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POEM

Songs That Are Sacred and Pure

A Poem by Charlie R. Braxton


we live/
in a con/strict/
space/ a place/ where/
there is/
more love/
for the wicked/
than/ there is/
rest/ for the weary
and yet/
we/ do sing/
we/do shout
we/ do chant
and when/
our tongues/ are tied
with the pain/ that is
tethered to/ the
deep souls/ of our ancestors
we/do hum
we/do moan
and groan
our work/songs
that are/
as yet/ untitled
we/ do this
black/magic/music
to ensure/ that
the circle remains/unbroken
and that
the memories/ of
our beloveds’ /
remain /sacred
and pure

  Charlie R. Braxton is a poet, playwright, and essayists from McComb Mississippi. He is the author of three volumes of verse, Ascension from the Ashes (Blackwood Press 1991), Cinder’s Rekindled (Jawara Press 2013), and Embers Among the Ashes: Poems in a Haiku Manner (Jawara Press, 2018). His poetry has been published in various literary publications such as African American Review, The Minnesota Review, The Black Nation, Drum Voices Review, Cutbanks, Valley Voices, Massiffe, Candle, Transnational Literary Magazine, Eyeball, Sepia Poetry Review, Specter Magazine, and The San Fernando Poetry Journal.



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POEM

Son of a Dairy Queen

A Poem by Michael J Carter


Sweet toothed, corn fed
tout suite, Dilly Bar
chocolate dip, Banana Split
Hot Fudge Sundae, Peanut Buster
Parfait, Strawberry Shortcake,
Crunch Coat, Marshmallow,
Caramel, Butterscotch, Pineapple,
push-pop, Bomb Pop, soft-serve twist—
chocolate and vanilla capped
with a fetchingly perfect loop
a flourish added by pimply teens
the world over. Freezes, malts, shakes
sugar cone, waffle cone, waxed paper cup.
Red plastic spoons like antenna.
Cement tables stained with a Milky Way
of melted ice-cream constellated
with sprinkles scattered
under an orbit of bees and children like pilgrims
in the holy land of sweetness, joyous
and soon to be martyred for the cause.

 

BIO: Michael J Carter is a poet and clinical social worker who lives and works in Connecticut. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College he holds an MFA from Vermont College and an MSW from Smith. Poems of his have appeared in such journals as Boulevard, Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts Magazine among many others. He lives with his two hounds and spends his time swimming and knitting.



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POEM

Take it now, this metaphor, your bread.

A Poem by David Ebenbach


David Ebenbach

After breakfast, I take a train,
and by the time I’m back it’s night,
and you’re asleep in our bed.

When I wake up the next morning,
you’re on a train, and you 
won’t be back until dinner.

Sometimes it’s like this—
one of us moving, the other still.

But tonight I’ll make us something
to eat. I’ll sauté spinach, use garlic,
make a nest for the black beans.

When you open the door,
you’ll be ready to eat. And steam
will be rising off the plates.

 

David Ebenbach is the author of the new poetry collection Some Unimaginable Animal (Orison Books) and six other books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, winners of such awards as the Juniper Prize and the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, among others. He lives with his family in Washington, DC, where he teaches creative writing and literature at Georgetown University. You can find out more, if you'd like, at davidebenbach.com.  "Sometimes It’s Like This” is from Some Unimaginable Animal, copyright 2019 by David Ebenbach. Reprinted by permission of Orison Books. www.orisonbooks.com.



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