from I Think I’m Almost Ready to See the Ocean

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Michael Mlekoday Runner-Up, 2014 Greg Grummer Poetry Award Jaime Bennati   The last time my brother had to bind his breasts, he and his girl waded out   into the ocean. They unwrapped his binder and let it drift off like exhaust, like old skin.   The first time he was finally himself, the ocean…

Or What’s a Fore For?

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Jake Syersak “Architecture as establishing moving relationships with raw materials” streams from Corbusier’s jaw as if it was its own internal dwelling, a thing, as in: the marriage of the & ing. Something like coming to the agreement an airplane’s in flight, though it’s a flighty distance of background drags the eye through the valley…

How Woman Inherits the Earth

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Gabriella R. Tallmadge Come some blood, some gristle. Let myself be unfurled, red tongue rolled out, wine-thick, a wave. Speak myself into existence. Open wide the cage inside me, survey my boning, my nerve, the lit lace of me. Not long before the thaw, I was carved, crushed as snow. Was made to shatter, was…

I Hear News You’re in Helmand Province

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Gabriella R. Tallmadge In your last letter, you said you’re living at Kajaki Dam, where the Helmand River is a muscular sash. Mostly, you see sandbags in the windows and watch the thin shoulders of the road as you drive down the hill to a post called The Shrine. Your future is blank like a…

Swap

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dawn lonsinger Winner, 2014 Greg Grummer Poetry Award Jaime Bennati [paper]Say what you will about the car-choked streets, how no one can walk on the sidewalks because they are covered with cheap goods, but all I see is how those fake Rolexes flashbulb the afternoon into elsewhere. Button slogans face the sky & say some…

The Survival of What Remains

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Michael Lee In the desert, the heat itself is a thief and steals rain from the body. The stone, red as a bloodshot eye. The dawn opens like a hinge. A single raven bows from a fence post again and again as we pass its mantra of rustling, its wings flaring as if to welcome…

Prayer for Object of Obsession

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Leslie Marie Aguilar [paper] Lord, forgive me. I’ve done it again. I killed my father. You see, this time it was a helicopter blade. It just came down & around his head. There wasn’t much blood, just bone. I’m sorry. Last night, before I killed my father, I killed my mother. I baked a triple…

Open Water

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Julie Marie Wade  I could never be casual about sharks or sex.  It isn’t in me—the one-night stand, or the one-day scuba expedition in Nassau. I read that humans floating near the ocean’s surface appear as turtles, wrinkled and plump, to sharks passing by in the deep.  I read that sex with a stranger is…

Daddy T & The Whole Nine Yards

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Jade Benoit I burned the wedding flowers & they became sea urchins. A tomboy gone electric with dishes pecked in tiny loose spines thrown out to the wolves. Something feels Daddy T says sometimes I think you’ve erased yourself by not trying. The closet inside the skeleton. The skeleton taking notes in the barn with a box cutter.…

Oak Mask

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Brandon Amico The tree grew through and around my chest. I was here; bones taking on rain, taking on sap and dirt and today, an axe. Yesterday and all days before, a spooling yarn of night—today, the axe’s glint. You who freed me, form me. Teach me how to be shaped, to eat the small…
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