rabbit and rose

issue 07













Sweeping Away

There’s been a chipping off,
carving, and claiming from
waterways to inter deltas—
Second coming settlers
exploring bodies from fleshy
river banks to shaded pines.

You've got a mouthful of gimme, a handful of much oblige


Dwindling sands counted and stored
marked like inventory, numbered,
enrolled, verified, certified, organic—
Cataloged carefully beside red clay
and white clay samples—
Both entities whose bodies forget the
flexibility of coil pottery—
under browned silt worked hands

You've got a mouthful of gimme, a handful of much oblige


If the last bit of my home
sits caked down— a deep red line
under crevices of my toenails—
You would come sightseeing
only to dig it out—
Sweeping the dirt away.

You've got a mouthful of gimme, a handful of much oblige


Rain P.C. Gomez


Semper Fidelis

The legends live on,
From Aztec Halls,
To Taliban walls,
Down Congressional halls.

Who knows,
Where God’s love goes,
When incoming,
Turns seconds to hours.
Tours remain,
We return on planes,
To Mothers, Wives, Fathers,
Sons and daughters.

Other airlift planes,
Return heroes remains,
To bases for claims.

To tears of wives and daughters.

Cathedrals sing,
Church bells ring,
For Marines,
Who walk into peril.
Nothing remains,
Except legends and dreams,
Survivors and faces,
Of family, wives, sons, and daughters.

John D. Berry, California, 2015


To the White Woman Who Told Me, “When I Was a Girl, I Wanted to Be An Indian”

When I was a little girl,
I wanted to be an Indian, too -
I felt at home in the water, the
sea-salt rushing against my cheeks;
and how beautiful, and how
silent, long black hair blowing
back as stars and sequins
aligned around me; god! Didn’t
I want to be an Indian! Didn’t I
want to dance the two-step like
my Chicha, to ride behind her
in the Lilac parade on a horse
bedecked in beadwork and
bangles, and so strong, and so
proud.

Oh, my imaginary Indianness
would be so beautiful! I would
speak to the squirrels and
giggle with the black bats in
the caves where my cousin went,
when he slipped down that
black treacle cavern and never
returned from the tar. Or like
my auntie, so beautiful with her
hair permed and teased high
and her jean jackets, lipstick
mouth and crystal meth; auntie,
oh - the lament for my auntie’s beauty
goes on and on, for she was more
agile than Pocahontas, more slender,
and more fine.

I wanted to be like my uncle,
didn’t I, like my uncle with the
cans of spray paint that swirled
with all the colors of the wind,
painting mustangs and steering
wild stallions, drawing faces
of the demons he saw, hiding from
them in his rig, his burnt spoon,
hypodermic needles; uncle -
Didn’t I want to be an Indian,
back then when I was a girl?
Didn’t I know the reservation
like a map in my mind, where
the iron-cast play-horses
rusted into the earth?

Misty Shipman Ellingburg, Shoalwater


untied

if it cannot be untied
it is not a knot
same you cannot be
in bad luck

either you are in luck
or you are not
bad things happen when
you are not in luck

now you can be in your knots
unlucky or not
no matter what
love tangles

but if it can be tied
in such a way so as to later
come together
if it ever comes apart

& not break & not bunch
& not need be cut
you are in luck
it is a knot

Martin Hickel


PRAYER TO THE LAST TIME YOU WALKED OUT ON ME IN A BAR

Yes, Memory,
I am easy to leave.
Forgettable, dun-colored,

so
small. Remnant

of what we found in the ditch
inside discarded ice chests,
supplicant of your

buyer's remorse. we are twins
in the womb, perpetually we hug
because of constraint.

We are the highway-
-markers, virginity in orbit,
the hundred billion years

before the sun was ever warm enough
for life. You never leave,
but when I ask you to stay my mouth

is cotton, my mouth is caught
on the chipped lip of a bad pint glass.
Say goodbye, first.

banish
the burned neck,
the small, small scar.

Kenzie Allen


washing dirt
off the coiled garden hose
with the hose

Gary Gach


Busted

She stole a kiss,
a peck on the cheek,
a lick of the neck.

He blushed,

gripped her hand.
They quick-stepped
down the hall
“Where to? Where to?”

Footsteps muffled
by the garnet carpet,
tempting fate,
discarding duty,
they find an empty room
on the second floor,
curtains drawn,
fireplace cold,
they stumbled,
tumbled on a covered divan,
creak of cushions,
swish of petticoats,
breathless embrace,
muffled laughter,
stubborn buttons,
until they heard
the butler’s “Harrumph.”

Linda Boyden


We circle the tipi one time

In a single file without words
Each of us with our own separate thoughts.
You’re in your world and I’m in mine.
The night air is chilled ~ our breaths in visible cottony puffs.

An inch layer of snow covers the nightscape.

A hazy winter moon rests near the horizon.

And the warmth of the fire draws us within.

Juanita Pahdopony