Tag Archives: Volume 20-3

Five Tries to Say I’m Sorry
by Joannie Stangeland

Only one year I planted pumpkins—

carriage or shell for keeping very well—

dragged them to the front yard,
left them to grow old and soften

while I wanted happily ever
in the country called leisure,

and I don’t like to travel—but remember

those days after the dash for the airport,

dragging our baggage to carry on,
the small home with the red roof—casita,

as though another language made
the walls exotic—dusk early and the notes

the yellow windows wrote, no grocery lists,
lights rising up the palms, and then stars?

Here in a house where tasks

are meant to add up to romance,

my hands twist, slacken, can’t find
the name for what I want

and it isn’t in the television, the lump
of laundry left undone.

I’ve been hunting for my heart

and revise myself daily, redraft my chapters.

You tell the story you want to hear.

This is the love letter I can send.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Joannie StangelandJoannie Stangeland’s most recent book is Into the Rumored Spring from Ravenna Press. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, and her poems have appeared in Superstition Review, Tulane Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals and anthologies. Joannie helps edit The Smoking Poet and Cascadia Review.

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Making Grandpa’s Stuffing
by Avra Elliott

an elegy

Digging ice from a turkey’s neck
to excavate it from the cavity
is what I thought surgery must be like,

frozen fingers, and the satisfaction
of pulling a bag of organs and twisted neck
free from ribs dyed pink with blood.

Dick and balls, my mother labeled them,
but even as a child I knew that balls
were in twos, and these deep fleshy stones

were more fascinating, more valued (I still
love the sensation of dicing livers with
knives).But I’ll say the neck is a dick.

As a child I knew bodies are
warm, surgeries aren’t feasts, deaths
are months of survivors

sharing body heat on winter nights
and a relative’s hard turkey neck
pressed against you when he hugs, hands

ever slipping under your fuzzy purple sweater
under lights by a lake where he apologizes
once, but in surprise, as though he also doesn’t

know why this happens. When the turkey has
died there is no funeral. No one will pay. No

one will come.

and this removal isn’t what you expected,

like reaching into a cavity and finding nothing
but an icy pink hollow.
Freeze that burns.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Avra ElliottAvra Elliott is a writer and toymaker from New Mexico. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Elliott’s fiction has been published in Sweet Tree Review, Shadowgraph Quarterly and Noctua Review where she was runner-up for the Neo Americana Fiction Contest. Her chapbook, Desert Selkie, was a semifinalist for the 2018 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, and her poetry has appeared in Tinderbox, Tupelo Quarterly, Jam Tarts, llanot Review, Red Paint Hill, Birds Piled Loosely, Indianapolis Review, Barrow Street and Fairy Tale Review.

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by Neelima Vinod

A sudden inspection—
The woman in her white coat
with a silver needle like a sword to
puncture your vanity case,
you thought they didn’t make those sturdy green boxes any more
but it’s still there, put your hands up, reeeeeeelax, breathe,

You are white as the whites in your eyes and
your teeth tell you that winter is a season in your body.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Neelima VinodNeelima Vinod is a writer in Bangalore, India. She has written an eBook and her articles have been published in magazines and newspapers.

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