The Last Today

by Uma Venkatraman

This day turns stale
crusty like old bread
tedium showing as
first hints of mold

This day is liquid
unable to gurgle
its way out of a
blocked time drain

This day is tired
of being today
unlike seasons
of winter melts
and spring blooms

This day wants to be
the last today
This day longs
to be tomorrow

Living in Singapore, India-born Uma Venkatraman is a journalist who has had poems published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Along The Shore and Beyond The Hill, and online in L’Ephemere Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Plath Poetry Project. James Roper is the chief photographer of World Food, a book series from Penguin Random House, the first volume of which will be released in 2020. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Not Even the Toilet is Safe—and I don’t mean from Covid-19

by Kim Malinowski

With a modern plague in the air, I excessively clean.

I wipe the doorknobs, the floor, my earlobes, elbows, toilets.

I am not catching Covid 19—because of my butt!

(I don’t even know if it’s scientifically possible—but, I’m not explaining that).

It is not my gluteus maximus that benefits—no, it is my cat Max.

Pristine toilets give Max the perfect chance to put his duck-butt

up high in the air and deep dive into the toilet bowl.

He comes up chin dripping, gleeful—I hope he drinks heartily!

Soggy bum. He’s proud—like we should clap his ingenuity.

I’m eagerly waiting to post a shameful photo on Facebook.

I plan to go viral.

Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. She studies with The Writers Studio. Her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. Her work was featured in Faerie Magazine and appeared in CalliopeWar, Literature, and the ArtsMookychickBluepepper, and others. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City. 

My Mother

by Tali Cohen Shabtai

אמי / טלי כהן שבתאי

אֵם הִנֵּךְ רוֹצֶה


אַל נָא תִּקְרְאִי תְּחוּשׁוֹתַי

אֶלָּא עַל פִּי

שְׁבִיב הַדְמַע

הֶחָבוּי בְּזִיק


שָׂם תִּמּוֹג


תַּסְרִיט מְמֻשָּׁךְ

יְגוֹלֵל לְךָ

נֶפֶשׁ זָרָה

בְּעוֹד שִׁלְבִי כֻּרְסַם

בְּשִׁנֵּי –


אַתְּ ,קׇרָאתְ לִי


If you want

To know me

Read my perceptions only

By the glint of my tear

Hidden in the gleam

Of my pupils.

There the illusion

Will dissolve.

A lengthy script

Will unroll for you

An alien soul.

While my soul is gnawed by

The teeth of sadness

You called me


Tali Cohen Shabtai, is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Tali has written three poetry books: Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick, (bilingual 2007), Protest (bilingual 2012) and Nine Years Away From You (2018). Illustration by K. Nizar, a multi-disciplinary artist from Kerala’s Kozhikode, who began his career on movie-sets doing art works before becoming a visualization artist for a leading newspaper in Kerala.  

return with flowers

by Dawn Wing

connect with beauty

grow something
pursue learning

see flowers

pick a bold choice
reach glory

soar high
walk tall

feel lush

draw inspiration
among friends

return with flowers

Dawn Wing is a multidisciplinary artist and poet based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work has been published in Three Line Poetry, Haiku Journal,  The Nashville Review and Qué Suerte. She enjoys experimenting with text and image using various media, especially discarded magazines from her day job as a librarian. Visit Dawn’s portfolio online at

Corona Resilience

by Gerard Sarnat

Most fix-its’re stumbled through,
others not so much.

I finally do make my peace risks
of electrocution

outweigh benefits mending drive-
way light switch.

But a bad ankle sprain addressed
early resolves

quicker than this septuagenarian
takes for granted.

Sunday morning, my wife brings
me Peets’ coffee, &

2 of us schmooze in comfy chairs,
listen to spring rain.

She turns on iPhone that fell in
her bath yesterday

then sound won’t work — though
now somehow does.

Perusing weekly news shows, we
cook chicken soup.

Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for a handful of recent Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published in journals including Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, and New Delta Review. He is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. VR Ragesh is a noted cartoonist from Kerala.

To My Skype Friend

by Shalom Galve Aranas

Time is teeming within the walls

of your room in Italy

where I find you

again and again

almost in tears

as we hear the bells

of the churches

tolling simultaneously

In a burst

of sunrise

and birds alighting from

the shiny,

wet cobbled stones.

I sigh a relief

you still belong

to my world

where I intend to keep

you each day

until the day

we shall finally

meet for real,

my friend.

Shalom Galve Aranas is a freelance writer published in Enchanted Conversations, Stereo Stories, St. Andrews College, and elsewhere. She is a loving, single mother of two. Illustrated by Ramabhadran S., who is a 19-year-old artist based in Kerala’s Thalassery. He is a student of National Institute of Fashion Technology. 

Two Poems

by Cynthia Young


April 19, 2020, Harlem, N.Y.—“cell phone video shot yesterday at the 145 street subway platform in Harlem shows a group of NYPD police officers terrorizing a little boy for allegedly selling candy.”
Tweeted @DrRJKavanagh


These are the days of Covid-19.
What could that mother have been thinking?
Her standing there on the subway platform
Watching blue police hands on the brown body
Of her son, hands that were not the brown hands
That held him at his birth? What was she hoping
Would happen with her words?  Was she hoping
Her words would have power, would activate ancient magic
That would release her brown son from the blue hands?
Did she think they didn’t understand who that boy was
Who was struggling to be set free? Is that why
She kept repeating the words
Like a command,
Like a mantra,
Like a plea?

How many times
Have mothers repeated those words
In other days? the Slave Markets,
…on the plantations,
…at the gravesites,
…in the courtrooms,
…on subway platforms?

Dead sons walking.


Already we stare in amazement
At scenes from just months ago
Of people touching, hugging
without masks,
without gloves,
without fear, judgement,
or suspicion.

When I stroll through my neighborhood,
when other walkers see me
and cross the street,
I must remember

it’s just my shared humanity with the world,
it is what I might be carrying
that could pass on to them.

This is what frightens them–
not my hoodie,
not my muscular build,
not the color of my skin

until we get back to normal.

Cynthia Robinson Young is a graduate student in English at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and an adjunct professor of Exceptional Education at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Her work has recently appeared in The Amistad, Rigorous, Freedom Fiction Journal, and Catalpa: a Magazine of Southern Perspectives. Sabiyha Prince is an anthropologist, artist, and author based in Washington, DC.  Her books and essays explore urban change and African American culture and her paintings and photo collages grapple with memory, identity, kinship and inequality.


by Jo Angela Edwins

It’s May here.
The sun is still high
at almost six, and yet we can hear
in the distance the loud calls
of mating owls, the evening criers
of a chartreuse spring. The noise-worshipping
neighbors across the street are gone
for the evening. Here on this porch
yellowed with pollen and so much dust
I sit and watch the neighborhood cats
eat the kibble I scatter across the brick steps.

I wonder where the neighbors are now
in this year when disease swirls in the air,
but there are places to go, so many
bistros and bowling alleys opened to the touch
of believers who disbelieve. I wish I knew
the heady high of being fearless, being
feckless. A breeze stirs, and I turn
my gaze to our narrow street
where a child this morning drew long-haired
figures in chalk across the gray asphalt.
Girls in pink dresses, girls reaching across
undefined lanes with arms long as telephone
poles, arms nothing more than yellow
lines, arms touching no one and nothing.
Now and then, a car drives over the bodies.

The cats chew their kibble, and I wonder
if the piles that I feed them will keep them
from breaking the necks of those smaller than they.
Science tells me no. In the distance
the owls still hoot. They would devour the babies
of these hungry cats, if they found them.

In back rooms of shopping malls,
managers count money, a fraction of which
will be theirs. Soon the child with the chalk
will return. I will watch her draw more children
in the street. I will tell this story, a story she never

will know that I tell. Soon enough, a sedan
will approach, moving slowly. I will watch as the child
will dutifully rise, step quickly, as someone
must have taught her, to the safety of the shoulder grass.

Jo Angela Edwins is the first poet laureate of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Her chapbook Play was published in 2016 by Finishing Line Press. She has received awards from Poetry Super Highway, Winning Writers, and the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Brooklyn-based artist Gina Magid has been the recipient of numerous awards including Guggenheim Foundation and McDowell Colony fellowships. She has had solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., Artists Space, and Ana Cristea Gallery in New York and Acuna Hansen Gallery in Los Angeles. 

Bent Canvas

Arya Mohapatra

The painter
Now asks
If I mind leaving

His paint boxes alone
And stop smearing my little hand
Across his new canvas

Ink streaks all over

I smile and wipe my fingers on my
And walk away

And look at his colours
Behind the curtain

Arya Mohapatra is a thirteen year old teenager of Bhubaneswar, India. A slam poet, she has performed her poetry regularly and has won the third place in the Rabindranath Tagore Awards 2020. Illustrated by VR Ragesh, noted cartoonist from Kerala.

Things The Virus Took

by Yash Seyedbagheri

The virus took the little coffee shop with yellow walls. People gathered at large oak tables, whispered secrets about finals and Friday parties. I inhaled laughter, carried it in secret. It took the bar that reminded me of a Hopper painting, jukebox playing Eagles and Lady Gaga. Here I talked Russian literature and Hoagy Carmichael, strangers speaking in gravelly and baritone comforts. But the virus left me Netflix, Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth talking monarchical privilege, Sam Elliott dropping F-bombs on The Ranch. I played their voices until the Internet stalled. Now I speak to sterile walls, words bouncing back.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.