by Raye Hendrix
Today was promised snow
but the sky is pure
as the purest robin’s egg
inverted, sun a yolk.
This morning before the light
approached the window
my lover left me
to make the coffee (strong
the way I like it) then
came back to kiss me
on the mouth. Today
there is no snow
but it is so cold
it doesn’t occur to the ice
that holds the fish at the harbor
market to melt. Today
the wind comes from the west
so the market doesn’t smell
of sea life, but of sea, so
the mongers are pleasant.
Today the Russian man
who sells piroshkies and never
smiles sells piroshkies
and smiles. I buy two of his
piroshkies and he gives
a third for free. Today
my lover lights my candles,
surprises me with cake.
My sadness is so large I can’t
find anything to hold it.
Raye Hendrix is a writer from Alabama. Her debut micro-chapbook, Fire Sermons, is due out this Summer from Ghost City Press. Raye is the winner of the 2019 Keene Prize for Literature and Southern Indiana Review’s 2018 Patricia Aakhus Award. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and in 32 Poems, Shenandoah, Cimarron Review, Poetry Northwest, Zone 3, and elsewhere. She holds degrees from Auburn University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Raye is a PhD student at the University of Oregon studying Deafness, Disability, and Poetry. You can find more of her work at rayehendrix.com.
by Ankh Spice
Begin again—born to cold-swaddle-
sea and she wraps me to nurse
this grievance with gravity.
The sinews of snap-and-blast
let go. Grit floats from my hinges.
It is very early, the water’s skin
thinned to eyelid, and whole worlds cradle
rocking behind the fold. I ‘gator, sightline only
for the ripple, smalled disrupt
of my body mapped
onto hers. All the disquiet
I am, she writes larger, out and out
forever but gentle as a pulse
of jellyfish and yes out here
I understand the thumb
on every scale heavy
more than anywhere else.
Rain begins. She embraces each child
as he falls, soon overcome
by a chatter of circles, spreading
brief astonishment— O, O, O—
then, again, murmured part of her vast. Me
too, me, too. No way to tell
why my face is wet.
Ankh Spice is a sea-obsessed, queer-identified poet from Aotearoa (New Zealand). His work has been published widely, with several poems nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and he is a joint winner of the Poetry Archive WorldView2020 competition. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press, a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine, and shares a lot of (often-moist) photography and poetry on Twitter @SeaGoatScreamsPoetry, or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry. You’ll find quite a lot of his published work here: https://linktr.ee/SeaGoatScreamsPoetry.
by Lily Greenberg
Lightning chaser, maker of pies,
she who reminds violins how to sing—
none of that matters here. Naked,
we become unknown to each other.
Thrown water on fire, a blanket of heat,
and we are ten women sighing in the dark.
Hole in the ice tonight. Chatter spins
its wheel (will you, won’t you?) tires out.
Full, empty, these melt into simple words.
We are young birch twigs gathered into a whisk,
night birds layering question and song,
the weak call of the shofar, we are laughing.
We do not think, charge stinging feet
through the snow and plunge. Electric,
back again, awake. What falls from us,
this clearing, we carry in our eyes.
Lily Greenberg is a poet and writer from Nashville, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Hobart, storySouth, Third Coast Magazine, and Hole in the Head Review, among others. She is a 2021 Breadloaf scholar and the recipient of the 2021 Dick Shea Memorial Award for Poetry judged by Jennifer Militello. Lily holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of New Hampshire, and lives in Portland, Maine where she is working on her debut book of poems. Find her on Twitter @lily_greenberg.