|Pottery by Ed Gray
Richard Z. Santos
Stubborn Pride Submits to Light
My mother’s bone marrow
was stolen in the night.
Round-faced Tejanas crept into
her room and bombarded her with light and fire
until her skin dried into a
yet still fragrant with spice.
Her brother’s marrow takes
over, and her blood, which was partly mine, disappears.
There’s a chance her body
will fight the intruding marrow.
A chance she’ll say,
I’ll keep what’s mine, even if it’s sick, even if it kills me.
And her body, deviant marrow
and untrustworthy blood, will again be her own.
Richard Z. Santos currently lives in
San Marcos, Texas. Richard used to live in Washington, DC, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he worked in politics. Now that
he’s come to his senses, he doesn’t do much more than write and teach. Richard's fiction has been published in
Nimrod, Kill Author, Bartleby Snopes, Snake Oil Cure and other fine places.
Gemma Manuel Ybarra
Let the colors
of the evening
The day is over
and only the stars
can speak of renewal.
Everything left undone
will have to wait
until the night passes.
Let the breeze soften
into an unalloyed blue.
In this lovely darkness
serenity is wide
like the angle of sleep.
Originally from the Philippines, Gemma
Manuel Ybarra grew up largely in West Africa. The greatest boon of having to travel at an early age was the lack of time for
television; there were far too many places to explore, too many books to read, many languages and cultures to learn. She got
into the habit of writing as a means of collecting details and marking time.
Shannon Connor Winward
One night she took a marker
to your door
and wrote, This is my son,
a child of the Lord.
It was uncomfortable, scrawled
letters saturated with drink
and low to the ground.
She must have fallen to her
to raise you up in defiance.
I wondered if it made you feel
I think your sins
were her assurance of heaven;
not a liquid suicide at all
but a skyward dance,
a mother martyred
nightly for her child.
Once, while pouring her gin
down the sink
-- a bid for attention
a libation -- I figured out
trick to resurrection
is to survive.
But I never moved her enough
to write about it on my door
so I became a poet
I write it for myself, but,
all I meant to say was
I am her child, too.
Shannon Connor Winward’s writing
has appeared or is forthcoming in many print and online venues including Pedestal Magazine,
Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, This Modern Writer [Pank Magazine], NewMyths.Com, Ideomancer, The Magazine of Speculative
Poetry, Shot Glass Journal and the anthologies, Jack-o’-Spec: Tales of Halloween
and Fantasy (Raven Electrik Ink) and Twisted
Fairy Tales: Volume Two (Wicked East Press).
One day, in a field of glinting blue days, I forgot
that my mother was gone. She died months before that fall morning flared open with its circus of leaves. The children had
left for school and the dog was lying on a scarf of September sun in the yard and there might have been sparrows and black-capped
chickadees crowding the bird feeder. The kitchen window balanced the lake in its frame when I opened the cabinet and reached
for a cup. As my hand circled the cool porcelain I suddenly remembered and I said it out loud, “My mother is dead.”
And that effortless, unwavering truth did not change the light or air or emptiness of anything.
Lisa Zimmerman received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her
poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Cave Wall, River Styx, Colorado
Review, Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, and Paper Street, among other journals.
Her first poetry collection, How the Garden Looks from Here, won the 2004 Violet
Reed Haas Poetry Award. Her most recent collection is The Light at the Edge of Everything
(Anhinga Press, 2008). Lisa lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and
is an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado.