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Timely Ghazal
by Alison Stone

Things you can’t control—love, weather, grace, time.
My favorite cliché is race against time.

Like an undertow, her phone sucks my teen
daughter into YouTube, Snapchat, FaceTime.

Our elm’s branches brought the power lines down.
In darkness, distortion of sound, space, time.

Time may change me—Bowie’s cranked-up voice
drifts from a passing car—but you can’t trace time.

She let her hair go silver, wears her lined
face without shame. Her motto—Embrace time.

Death is a salesman, shoes worn from peddling
silence, blank brochures, a briefcase of time.

My mother’s cancer isn’t novel. Nor
is yours. Our worst griefs commonplace as time.

In the high-tech future, will metal eggs
grow children, computer code replace time?

Focused on Eternity, poets tend
to lateness, sloppy with lowercase time.

Miss Havisham’s stopped clocks. White Rabbit’s watch.
Welles’ machine. Classics, a showcase for time.

Not all wounds heal. Not Columbine, Sandy
Hook. Not Parkland. Some don’t erase with time.

In a dream I float between stones and stars.
Wake with wisps of another name, place, time.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 4.

Alison StoneAlison Stone has published five poetry collections, including Ordinary Magic, (NYQ Books, 2016), Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. www.stonepoetry.org www.stonetarot.com

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Lignin
by Alice Pettway

In Madagascar, the vanilla smells of old books
traded across the street from the bar that drank
my college rent. Volatile compounds hide
in so many things that mean home—a spoon
of extract sinking into eggs and sugar, almonds,
an old letter steamed open that says I am waiting for you;
come back. And another that says, I am gone.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 4.

Alice PettwayAlice Pettway’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, The Miami Herald, The Progressive, Teaching Tolerance, The Threepenny Review and WomenArts Quarterly. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Time of Hunger | O Tempo de Chuva, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017. Pettway’s second and third books, Moth and Station Lights, are forthcoming in 2019 and 2021. She is a former Lily Peter fellow, Raymond L. Barnes Poetry Award winner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, she lives and writes in Shanghai, China.

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Mr. Mayor Offers to Splurge on Whatever You Desire: Sale Items Only
by Andrew Wittstadt

Two heartbreaks ago you said,
“no trash heaps, no more”
but the shopping mall’s much better
in the afternoons when everyone else
is working, shoveling organs
from the left pile to the right.
“All’s fair sale,” said Mr. Mayor.
The dogs followed behind
close enough to trip on his trousers.
“Sale today,” he said. “Buying today,” said the dogs.
“I’m here to buy a new heartbreak,” you said.
“Why didn’t you say so?” asked Mr. Mayor.
The dogs howled, “3.99, 3.99,” and ran to the fountain
centered in the tile mosaic floor and drank from it.
Mr. Mayor sat on the fountains edge and rolled up his sleeve
before plunging arm-length to the blue bottom tiles.
He grabbed control of your hand
and placed the wet change in palm.
“That should be enough,” he said,
and pointed to the store adjacent.
The neon heartbreak store displayed a large sign,
3.99 unlimited refills.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 4.

Andrew WittstadtAndrew Wittstadt is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana where he serves as poetry editor for The McNeese Review. His work has appeared in The New Limestone Review and Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, among others.

 

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