All I Know of Heaven | Madison Gill

Image: Moriah Wolfe
All I Know of Heaven
The magnet holding our photo to the fridge lost its grip 
sometime today or yesterday or tomorrow. 

In it we are gap-toothed and barefoot, and I can see it in my face 
grinning up at you from beneath my kitchen-knifed bangs: 
you light the sky above my small world, you are the star
our entire family orbits – all of us reeling through black

since being sucked into the gravity of your supernova
and spat out the other side in the time it took to blink 

away the blind spot that camera flash left mirage-ing
in front of my eye. But we were those kids once – 

shoulder to shoulder, immortalized in film. 
No matter the endless space between us now. 

I have been stumbling upon breadcrumbs like these 
more and more often, keeping them in my pocket:

a Stealie sticker on the napkin dispenser at my table 
in some nowhere-town bar. The brooch I wore at your funeral 

popping off my purse strap, the rubber back rolling across the floor 
and into oblivion so now its sharp point bites my finger 

whenever I reach for my wallet. I call them signs. 
Faith, after all, is a choice when the answers to all the questions 

that matter are written in code I cannot cipher 
at least from this side of the veil. So yes, the dead 

hear our thoughts and they send us buttons and pebbles 
and spools of thread like little raven’s gifts through a hollow 

in the universe’s infinity-ringed trunk 
because that is what I choose to believe. The truth? 

When I speak your name into the ether there is no answer. 
Just a burning in my chest, which could be a symptom of smoking

since I picked it up again. Or the particles still floating around in an outline 
of you left behind in this world like a footprint in ash. 

Collecting like champagne bubbles around my heart
bobbing in Grief’s chipped crystal flute like a bruised strawberry.
All I know of heaven is there better be one. 
Because you have to be there. 

You have to be somewhere. 

Madison Gill (she/her) is a poet from Montrose, Colorado. She received her BA in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo. She is the author of chapbook, Casualties of Honey (Middle Creek Publishing 2023), and winner of the 2021 Cantor Prize awarded by the Telluride Talking Gourds Poetry Program. Her work appears online or in print with Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Twenty Bellows, Beyond the Veil Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Sledgehammer Lit among others. Madison lives with her fiance and their cat in a tiny home in the Uncompahgre Valley of the San Juan Mountains. Find her on instagram @sweetmint_poet

Thursday | Jackson Culpepper

Image: Jeremy Vessey

Hoarse chimes of the clock		- - Stars float in slower time
All needs of the day, immediate	--  The moon a pensive sliver
My blood is a to-do list, circling	 -- Crepuscular stir and watch
My bones a calendar, days creaking The cold is a single clear note
Paper, then screens, these walls	- - The ridge gleams amid the dark
Anxious shoulder, spine’s regret	- - Light and cold regard one another
What is time but lines and curves -  And Earth awaits her warmth
What is time but a moving whip	-   The sun breaks, a silent promise
Work, a twitch at the mouth		-- A billion tiny eyes await
Work for whom? Forever whom	- -A million tiny bodies, wrapped against cold
Where is my soul in all of this?	-- They emerge, they trod, they watch the sky
One meeting, five meetings, 		-- A dawning world of hawk and rabbit
Will there be a real meeting?		-- Deer tails wait to hie, among their quiet steps
I know the world is wrong–		-- Foxes keep silence like antique monks
Then what can I do right?		-- The creek is dauntless, indefatigable
Let me throw one starfish		-- Water cares not for freezing, for warmth nor cold
Grace of graces, let me know it	-- A day of walking, watching, eating, killing, giving
Let me live someway here		-- Always parents for their children
Where they took away the paths	-- Always under a glowing, constant sky. 

Jackson Culpepper (he/they) grew up in Georgia and has since lived in Southern Appalachia, the mountain west, and the desert southwest. His debut short story collection, Songs on the Water, is forthcoming in August from Homebound Publications, where he won the Landmark Prize for fiction. He lives and teaches first-year English in the Denver area. You can find him on Instagram @JCCulpepper and online at

Again, The Blue Moon | Anne Iverson

Image: Haylee Booth

again, the blue moon

If you need to move past the past
and have it absent in the present

then ride on the big blue bulge
of the blue moon

wafting cross
the great lake of sky

find absolution in stars
hand pick them

peel back their skin
taste of heaven’s fruit.

Anne Iverson is a writer and artist.  She is the author of  five poetry collections: Come Now to the Window by the Laurel Poetry Collective, Definite Space and Art Lessons by Holy Cow! Press; Mouth of Summer and No Feeling is Final by Kelsay Books. She is a graduate of both the MALS and the MFA programs at Hamline University. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals and venues including six features on Writer’s Almanac.  Her poem “Plenitude” was set to a choral arrangement by composer Kurt Knecht. She is also the author and illustrator of two children’s books.  As a visual artist, she enjoys the integrated relationship between the visual image and the written image.  Her art work has been featured in several art exhibits as well as in a permanent installation at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.  She is currently working on her sixth collection of poetry, a book of children’s verse, and a collection of personal essays.

Full Moon Reflecting off the Peaks | Donnie Hollingsworth

Image: Nathanaël Desmeules

Full Moon Reflecting off the Peaks 

As snow does to a fire                                                                                                                             
gods who bit flowers of ink
a nest of mad kisses down the long black river                                                       
the milky way    sky’s pale vertebrae                                                                  
archipelagos of stars

framed between small branches

blossoms of small arms , nails us naked to the color                                                                 
of pink hyacinth singing    singing                                                                                                    
in deep red ripples                                                                                                                              
your voice is a pale street lamp on calm black water

just (a word planted by the water  

before I am a stone in a stone-swallowing river      



————————————————– your eyes

Donnie Hollingsworth has lived in many small Rocky Mountain towns and currently resides in Lamar, Colorado–where he teaches Art and English at the local community college–with his wife, cat, and dog. His art can be found here.