by Sarah Rejoice Brown

Expecting the unachievable
In light of the unbelievable
We alter our days
In previously inconceivable ways
We hold out hope for a return
Of the ways we used to learn
Of the ways we used to operate
Without stopping to appreciate
That it may take a gradual shift
To even mend the rift
Caused by a pandemic
Many aspects of which are systemic
That haven’t been addressed
Much less even confessed
But I digress
And return to clean up the mess
Made by my quarantined offspring

Sarah Rejoice Brown specializes in poeticizing daily life for sanity’s sake. By day, she communicates, conspires, and collaborates as a nonprofit consultant, director, and editor. By night, she attempts to cultivate a love of literature and rhyme in her five-year old. Her writing is heavily informed by her racial justice activism and concern for the rights and future of her multiracial family. She lives and writes in the mountains and valleys of northwest Vermont, where you are likely to find her making the rounds of library book sales. She is currently working on a children’s book centered on a girl whose love for reading the dictionary forever changes the course of her life. Eva Mantell is looking at the unlikely suitability of everyday materials as potential art materials — paralleling the unlikely possibility of forms in nature. Find her also at @greenworldx2.

And Now

by Hollis Kurman

If butterflies could claw deep, draw
blood, not just light and flutter, then
they would be our conversations, our not
touching, anchors as winds steal pages,
flit and table tilt, our magnet energy and its
skittish opposite; our breath unbreathed.

All sleight of wing and distraction, the
burn and zag turning heads despite
bright blossomed backgrounds, touching
just enough to stir, heal, droplets recalling
pools, occasional oops, never long enough
to wound or unwind, unholy time this time.

Hollis Kurman lives in Amsterdam and is contributing Editor on the Board of Barrow Street Books. Her poems, one nominated for a Pushcart Prize, have been published in multiple journals; e.g., Barrow Street, Rattle, Phoebe, OSR, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.  Her début children’s book, Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children, will be published this year in eight countries with an endorsement by Amnesty International. Eva Mantell lives and works in Princeton, NJ. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Jersey City Museum, Hunterdon Museum, Bernstein Gallery at Princeton University, The Institute Library in New Haven, and Soho20, and is upcoming at Ellarslie Museum in Trenton, NJ.