Megan Alpert opens this issue with a wonderful poem called “Blueprints,” which starts, “Move into a house where love sleeps / next to you, hiding in a mouth all night / long . . .” I was intrigued with each turn of the line, my heart breaking with the last of them:
I saw a great blue heron once and thought of her
somewhere, waiting for a door to step through.
Little kitchen. Brightly colored cloths.
And want to be that doorway.
But my mood was quickly changed from solemn to a more playful mood with Margarita Delcheva’s “Space Sex,” in which the narrator tells us that the NASA romantics discovered that thrusts in zero-gravity are impossible. She gives us killer lines like “A thrust might only work / if you chop off your arm / and throw it behind you.”
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins offers a series of suggestions of “How to Forget About Winter,” of which my favorite is the last two lines: “Invent something clever to say, then / write it down. Keep doing that.” And Emily Pettit’s poem “Lego Lady You Have Two Heads” had me laughing from the first line: “Is the world library a giant cat?” Chelsea Whitton gives us a series of requests for an evening in nature in “This Time”:
Please Moon. Please
hang there, halved and open. Please be
so bright. Please flicker on the water
like votives. Please open magic flowers.
Please stay. This time. Please stay.
And paired with the expansive mix of poetry is a variety of art—sculptures, paintings, photography, and more. I particularly liked Kyle James Dunn’s “The Sun Never Sets,” Valerie Hegarty’s “Niagara Falls,” and Dan Voinea’s “Fresh Angle.” All of the pieces seem to work together, meld with the poetry, and create an issue that is as diverse as it is fresh.