Archive for February, 2016

For the first time, we have ears as well as eyes on the heavens.

The night I said I love
you and then I took it back
I pulled the words from the air between us.
A spool as smooth as ribbon slipped back down my throat
until I wanted to choke them up again–
I swear I heard you laugh
as you took the last sip of whiskey
The moonlight faltered as the words
tangled back around my ribs.
I never meant to leave them there
God, I hope that whiskey felt right against your lips.

Behind the wires that twist and curve in electrocution
sits a young man devoid of substance, water, air,
and all we can see of him is the color of his clothing
his missing patches of hair
the location of his room. He fades
into the cinderblocks around him.
A burial wall bordered by electric caution,
A list of facts printed in the paper
as though he never drew a picture
to hang on his mother’s fridge.

Two black holes circle each other
competing carousels waltzing until
collision, a spread of energy,
Space time distortion.

After ordering a whiskey, neat,
you watch the beams stretch over the golden still,
your fingers spanning to the edges of the glass.
Listen to the night, how it cries tender over the streetlamps.
Somebody smudged each one with his thumb,
there is the hopeful glow of holiness within their blur.

How can I read the syntax of an angel’s wings? Can I swirl
my fingers around their haloes, like the lips
of a rocks glass? I have painted their songs across
my papers and yet I can only write in a minor key.
I clean my feet but my heels remain
dry, black from the Earth beneath them. “This
is my sin,” I hear them whisper.
I was never warned about their voices.

The wave fades to a whisper
but the astronomers continue to listen,
Arms of mirrors turning light to noise.

I dreamt last night that I played my horn next to Gabriel
and when we ended my breath kept circling
As if it were swallowed into his infinity of
music which fell silent to my ears when
all I wanted was to dance along.
But Gabriel, who had left his trumpet behind
continued to tap his foot to the meter.

I will only believe in one fallacy at a time,
Afraid of truth breaking down into disappointment:
My grandfather’s hauntings, or
a muse who falls in love with her painter.
For the short infinity of my past,
I have only found reason to search for faeries,
Holding their soft glow within my eyesight.

A million miles away, the gravity of Earth
and sun cancel each other: a silent meadow
carrying platinum, waiting.

Now when I imagine you
sipping tea behind your covers,
I feel the lemon and ginseng seep
into my own tongue, tightening the ribbon
A double knot around my ribs

And the old black dog
you always cradled
still sleeps outside
the bathroom door even
though we buried him behind
the garage.

We have grown apart
further than the first time the moonlight
faltered against our night.
The world buzzes with electricity, forgotten art,
A collection of myths we have yet to sift through.

A cease in ringings, collapse in space
and two black holes, swallowing each other,
The hushing of an end.

My skin now shines, gut rushing with the light
spilling into the street and I feel the bite
of my second glass. Watch me walk. Follow me home.
I have the confidence of the moon tonight.

*Quote from New York Times article, “Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory” by Dennis Overbye
Lisa Folkmire is a poet from Warren, Michigan. She is currently an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts with an emphasis in poetry. Her work has appeared in See Spot Run and Heron Tree literary arts journals, The Pine River Anthology, as well as Rat’s Ass Review.


There have been others
Each beautiful in their own way
Quick to smile
Quick to laugh.
The tips of their noses red in the cold

There have been others
Quiet girls in gingham and sandals
Who talked over coffee
Of anything and everything
And complimented my eyes

There have been others
Their mouths tasting of red wine
They smelled of vanilla and tea
They had tan lines on the tops of their feet
From the straps on their sandals and sun

There have been others, yes, but
There hasn’t been you
All of these other things
The gingham, the wine, the two-hour coffees
The kind words and the promise of time
It hasn’t been with you, and it is
Your hands holding your coffee I miss,
Your hair piled up high but still wild, I want
The way you hold the wheel when you drive that I think of, and
Your voice with the radio, singing, I need
So there have been others, true
But I have only ever loved you
Steve Passey is from Southern Alberta. On Valentine’s Day he’ll be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the poor and brokenhearted.

  —to my friend who has lost her child

Nurses slam into gurneys.
Pills sprinkle the air. Red Jello Rorschachs stain the walls,
outside, a lady and her dog are tangled in the trees, the leash gone limp,
the chubby cop and the thug with droopy drawers cling to the wire fence
like wilted laundry, and in kitchens everywhere, cooks have lopped off fingers,
the sous chefs swim in a sea of metal, pots and pans chiming their confusion
and in some hotel, a pair of lovers thinks they’ve reached some out of body free-fall,
and they splash, tractor trailers grind and twist on the highway in some slow angle,
cars thrust forward, drivers pump their brakes, splay their hands,
their noses against the glass to see
the whole world floating,
some apocalypse.

Tell me how long to leave them hanging there.
(I know this much: they must relearn their bodies.
How to maneuver. What is up or down.)
And when you’re ready,
just before the atmosphere has burned away,
just before that last desperate gasp for air,
we’ll let the earth start back its turning,
let them all drop in a dusty heap,
thud to their knees in strange backyards,
plunk deep into ocean, sinking with brick feet,
skid down some dotted desert road,
spine on bony spine.

We’ll give instructions:
Stand, bruised.
Brush off the dirt and walk the long way back
to what you were doing.
Youll have time to think of it again.
Carry your broken thermometers,
your bent whisks.
Dont ask why, just walk.
If its hot, strip off your sweater.
Wipe the sweat from your forehead.
Bear the sear of blisters starting at your heels
because your shoes arent right for this.


Elizabeth Cranford Garcia isn’t sure what’s worse: the sound of her children whining, or suspicious silence. Her first chapbook, Stunt Double, is forthcoming (any day now!) from Finishing Line Press.