Unsent Letter #15

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

I remember things not related to love: how one day you took off your wedding band to see if he would notice; how Francis is your favorite saint; how the color orange tastes like grief. The days are starting to get shorter; wish I was someplace deep and green. Do you know I love your imperfections? Each one is the perfect sin. There’s a moving van across the street; a plane unzips the blue from the sky. The downtown skyline is a layer of gray. The landscaping is all done; the mallard and his mate have been gone for days.

From the chapbook, Dead Letter Office, published by Rain Dog Press


A Poem by A. J. Huffman

I buried myself up to my chin
in the hollow flesh of men
who were all too happy to sacrifice
for the cause. Then I colored my hair
with their eyes. And my lips,
well, I believe they speak for themselves.
Still I lacked the heat to hold
your attention. So I left
my scars. But I never realized they formed
a map. Too late, I followed
you instead.
Until I could not breathe
for anything but the pulse
of your blood.

––from her chapbook Audition from Hell


Celebrating President’s Day a Bit Late

After the American Revolution, Ethan Allen visited Brittan. His
company was widely sought after and he was wined and dined in many an English dining room. One nobleman sought to embarrass his Americanguest by placing a portrait of General George Washington above the toilet in the bathroom. After several glasses of wine Allen excused himself in order to answer the call of nature. While doing hisbusiness the illustrious American war hero could not fail to notice the placement of the large, prominent portrait. When Allen returned to table still in as good spirits as ever and resumed conversation as if nothing was amiss, his host could at last no longer contain his curiosity.

“Didn’t you see George Washington in there?!” he asked.

“Oh yes,” said Allen. “Perfectly appropriate place for him.”

“What do you mean?” His host enquired.

“Well,” he said, “there is nothing to make an Englishman shit faster
than the sight of General George Washington.”

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity; it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood, before we learn how to swallow loss. You love this town, its broken pieces laid out before this Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted, gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you painting, writing, listening to your favorite playlist; firefly or lush. I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

From the chapbook Dead Letter Office
Rain Dog Press

Body Art

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

High noon this winter day
and blackbirds fill
the bare branches

of my dead neighbor’s tree.
Max would have loved these birds;
they’re as raucous as he was,

bobbing and clucking
as if they’re debating
where to fly next.

Suddenly they know
and shoot from the tree.
They’re gone but I shout

“Godspeed!” anyway
in behalf of old Max,
immigrant from Auschwitz.

He may be dead but
the numbers on his forearm
glow in my dreams.