Author: justifiedrotations@gmail.com

“Dead girl in the garden with blackbirds” by Sarah Shields

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“Spring Fever” & “Marriage” by Christie B. Cochrell

Spring Fever The words I need haven’t showed up today, only half memories stirred awake again like the grape hyacinths and budding leaves— the train from Union Station (spring, in love) behind L.A.’s Olvera Street down to that mercado in Mazatlán with its shrimp soup, cilantro, badly sunburned feet; the frogs and campanile bells outside the open windows of the Eucalyptus Press at Mills, devouring Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries deep into the night after cleaning the ink from the platen, putting the poems to their crisp-sheeted bed; the made-up siblings I grew fond of drinking icy gin from their grandmother’s…

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“Gold bird in a cage of iron and jewels” by Sarah Shields

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“At the witching market” & “Bride-Body, Momento Mori” by E.B. Schnepp

At the witching market I found stalls, fetuses dried for luck. the stillborn fruit of another animal’s womb; tucking one small hypothetical-beast in cupped palms I felt anything but holy.     Bride-Body, Momento Mori The first thing he’ll take is your name, followed by your fingerprints, dental records, the things that distinguish one body from the next. You are bared for him; a bride—your bridesmaids wear black, they mourn you already. Your groom, more bird than man, a vulture, his walls are lined with women, none of them whole; partially eaten, partially decayed. He will eat his way out…

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“How my father prays” & “Colored Paper Clips” by Sneha Subramanian Kanta

How my father prays See, how moths eat dark devour dusk contours like raised fragments from a cashmere shawl. Call me Ishmael, I tell my father speak to me in a mouth full of Persian dialects mumble but my father is a silent man of great faith in God. He tells me the ship is at a certain distance from land because God wills it so. Upon the knee of a ghazal in pastiche stitched emulsifications of synapse ships the sea is vacant like land there is no grimoire, nor the steady onslaught of rain. My father supervises the symmetry…

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“Woman in Womanhood” by Katherine Gaffney

WOMAN IN WOMANHOOD Koi demands to be said quietly as my yellow raincoat asks to be worn on foggy days. The port is robed and disrobed by the gusts whiter than the white laced against the orange on the fish’s back. Pairs swim in a pond, with water tended to like arthritic bones; they swim and love simply, rung through with exoticism. Let us poeticize womanhood. Pretend a hoot is a howl; the sounds of a fife equal the sexual exhales on a bed of sand. Widen the bay’s mouth, let its voice sing a dirge to passing ships unsure…

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“Space Witch, Thief of Dreams” by Thomas L. Winters

Space Witch, Thief of Dreams A cold begins to kiss my feet. Wades on up, up carceral shell. Rescinds my dreams for formless vogue. I sleekly slide the Witch’s tongue. Basil swamps ascend in whirls. And swathes in swirls, those purplest whorls. The Witch’s Eye a slime, maligns. Cricks, grows peep-groves—did I just die? A rupture in the walls of holy halls. Men, a priest; ten hundred faces watching me, menace-wan. Their grease is run; yeast. I yield and ride the Witch’s lung. Round up all the sims Her mission swims. Assimilate my whims Her witting hymns. Indeed, I am…

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“MAMãO” by David Morgan O’Connor

MAMãO open fruit in midday sun, papaya, for example, virtue ripe to give. Fruit peddler, all smog covered, car horns blazing Villas-Lobos Axe from sweatshop windows air conditioners weep puddles onto cobblestoned memory. The bus will never come. There is no shade. Yet that orange meat splayed green skinned, black seeded, flash of flesh, authentic, faithful promise of juicy kiss seducing some lucky passerby.       David Morgan O’Connor is from a small village on Lake Huron. After many nomadic years, he is based in Albuquerque, where a short story collection progresses. He contributes monthly to: The Review Review…

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“Queen in a blooddress” by Sarah Shields

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