Known Before Death by Joni Caggiano

ennoble the chaste grandeur words wrap around my neck like a quill and crimson shawl sincere lexes, gilded stardust my heart lay bare to nameless shall you leave me in meadows or make a crown of gardenias to lay upon a place of dubious rest or will this poet’s heart pass the test -JONI CAGGIANO…

Magnolia Seeds by Joni Caggiano

fall tastes like apple pie mixing her colors madly her time too short for young artist’s fresh palette leaves dance in red shades nature tangos on fire skies magnolias spread her seeds birth of new amid her weeds -JONI CAGGIANO Joni’s blog is Rum and Robots, where she has published poetry, photography, and short stories….

Choosing us over me by Akaninyene Ekene

You said my smile didn’t reach my eyes, That I need to find myself, my truth. Well, John I found my truth. It was never missing, I hid it in a calabash similar to that of your mums John my truth, is not beautiful. In my truth, when you smashed the plates over not getting…

I Linger by Joni Caggiano

water wrinkles speaking calmly to me wildly I hunt amid ageless cypress trees flooded with water, their twisted knees devour traveling fresh air  becoming yawning stalactites at night, crimson embers fly skyward as fireflies graze between pines epochs old as men eat flesh from elk shadows like fog slide to meet the clouds hang forlorn…

My First Kiss by Joni Caggiano

freckles rearranging erotic patterns on pale, poreless skin cotton candy, and elephant ears dripping in sugar and butter air shifts smell mixing with scented moments, holds onto life white eyelet dress clings to sun-soaked skin; its holes breathe virgin lips plump, yearn for a first kiss, weary of practicing guilty for praying for my first…

Blue Notes by Joni Caggiano

hearts melting red trickling down hardwoods solitary trumpet blowing blue notes calling dolefully floating through my window, I ensue a corner that may hold a shadow laugh of you cigar smoke lingers in stale air by our old bar trumpet tears create a puddle outside the door cobblestones hold echoes of honest laughter your voice,…

Noses Bleed White by Joni Caggiano

dahlias budding in arid Culiacan gold and silver shine in your sun   mines giving death to fledglings evil rapes the earth, stealing her bounty pacific wind blows humanity backward  as do closed eyes of stiff cartel coke bleeds noses pink and scarlet death calls naïve lovers in silk sheets as a sex slave dies from…

Son of the Sun by Joni Caggiano

my lingering limbs upon a solitary tree eyes indigo, darting in a hypnotic state heart akin to a hummingbird’s wing Orpheus fashions purity in poetic bliss fish, even rocks move to trade a kiss my unsheathe skin lay on Balkan rock notes from lyre waltz on savory breasts birds kissing his image on the Aegean…

A Big Job by Dawn Pisturino

As Dmitri untied the rope around Dr. Morgan’s neck, his cellphone suddenly buzzed in his pocket.  He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out the annoying thing.  It always interrupted him at the most inopportune time.        “Daddy, you promised to come to my play.  Where are you?”        Shit, Dmitri thought. He had…

The Lovely Lady Who… by Britta Benson

For this man, I’m just the lovely lady who comes in once a week and plays Ludo with him. He has no idea why I visit. Perhaps, he thinks, I’m a community volunteer, like those do-gooder older women in pale lilac cashmere cardigans, widows, who seem to spend all their free time knitting more pale…

And then there was Solace by Shobana Gomes

And then there was solace, Here where the sun’s light trail, Between trees, On the fallen leaves, Caressing my uplifted face, Seeking silence, Of the quieted woods. I have watched its touch, heal the wounds, of tree barks, of the surviving leaves, that lay un-crumbled  upon the ground, where I sit, unperturbed by the, undisturbed….

AQUA – Part 3

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1- PART 2- PART 3- I took Aqua to a forest full of soothing leaves and lullabies. I took Aqua to my forest that particular day, the forest bed was thick with fallen leaves. But as they…

AQUA – Part 2

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1- PART 2- The dying atmosphere. Honestly, I couldn’t breathe on such days. The opening in my ears would slowly shut down. I would shut my ears to the sad stories of the world. Thus, in the…

AQUA

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1– There were only wolves on the moon. The wolves live on the moon. Then, what will you find in the forest? Aqua. Aqua. Aqua. Someone’s soundless voice cut across the darkness. The fifteenth. The full moon…

Woman’s Eye by Gargi Sidana

Lashes extended to  Soften mother’s earth  Prowled in a nasty web, To ooze child’s pain Nothing left to annihilate; What she gains Nagging in the goddess’s lap; Liberating her from pain As if silicon lie carved,  Into a vivacious brain.  She self-sabotages her powers  In a fabricated chain Laid a crimson skin on the facial…