“Fool’s Gold” by Chanel Brenner

I found the surprise

You left for me

In my journal

While I was in one of your

favorite restaurants

The place with the

cheesy eggs and cookies

shaped like hearts

I stumbled across it

While searching for

words like fool’s gold

In a river, sifting and sifting

and there it was

A golden nugget

A treasure

You would have called it

Your name  written backwards

YELIR, a trident for a Y

And a picture you drew

of yourself

your right arm up in the air

as if to say goodbye or hello.

Chanel Brenner

Dedicated In Loving Memory to

Riley Brenner

July 28th, 2004 – March 7th, 2011

© 2011

“This Life” by Jack Grapes

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

My wife is getting dressed,

rushing off to see her clients.

She puts a top on that comes down past her navel,

barely covering her pubic hair.

But when she sits on the bed to pull up socks,

the chemise rises up, exposing hair between her legs.

She puts one leg up, resting her heel on the bed’s edge.

Her legs a few inches apart.

Her pubic hair and mound clearly visible.

It’s enough.

This altar. This sacred, secret, sanctified,

whatchamacallit.

I stop by the TV and ask her

when she’s coming home,

do I pick up Josh today,

are we going to David & Gina’s for dinner on Saturday,

should I get bread and milk at J-Market

or what?

“What,” she says.

I’m talking, she’s got her head down working on the sock,

no, I think it’s panty hose or tights,

something like that,

something complicated that requires her full attention

I’m talking but I’m really looking at her pubic hair, her sacred

whatchamacallit, that is . . . . and is not . . . . her,

the embodiment of everything,

the symbol of nothing but itself.

This is when . . . . I think . . . . maybe not . . . . but probably so.

this is when I love her the most,

when she’s putting on socks, half-naked,

paying little attention to me.

“What?” she says.

She’s not even listening to me.

“Should I pick up Josh,” I say,

“and what about the bread and milk?”

Actually, I’m not really talking to her, either.

I’m looking at her pussy

while she struggles with this complicated long sock or something,

her head down, working it fold by fold past her heel

and ankle, then up the calf, over the knee,

up the thigh, finally standing

and jumping up and down, small little jumps,

as she tugs the last part above her pubic hair,

above the navel.

She rims the elastic with her thumb,

gives it a snap, then looks up at me,

finally. She gives her head a shake,

straightening her hair for her clients,

getting all neat and composed and psychotherapeutic,

her sacred whatchamacallit covered by a gauze curtain,

and in a minute, by the dress.

I’m looking at her,

thinking of that Grecian pottery

where Aphrodite rises from the sea,

her sandstone naked body

gravely and glistening in its classical flesh.

“What?” she asks.

“Do I pick up Josh today?”

“Yeah. Is that okay?”

“Yeah.”

We stand there, holding everything

unsaid that seems to float along with the dust motes

made visible finally by the first light of the morning

coming through the blinds.

When you coming home?” I ask.

“6:30.”

“Don’t forget my class starts at 7.”

“I won’t.”

Then she’s off, rushing from one room to another,

grabbing necessities.

I catch up to her at the door.

She kisses me.

I kiss her back. A little piece of sweet lip

in her sweet breath. I keep my eyes open

so I can see her face close-up.

“Love you,” I say.

“Love you, too.”

I stand on the front steps and watch her

get in the car, buckle-up, start the engine,

make a U-turn and come to a stop at the stop sign

at our corner. I walk to the mailbox

on the corner and give a little wave.

She sees and waves back,

then pushes off for her day, her clients.

I have things to do, too.

Have to xerox poems for my students, my fellow poets.

The sun’s not out yet; by noon, the clouds’ll break,

and it’ll be a sunny day,

and the sun will shine

on my wife and on my students

and on this blessed, sacred, sanctified life.

Jack Grapes

© 2010

“Godzilla’s Mother” by Adesh Kaur

Adesh & Olly Dancing

I watched Godzilla with my son tonight.
Not my cup of tea.
Curled up in his bed,
comforting his tears
from a brutal swim team practice.
“Mom, I thought I was drowning.”
I had no words, just my touch and purr.
And then,
“Hey, mom, let’s watch Godzilla!
It’s the fiftieth anniversary.
He’s actually younger than you.”
Godzilla. Younger than me.
Imagine that.
Well, there it is,
Godzilla. the angry lizard.
At least Olly didn’t say that I could have
been Godzilla’s mother.
I think that tomorrow when I chat with
Coach David,
I will be Godzilla calling.

Adesh Kaur

All Rights Reserved

© 2010

“DAISIES” by Adesh Kaur

Oliver Hale

My young one crouched down, stood up, and grinned.
“Look, mom, there are flowers in winter.”
“Oh, Olly, thank you.”
“Ya know, mom. I think that this is a daisy.”
“Well, I think so, too.”
It was indeed a daisy in winter in my young son’s heart and hands. A gift, a gift for mommy.
My very own hero holding out a flower gift.
Gosh, do I love this child.
“Well, Olly, we better go into swim team practice now.”
I stuck the grass flower into the band of my cowboy hat.
Pool time.
He struggled with his breath. Afraid, I think.
Something about putting his head under water for too long.
I sat on a lounge chair.
I acted busy.
I wanted to tell him it was okay, that he was doing great.
Coach David is kind but kinda sharp.
I watched Olly sinking, paddling to keep his head just above water.
They have to know that Oliver sees flowers in winter.
He knows about daisies.

Photo & Poem by Adesh Kaur

All Rights Reserved

© 2010