His Legends Were Like Unicorns by Charlotte Seley

Obviously it was easy to question my veracity but

there must be some truth to every tall tale.

Trying to describe you was almost psychedelic

like seeing unicorns on an astral plane.

I arrived on a hunch and you mysteriously manifested

under the laser lights, saturated in artificial blackout.

I used to speak of you in hyperboles, a fiction of royal fabrics.

Somehow I had you in my hand now, not like a text

message but more like a mahjong tile.

Maybe it was some meditative spell, maybe I’m a sorceress.

They say luck is horseshoes and no one knows why

but I know I’d throw them at a stick in the ground all day

if it meant cinching it just once and living to tell.

The night moved only in spaces crushed by colorful beads

shifting in a kaleidoscope, spun in a child’s hands.

Brooklyn was so full of flannel, it flooded

onto the streets. I never trust too much flannel

or facial hair or brown liquids with businessman names.

So then of course a taxi, let someone else navigate the refuge.

Let danger fall peripheral, let’s outcharm each other with prowess.

I said, “Take the BQE, it’s faster.”

You said, “I’m bringing sleazy back”

but I don’t think sleazy ever went anywhere.

The apartment was like a twitch in a power line

but I let it be candlelit and chandeliered.

I fed you tinctures from my personal collection.

Your blue oxen waited where I left you sleeping naked

on the couch, leather bomber jacket draped over you–

How quickly we confused mythical and mystical.

How dumb we felt when we realized our error.

2 poems by Kris Coffield

Wondering After All

 

blackbird

minutes too late

to say no

 

grinning pumpkin

many monsters

no costumes

 

whistling snow

his lust filled eyes

my northern lights

 

budding lotus

trading wall shadows

for daydreams

 

starry night—

who will paint

life on Mars?

 

Modifications

 

When I’m attempting suicide,

I prefer eating corn.

 

Caramel sweet,

sturdy gene stock,

safe from insects

boring through its

roots, bleeding a

skim milky sap on

my craving fingers,

slightly poisonous,

perhaps, like buying

a chemical peel in

the Endotoxin River

Delta, often eaten

raw, perfect for

taco shells.

 

My final will and testament,

a kernel in my teeth.

The Scent In The Morning by B.T. Joy

In every city you’ve visited along the way  
a different scent lay down like pine-trees lay 
their heavy scent in rain. 
     You ask me why 
I’m obsessed by writing; 
and this is the reason: 
     I am a perfumer 
trying hard with all my life 
to capture one good scent.
     I have smelled the backstreets of Bangkok
and the ozone of the air round Salzburg. 
     I’ve smelled the butterscotch 
of the redwood glades that divot 
California with their shadow of green  
     and I’ve breathed the stillness 
burning coldly on the peaks of Africa.
     In an earlier life than this 
you told me the round of birth and rebirth 
would come to anything 
only when I wrote 
one good poem
     and I am still trying. 
     These are not poems 
but notations of the times 
my tuning-fork bones trembled and sang 
as water does when thunder’s near. 
In every city I’ve visited  
I sensed your name; subtle and subliminal 
like a waft of something 
known briefly in childhood
     In a world of such theatre smoke; 
in the wet-paint world of fragrances like these
who has the right to apathy? 
     It’s already too late 
for ingratitude. 
     The blessing 
has already arrived. 
     And God? 
She is the body you loved, shortly, on the road,  
that rolled out of bed 
hours before you woke. 
     It 
is the heat 
and, in the sheets, the scent she left 
like the hint of pine-trees we discern 
behind the immensity of rain.