Tag Archives: volume 17-4

As Far as You
by Stephanie Dugger

—for Denise

Last night you sent me longing. Then I couldn’t
sleep. I remembered a campfire, someone burning
a finger, the smell of wood in my clothes. I’m afraid
to wash them—afraid the smell is what protects me
from burning myself.

I turned in bed until the sheets came off. You,
twelve hundred miles away, must have slept a deeper sleep—
your house now hollow space, an emptier place where sound bounces
and lights carefully on the bed, boxes of books, stacked
totes. It’s a place I’ll never see again. For that I am not grateful.

I don’t remember our last day together. I’m sure it involved
a restaurant, driving around in the almost-morning, you laughing,
me saying I want to stay with you. Even now, from here,
I beg you to come with me.

Last night, I’m sure you said you’re doing the right thing,
by which I’m sure you meant I’ll be there soon. I told you how
my grandfather tried to grow a banana tree in Alabama.
The tree never got above five feet and the bananas
grew green—never bigger than my hand.

Today, I’ll step in front of a class, go back to my office
to map out the rest of the week, go home and make dinner. You
will ask how it’s going and I’ll tell you fine. When I ask you,
I know what the answer will be—single-file, almost done, unbearable.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Stephanie-McCarley-DuggerStephanie McCarley Dugger’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Calyx, Cutthroat, Gulf Stream, Meridian, Naugatuck River Review, The Southeast Review, Still: The Journal, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, Zone 3 and other journals. Her chapbook, Sterling, is available from Paper Nautilus. She received an MFA from the University of Wyoming and her PhD from the University of Tennessee.

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Wild Mind
by Carmen Germain

—for Ron Koertge

and signs and abominations
and what we were born for, dogs

bouncing the fields—cur, mutt, stray.
When we find a few friends, we crash

through trees, when we taste blood
we’re bound to it,

and the night paces
the way it is, a fine excess of sound

and the river sings, walking
with the bear, living a long time alone.

We howl in this wild good fortune
sharpen our part of speech—

who goes there, the dead and the
living? And out of nature, yellow silk

of yard light, spilling house


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

placesaver2Carmen Germain is the author of These Things I Will Take with Me (Cherry Grove). Recent work has appeared in Poet lore, The Comstock Review, and The Naugatuck Review. She lives in Washington state and northern British Columbia.

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Moving Targets
by Derek JG Williams

Birdsong, the tossed lasso

uncoils note by frayed
note, singing—

birdshot, and a smudge

scared-up into powdered
air—wet feathers

in high grass, wet feathers

in the bird dog’s sweet
muzzle—her sweeping tail.

I stow our gear low

in the pickup bed, sip black
coffee from stainless steel.

Dark-wet nose to dirt,

the dog wanders off—
godspeed, the day.

At work, slinging drinks

under neon, the dog
sleeps underfoot.

Last patrons slink out

into the dusty dark,
the parking lot’s

lights go out one

by one—the locks
click into place behind

them. After toweling

down the bar, I count
the take. I take

count, reaching toward

another tomorrow,
the empty sky, a witness.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

derek williamsDerek JG Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He’s an MFA candidate at UMass Boston. His poems are published or forthcoming in Prairie SchoonerNew Ohio Review, and Best New Poets 2013.

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