Poetry

—6660.222 Ghosts that haunt all the secondhand curiosities in antique stores and thrift shops: musty ghosts in the vintage dresses, moth-ghosts in the tailcoats, ghosts that haunt the cracked teacups,
the worn-soled boots, the rusted skeleton keys

JESSIE LYNN MCMAINS,
RUST BELT JESSIE’S TAXONOMY OF GHOSTS

Ditches—Kelli Lage

ditches so deep / they serve as graves / pavement laid / proudly by your father / or perhaps grandfather / now tarnished by the glass / that cracks like ice

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The Crow—Honor Vincent

With a click and a slick rustle / the crow brings a question, and drops it at her feet. / It looks like plastic, but it’s too heavy— / so many ragged edges.

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Cage Minus Bird—Keshe Chow

How could you have trusted me?

From the very first moment when you uncurled from my body and assumed the shape of a glass cage; all fragile and translucent like a frozen drop of water at the tip of a stalactite.

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My First Death—Susan Cossette

I heard my first death whispered— / behind my mother’s prematurely veined hands. / I saw my first death lurking at the bottom of my grandmother’s bedroom wastebasket, / buried under mounds of damp teary tissue.

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Two Poems—Avra Margariti

The queen awakes in pre-dawn’s syrup darkness, / breaks her fast with milk and honey, / dons her beekeeper regalia and makes for the apiary. / Born of necessity, she hides her body from human eyes / under linen tunics and wicker masks

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Witches stuff moss into my cheeks, flush to the bone. In the slanted light you can/ imagine their death, but they are/ dying again when you run over a railway bridge with a Chinese lantern, dying again as a barn owl flies over a roundabout, silent arch over glowing tarmac.

SOPHIE DICKINSON, BROOK