing:
Wazwtegok, Winoztegok,
		Zawakwtegw, Gwantigok.

			Ndakinna.

Carol Willette Bachofner is an indigenous poet (Abenaki), watercolorist, and photographer. She is the author of 7 books, most recently Native Moons, Native Days (Bowman Books) and Test Pattern, a fantod of prose poems (Finishing Line Press)

Her poetry has appeared in various journals, such as Prairie Schooner, The Connecticut Review, The Comstock Review, Cream City Review, Crab Orchard Journal and others. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies such as Take Heart: Poems From Maine (DownEast Books) as well as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Writings from Indigenous New England (University of Nebraska Press, 2013). She has won several poetry prizes, including the Maine Postmark Contest (2017).  She served as Poet Laureate of Rockland from 2012-2016. Her photographs have appeared in various journals, such as Harbor Review (2021) and Spirit of Place where her photograph, ”Rigged” was an honorable mention given by Maine Media Workshop in 2013.

Shoshanah | Sarah LaRue

Image: Max Kleinman
My grandmother is the ocean now
                                       roaring always somewhere
                                                     even when quiet here and now
             her smooth surface breaks into waves

She resists and yields at once
                             in magnitudinal power tides
                                           pulled heavy from the moon
               in consort with the sun and
                             of service to the earth

I know her without seeing her
                            hear legends of her raging depth
              feeling her live in each coastal drop

She swells around my ankles
                             to let me feel my roots
                                          when instinct crashes over me
It is her—urging moments into eternity

Sarah (she/her) is a health advocate, activist, and poet who loves sunshine, storms, and quiet nights. She is a queer Jewish reiki-practicing witch, and poetry is how she understands and misunderstands Life . Sarah has been published in Stain’d Arts and South Broadway Ghost Society publications, and her work has been featured by the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center. Her two self-published books, I’ll just hide until it’s perfect and Tend, are available now by contacting sarahdlarue@gmail.com.

Two Poems | Kate LaDew

Image: Jr Korpa

the worst place to store medicine is in a medicine cabinet

the worst place to store secrets is under the tongue
as they diffuse through the membranes, the capillaries,
bypassing the stomach, the intestines, the liver,
anything that could filter them, dull their potency,
tumbling directly into the bloodstream
filling up everywhere
the secrets that hurt, that bite, that claw,
are less painful than the one that could change everything,
could heal and mend and dissipate all the terrors we live alongside
the secret of loving those whom we do not tell


during WWII my german-born great-grandmother painted a WWI helmet red white and blue

stuffed it with dirt and flowers to match
hung it in her front window
next to the biggest american flag the neighborhood had ever seen
and dared anybody to doubt her
I think about her as I watch men and women
straighten their arms, stretch their hands flat
fingers that never held anything heavier than a cigarette
accusing people who live on the same street
of jobs stolen, livelihoods vanished
the country my great-grandmother held her heart up to,
dripping blood as red as anybody born on its soil,
is not the country I live in, is not, even, the country she lived in
all the things we caught by their tails, hate, injustice,
a constant confusing of equality with oppression,
only seem new to eyes socketed in white skin
a flag as big as the world can’t cover
a hate as deep as an ever-expanding universe
all the galaxies moving away from ours so quickly
no signal we fire, even at the speed of light,
will ever reach them
it’s just you and me, alone together,
and when we die, nobody will know but us


Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art.  She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.

The Sound of One Howl Howling | Roseanna Frechette

Image: Tuva Loland
To hear the close distance,
your howl, when unable to find
one cold sliver of moon.

I opened warm window.
This frozen stuck body of me
shifting over to what it must be
in a house made of worry
and flammable things.

When survival is one hungry beast
lighting fires fast as
bear claws unleashed
in this box of a house, any house,
to find food, any food, feed
that soul hungry beast
eating sliver of moon
cooling fire on face of a moment
of hard-assed especially sweet stuff, any life.

I listen for line to connection.
Hear hot pulse of warm blood,
surprisingly bright, bursting
through like great wolf
shedding cloak of sheep's clothing
is this, yawping call I can't see, only feel
coming back like a boomerang self
to wild safety, close distance,
raw sound of one howl howling now.


Roseanna Frechette is a longtime member of Denver’s thriving bohemian underground. Spoken word performer and host as well as multi-genre writer, her work has featured at art galleries, rock stages, and festivals including Poetry Rodeo, Boulder Fringe, and  Arise as well as indie publications including Stain’d, Lummox, Semicolon, and Suspect Press. Former publisher of Rosebud Forum magazine, and one of Westword’s Colorado Creatives, Roseanna holds great passion for the power of small press and the beauty of literary originality.

This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

After the rain | Sarah Russell

Art: “After a Rain” by Arkhip Kuindzhi 1879
clouds still roil, dark as wraiths 
who invade my sleep.  A shaft 
of light pierces their folds, brightens 

the field where cattle graze 
as though the storm never bruised, 
as though they never bawled, eyes flashed

with lightning.  They have forgotten, lower 
their heads for grass made sweet again,
while I still feel the drench, remember
 
how thunder crippled me with dread, 
how I flattened my soul against the earth 
to escape notice by the gods.

Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Misfit Magazine, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has two poetry collections published by Kelsay Books, I lost summer somewhere and Today and Other Seasons. She blogs at SarahRussellPoetry.net.

The Uncertainty of Our Futures | Caleb Ferganchick

Image: United States Geographical Survey

sweltering hour
beads of sweat lick
my sunburnt nape
paddle and soap dish in hand
off some nameless bank
I slip into the Colorado

the Grand
the Rio del Tizon 
the Maricopa 
the cool lifeforce 
of this southwest desert 
as easily as I do 
into freshly washed sheets 

naked 
embraced
sweet surrender 

(I’m still working
on surrender) 

the Colorado, he/they and I
have rinsed ourselves 
our bedrocks 
of many a lover 
many a male admirer 
like John Wesley Powell
like the first time
I skinny-dipped kissed
the first boy 
I thought I loved

I don’t find it outlandish
to suggest the Rio del Tizon
branded flaming by colonizers 
is a he/they gay 

reject the stubborn American West
its invasive cis-het
white male explorers 
naming monoliths [ego]
bodies of water [conquests]
assaulting the feminine [recreation]

if the Maricopa
is to be called she
let it be by reflection
by her own accord
as he/they is with me
on this board
cutting through this spectrum
an exercise and practice
of self-love at once 

we try and keep things caszh
this river and I
too thin to plow
too thick to drink *
if you know what I mean 

we both know
this flight of fancy is seasonal 
an afternoon delight 
a summer fling
sure to wash out 

around this bend 
I look for coupling trout
whose rippled darts 
fleeing my invasion of their coitus 
promise the end 
of my own courtship 

I have always struggled 
with commitment 
even when I cannot tell us apart 
submerged in him/them completely 
there is peace I won’t grant myself 

as surely as my head
will break the surface 
I will eddy out 
return home to routine
to khakis and button-ups 
to commutes and spreadsheets
and plastic promotions  

he/they/I/we will be 
just another commodity 
to bottle
given back empty 
at a cost
as potential 
for tourist development 
as a force that’s agreeable 
when diverted 
and funneled, reshaped
into productive 
efficient pools of labor

into anything 
that’s not wild 
and free and roaring 
to California 
to an ocean of love 
that doesn’t know the meaning 
of binaries and borders 

the nature of our familiarity 
our temporal sojourn
privy only to that 
voyeuristic heron
our downy stilt-
legged fortune 
is not about the permanence
of our gender but

the uncertainty of our futures

* commonly attributed to Mark Twain (to “the Mormons” by Edward Abbey) but unconfirmed by this author 



Caleb Ferganchick is a rural queer, slam poet activist, and author of Poetry Heels (2018). His work has been featured and published by the South Broadway Ghost Society (2020), Slam Ur Ex ((the podcast)) (2020), and the Colorado Mesa University Literary Review. He organizes the annual Slamming Bricks poetry slam competition in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and coaches high school speech and debate. An aspiring professional SUP surfer, he also dreams of establishing a queer commune with a river otter rescue and falconry. He lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Website | Instagram | Twitter

Yesterday’s Return | Melody Wang

Image: Kenrick Mills
Languid clouds drift by in a fever dream's haze, unmoved 
by imminent trouble brewing overhead, anxiety
casting shadows on our pale, upturned faces
 
Below, cardamom pods             three lone messengers
release fragrant whispers of a bygone era
when innocence abounded, unquestioned. I awoke
 
from a foggy dream crudely imitating memory,
unwelcome specters from my past infiltrating
fortresses erected to withstand any disturbance
 
This damp unease seems to permeate my being 
at odd intervals, too often coinciding with this 
foreboding I have inadequately prepared for

Melody Wang (she/her) currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs.

Editorial Notes | Emma Ginader

Image: Joanna Kosinska
It doesn’t take too much 
to forget: 

Leave the Bramble Cay Melomys 
out of the next dictionary. 

Those rats are already dead,
homes wiped out by rising tides. 
Not many know their name,

same as the Kittlitz’s Murrelet. 
No kid dreams of seeing 
the Murrelet’s mottled body blending 
into the sea spotted with sunlight. 

It’s safe to delete
them too. 

If the name’s not
in textbooks, postcards, or magazines, 
no one will know to search. 

Move the erasures 
more and more inland,
low tide dragging away
wolf spiders and honeycreepers, 
Sierra Nevada Blues and golden toads. 

Readers won’t learn
how far the damage’s gone—
just keep erasing. 

Afterall, people forgot
they once could be singular.
Victorians hid that 
under grammatical change 

so keep erasing
until nothing remains but
a white sea. 


Emma Ginader is a bisexual poet and editor from northeastern Pennsylvania. She recently graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in writing. Her poetry has appeared in The Moth Magazine, Vox Viola, december, The Rational Creature, and FU Review [Berlin]. She has work forthcoming in Mantis, Lavender Review, great weather for MEDIA, and They Call Us. Ginader previously worked as the online poetry editor for the Columbia Journal and as the social media editor & business reporter for The Daily Item newspaper in central Pennsylvania. Find her Twitter account, @EmmaGinader.