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Public Display of Affection



She is careful not to burn her hands

while her fingers dance in and

outside of the flame


She is tempting you

belittling you

urging you to react


Her safety

is of no consequence

She need only elicit

the attention she needs

to feel loved





Triangular Distortions


I can't calculate your intentions.

Your angles are rigid,


obtuse and elusive.


Your corners crosshatch,


as you speak in tangents.


You claim equilaterals

at every interval,

confusing me

at every angle.


I am round

and roll away

from confusion eagerly.





Down on the Corner


She sips espressos on Sunday afternoons

thinking of her lover

as conversations swirl around in a busied blur.


She is in love with someone

impassioned by his ideals;

dips biscotti and lets drips spill recklessly.


Abandonment consumes her;

coffee spoons and carafes clink,

aromas brew her senses.


He is nowhere.

He is everywhere.


 Abrupt outburst of giggles:

teens nearby distract for a sipping time

as liquid memories roll against her palate. 


Beans sacrificed as grinds

whirred froths succumbing in purpose

reverberated rhythms respond and recoil.


She thinks of her lover

in this central social pit,

intoxicated by warmth contained

from the slashed rains. 


He is with her in spirit.

She does not know his name.


A wet floor sign cautions

city dwellers of slippery sensations

competing with the drug of the café.


Lori A. May is a poet, novelist, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications such as The Writer, Tipton Poetry Journal, and anthologies such as Van Gogh's Ear. She is the author of four books including stains: early poems and The Low-Residency MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students. May is Founding Editor of The Ambassador Poetry Project and Editor-in-Chief of A native of Canada, Lori A. May now lives and writes on the shores of Michigan.


See our interview with Lori A. May in this issue.

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