“Following Many YouTube Tutorials and Not Getting Much Better” by Sarah Ens

From hands and knees, you lengthen to pigeon pose, gesture supple muscle, remember to lift you own sick heart. On the balcony, a flock of house sparrows scuttle dry leaves, smear the circle of seed you spilled below the feeder. They feast, bob off with brimmed beaks, return immediately for more. You’ve spoiled them says your cat chittering through the screen but you are just trying to believe there is virtue in eating to full. [...]

“waniska” by Mika Lafond

one morning I cried to my grandmother what am I worth now without a man to love me I sat waiting for an answer from a woman who went home 25 years before my cries I heard nothing – I looked up then the sweet shrill whistle of a bird resting nearby the wind running its fingers through leaves playing a low murmur of melody I noticed how the clouds that never stay were imperfectly shaped against the blue of sky I breathed and rested my chin on my hand I saw the wildness of the grass – greens and yellows growing at their own speed [...]

“Trans-Canada” by Shannon McConnell

We point out every yellow diamondsign, night danger. A wild moosecharging, fierce and unapologetic. We tryto slow down to catch a picture but they blurwith the evergreen landscape.They don’t have those signson the prairiesor the west coast. We watch the rocks growlike scribbles in a flipbook from staticlines of the prairies juttinginto rocky patches of [...]

“lovesong for kever” by Dave Carpenter

to be one with the dragonflies joined in the looping bright air it’s what we are here for to moan like the dying to sing with the warblers all invisible to squawk with the magpies on top or on bottom they approve of all things bright and tumescent the golden ladyslippers so slippery and sweet they approve of you bigging me bigger with slithery hymns all pre-octopied we lose track of our limbs [...]

“Surrender” by Mika Lafond

to endure pressure and despair is to survive a hurricane overthinking worst-case scenarios inescapable sorrow and melancholy thoughts seeming to end life as it was isolated in your home walls built to weather winds not knowing if you should run or board up windows then listen to them  creak under pressure threaten to tear you apart [...]

“Hemingway’s Grave” by Brandon Fick

You moulder under granite between evergreens and decades have brought change and stones, Old Glory cap, pencils, ballpoints, yellow wildflowers, oceans of ecstasy – Pabst Blue Ribbon, Woodford Reserve – you drained faster than a desert well. I speak frankly, Papa, excuse my search for one true sentence:             The sparrow sings over graves at dusk. [...]