Ponderous Things by Olivia Olson

I am clogged with things, with plastic
artifacts. I am mothering them,
rummaging through them. I roll these droppings
of time between my palms, sniffing
out the only deity who remembers me.
I carefully follow her tracks down the long, arching
phallus of the sun, kiss the yawn of the stars
and awkwardly stumble upon her. We will sit
in reminiscense, etching lines into our bald palms.
I imagine she will beg me to stay, persuade me
to drink from my grandmother’s cup of tea
and make potpourri from my long dead birthday
roses. We will grow corpulent together.
Before long, even my skin will get soggy
with sentimentality, and I will drop
like a midsummer rain. This body I have loved
will become a breath, a blink,
and I will have nothing to remember it by.

Olivia Olson lives in Rochester, MI in her secret identity as a spinster librarian. Her poems have appeared in Miller’s Pond and are forthcoming from Bird’s Thumb.

Signals for Belief by Seth Jani

The simplest, most incommunicable truth
Is a small stone at the bottom of the heart,
An intimation amongst the bile,
Amongst the patchwork of perjury and blood.
It doesn’t sing like love,
Or burn in the bowels like hate or anger.
It barely simmers even when the most glaring space
Opens for its presence.
Instead it is like a hint of the unknown
That comes and goes with the wind’s discretion.
An instinct that shudders in the carpentry
Of bone.
A subtle premonition
In a backed-up voice box.
It’s a slow, lugubrious butterfly
That occasionally starts up
From the intestinal thatch-roof,
Lifts its one-of-a-kind body
Up through the diaphragm
And disappears through the pear-shaped
Clouds of morning.

Seth Jani was raised in Western Maine. He is the founder and editor of Seven CirclePress and his own work has been published widely in such journals as Writers’ Bloc, The Foundling Review, Phantom Kangaroo and Chantarelle’s Notebook. He currently resides in Seattle, WA. His website is http://www.sethjani.com.