I will be a person who composts

who buys brown-spotted eggs direct from the chickens. 
Who never scoops out the blood spots 
     or tosses shells in the trash.
I will wash and sort my recycling.
I will bundle cardboard with rough string and gift-tie it
      in neat bows.
I will cook fresh soups from scratch. 
I will wrap my leftovers in beeswax cloth softened 
      against my heart.
I’ll become a person who sweeps and mops the front porch 
      and waves hello to the neighbours.
Who appreciates the relationship of bees to apiarist.
I will return strange mail to the sender.
I will switch from outdoor shoes to slippers.
I will become a person who can knit baby socks on 
      tiny needles.
Who can tame a songbird on an outstretched hand. 
I will eat crystals.
I will work miracles.
I will wake up with the sun to be mindful.
I will be a person who speaks only in song.
Who sends handwritten notes to mark minor occasions.
Who bakes crispy pies and writes in fountain pen.
I will scrawl to-do lists onto my palms.
Collect dryer lint in apron pockets.
I will be the kind of person who changes the sheets daily
      and hangs them to flutter in the cinema of the yard.
I will dream with brightness up and saturation down.
The one who consumes her receipts. 
Weeds the sidewalk.
Boils the roots for tea.


Kate Hargreaves

Kate Hargreaves is the author of 4 books of poetry and fiction, including the poetry collections Leak (Book*hug, 2014) and tend (Book*hug, Fall 2022). She lives and works in Windsor, Ontario where she also plays roller derby and talks too much about her cats. Find her work at CorusKate.com.

Header photograph and artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson

fire on water

The side of a building with many fire escapes. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, comic-book style color, the building vibrant orange-red.

first it appeared like an oil of rainbow, 
shimmering under the sunlight, dancing 

with the ripples & stretching toward the 
shore to baptize little multicolored stones. 

i have seen fire run like an athlete on water. 
i have seen it lick a river like a child

does a bowl of his favorite broth. in the place 
i come from, i have seen fire dance on the skins of 

men who received an impromptu visitation 
of misfortune. they say: something must ignite a fire.

what if the nascence of burning is within, would you 
call it self-forging, like the malleability of red steel?

i have heard stories of how a memory can incinerate
the soul & make the body: a warehouse of ash. perhaps,

all of us have mastered the art of our burnings;
we’ve learned to feed this flame with water to quiet

our consummations. i know from my childhood, between 
my first tooth and first walk, i have accessorized my lungs 

with enough gasoline to fuel my continuity. like 
holding water in your hands, i submit to the fluidity of time.


Joshua Effiong

Joshua Effiong, Frontier VI, is a writer and digital artist from the Örö people of Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kalahari Review, Rough Cut Press, Madrigal Press, Titled House, The Indianapolis Review, Chestnut Review, among other places. He is the author of a poetry chapbook, Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed (2020). Find him on Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong

Header photograph and artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson

Spam Love Poem

The side of a building with many fire escapes. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, comic-book style color, the building vibrant orange-red.

Good afternoon cmcrockford;
I am from Phoenix also.
Here the insects make no noise,
though something sings along with the night.

Are you in my Phoenix,
where the roads shiver when it’s cold?
Do you get lonely 
even when hearing the songs of the dark?

Me too, me too; 
I wish I was between your legs.

Why don’t you answer my emails 
or reply to the texts?

Will you not come 
to my dying patchwork house?
Will you come and see the nettle leaves
now spreading along my ceiling cracks?

Please

Are you here?

I am willing to offer 20 percent for your time;
hurry while it lasts.


C.M. Crockford

C.M. Crockford is a neurodivergent writer who’s been featured in Wilde Boy, Neologism Poetry Journal, and Daily Drunk Mag among others. He currently lives in Philadelphia but has lived all over. Crockford loves Bowie records, animals, and that he has been cited twice on Wikipedia.

Header photograph and artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson

My Husband and I Talk of Nursing Homes at the Shedd Aquarium

The great moray eel whips her head out 
of the cave, demon-faced, cursing, 
a prehistoric ghost. 

Even with the glass between us, you pull back 
from the glittering eye, the thirsty mouth, 
this spectacle of ruined survival. 

I want to say, yes, death comes like this
powerful-jawed and unrelenting—
to remind us, by contrast, how fragile the anemone is. 

            Watch how it waves, tentacle-bright.
            That kills, too. Just in brilliant color. 

Death always comes out stinging— 
bite & poison, eel or flower, 
disguised and hidden in the craggy reef. 

I want you to know I see the coral 
is the same color as the bedsheets 
at the nursing home, the same color 

as the scrubs of nurses who wipe your mother’s 
mouth and wheel her to Mass. And I want 
to say, yes, I, too, see her face in the moray’s—

the mouth gasping open and closed, 
the trembling jaw that spells mortal. 
We will all have our moment like hers,

we will all be spit out into that unfathomable blue. 
The cave’s invisible veil will float us 
into primordial sea. But until then, slip

            back into the darkness with me. Hold 
            my hand among all the glowing tanks,

all this breakable glass, hold me close 
in the water until the inevitable last.


Christine Butterworth-McDermott

Christine Butterworth-McDermott’s latest poetry collection is Evelyn As: Poems (Fomite, 2019). She is the founder and co-editor of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. Her poetry has been published in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, Prime Number Magazine, and River Styx, among others.

Header photograph by Deborah Hughes
Header artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson

Monsoon Showers

A fallen, yellow leaf lays on a rock, ice melting around it. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, water-colors.

Black clouds
         roll & gallop
churning the skies
        some kind of preparation
               for war

shimmering sheets
              of slanting rain
yanked & contorted
             in elemental violence

tree-crowns lashing
             left and right
as if the enemy is within

the animal clamour of
wild doors & windows

          and then,

the sudden outburst
           of small feet upon
    the drenched terraces
             shrieks of abandon
                     & glee

and the frenzied hands
                  of mothers
clawing laundry down
             from the line

so much joy
so much urgency

so much nonchalance

as today as perhaps 
a thousand years before

impervious to the monarchs
who wield
           neither rain
                      nor thunder


Faiz Ahmad

Faiz Ahmad is a recent graduate in Biological Sciences, IIT Madras, India. His work appears in, Poetry Daily, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Carousel and others.

Header photograph by Deborah Hughes
Header artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson

how time curves come morning

A fallen, yellow leaf lays on a rock, ice melting around it. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, water-colors.

this time i slip the curve under
my tongue to curl, this etched 
morning, this slow creaking light

that lisps a leak, that creeps in
easy to kiss your lip, that weaves
your lock and loops a leg across

your body. this time you wake
me up. you pick my body up off
the gallery floor, having

gathered the shoes i kicked
into the corner while eating
the exhibition with an open mouth,

a flat tongue. you walk my eyes
down what i can’t remember;
i duck into the curve of your neck.

you will always clean up after me
in the morning. you will always pull
my socks on for me. this time either

leaps or lingers but it is not
wasted, looping lightly over
and over, a trace light that

peeks or peers, a teethed grin
that makes lofty plans. i do not step outside
this morning or any.


Jessica Anne Robinson

Jessica Anne Robinson is a Toronto writer and, more tellingly, a Libra. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming with MacroMicroCosm, untethered, Diagram, and Room magazine, among others. Her debut chapbook, Other Mothers’ Funerals, is being published with Frog Hollow Press. You can find her anywhere @hey_jeska.

Header photograph by Deborah Hughes
Header artwork by Jordan Keller-Wilson