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Dune Song

Elaina ​Ellis

Towards the height of the mountain
Was the question of gifts
And who should get to keep them 

I sat between a downward slope—steep as no
—and a climb I couldn’t make except to crawl
I crawled on sand and sweated in my hat  

Though G-d believed I crawled for G-d
I crawled to know the height of my own rage
I carried myself I cursed myself up 

Slid down—and named the day adoption day
I didn’t bring my gifts to G-d 
I kept them all 

I crawled I stood I fell 
I kept them all

 

The Creator Takes the Stand

Noah Baldino

I see I see but that’s not
the worst part I can’t
help anybody They have ideas
of heaven I didn’t give them
I just wanted them to have
fingernails and blades
of grass Do you know how impossible
to replace a single blade of grass with
its own particular folds and edges I didn’t mean to
make these perishables before
I invented foresight See
in the beginning there were
limitations Humanity was just
a knot in my throat Now even
the courtroom sketches
accuse me
I am mudslide murdered infant smashed
glass sparrow I have wreaked
no small havoc
I’ll plead guilty
if it saves just one socket
from a knuckle or returns every
long-dead parent Objection Objection
My guilt changes nothing I forgot to create
accountability
This world keeps happening

We Might As Well Be Hovering

Christopher Citro

I admit it. I don’t know what kind of stone
is underneath us all. I’ve lived years here
but it tends not to come up in conversation.
Somewhere people stand on pink quartz
when they stand in their backyards, pink
gins in each fist, a pink sunset pressed
against the sky. That's nice for them.
New York City would be squat if not
for the granite beneath all those fashionable
people and even the mole people who live
in the subways and have all-white eyes.
Here the grass does okay. Snowmelt
sinks through. There’s a tallish building
every once in a while. Our cars are many
colors and so are our children's small
electronic versions of cars. But what are
we really walking upon? A seed bank
in Norway holds a repository in case of
global catastrophe. Even North Korea

Insufficient

Cate Lycurgus

We make amends with letter writing: as sympathy note, report
of a son’s height marked on the door to his father serving 
time. & check for word—days & Sundays—the red flag stays
erect. I tell someone I’ll write you a letter & what I’m saying is
I don’t know where to put my hands. Penmanship stretches
thinner & thinner as though I could switch to wire, wave, light—
alight beneath your skin. I want the letter reminding me 
to not forget lotion, first. That you keep my hair tie 
around your wrist, snapping it all the time so as 
to stun yourself back from ghost. Where both of us step 
to the parking garage, bodies pressed against concrete. Here 
we are, & chapped. Where is the letter for no going back,
of a two-step grown too big, our motion that needs all-caps? 

Together Alone

Alex Dimitrov

We may have been alone together
flying over the coast where we both couldn’t stay.
The gentleman in the novel came into your bed;
one day, without warning, you felt like him too.
Drawing the shades up, by the door with your hair wet.
When we met, you kept me up saying very few things.
As all else, and dressed wisely, we fled our flawed forms.
Are you surprised then that anyone’s staying together? Surprise.
How surprising it turns out to be.
The three of us at twenty or close to the same age.
And no one wore a jacket wherever we went,
like no one wanted love for more than a day.
The boy I buy gin from says you’re next at just the right moment.
I pay him and slip into touching his hands.
In Bastille—on Sunset—late and blurry in Dolores Park.
What does time have to do with us there?

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