Tag Archives: Volume 19-4

Leaving Rhode Island
Margaret C. Hughes

Leaving Rhode Island

White coral, lightless chandeliers,
ship’s rigging etched in scrimshaw:
last night’s wet snow weighs on the trees,
keys of an old piano, stuck down and silent.

The trees along the highway after the snow
make fractured glass of the sky.
Every twig’s an upside-down éclair,
every branch a zigzag two-tone bowling alley.

Once, our glass stovetop shattered,
and every fragment stayed in place.
I wonder what’s waiting to burst
into burning circles

just on the other side of the sky.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 41.

Margaret C. Hughes’s poems have appeared in Foliate Oak Literary Review and Small Craft Warnings. Margaret is a queer organizer and activist, and holds a B.A. in English Literature & Creative Writing from Swarthmore College.

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by D M Gordon

Water, heating, is a different beast, a roar
unlike woodland streams–unmusical, a galaxy
of molecules brought to boil, screaming
tiny lobsters (I imagine). We’ve recorded,
and now can testify, microbes twit like finches in alarm,
so why not the H’s and the O’s when forced
to be steam? Even single-celled planktons
broadcast their distress, command their soldiers
to raise chalk shields, while others of their kind
kill themselves not to host a viral invasion.
And so, making tea, I’m listening to electrons
scrabbling at this steel wall, crying out throatlessly,
clinging, doing all they can to stay the way they are.
Like little me’s. Like my life. Heating up.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

D M GordonD M Gordon is the author of Fourth World and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Phi Beta Kappa, Masters in Music from Boston University, she’s a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in fiction, and finalist in poetry. She is an editor for Hedgerow Books and at www.dmgordoneditorial.com.

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Prayer in the Winter Desert
by Susan Okie

My hands glow blue
in light struck from red

rock. Sky-parched,
I stumble, bleached

by dark, bent from reading,
deaf with rain.

A raven’s croak
echoes off canyon walls.

In snow-melt air,
the smell of pine rings.

Blue-gray junipers jump
from crevices, hanging on.

Nopales, hungry, spread
their blue-green palms.

Light is writing
white-gold letters on cloud.

See me,
blue-white sun,

fill me, too,
chlorphyll me.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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