Issue #34

Editor’s note: to maintain the integrity of the poet’s intended formatting, Cara Waterfall’s poem appears as an image.

Ottawa-born and Costa Rica-based, Cara’s work has been featured in Best Canadian Poetry, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Ekphrastic Review, The Maynard and more. Cara won Room’s 2018 Short Forms contest, second place in Frontier Poetry’s 2018 Award for New Poets. In 2019, she was a finalist for Radar Poetry’s The Coniston Prize and shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. In 2020, she won the Editors' Prize for PULPLit’s The Magpie Award for Poetry and Room's Poetry Contest. She has a diploma in Poetry & Lyric Discourse from The Writer’s Studio at SFU.

As the Earth Regards the Anthropocene

Lara Dolphin

All our stuff (the concrete the asphalt the gravel the plastic) outweighs every living thing on the planet from the Pando

aspens to the pygmy possum-- creation waits for us and while it’s easy

to favor intentions over actions there’s no time for gestures long-delayed like a greeting card lost in the mail or a flight stuck on the tarmac-- it’s almost lunch and I’m at the donation center chatting with Brad as he helps unload a trunk full of gently-used clothes books and toys-- he’s told me that he’s five months sober he won’t get the kids for the holiday I tell him about my job the long hours the low pay my car that won’t stay fixed so there we stand among the stuffed animals and kitchen appliances feeling

the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Lara Dolphin is a recovering attorney, novice nurse, and full-time mother of four amazing kids; she is exhausted and elated most of the time. You can find more of her work here and here.

The Lifespan of Immortal Love

Alison Miller

(1998) Pink-beige stairs like salmon, like Spam

My back blushing with rug burn

Your lawn overgrown and wet in the morning

(2001) In the photographs I still have:

A gingham nightgown, unbrushed hair

A vibrator shaped like a chili pepper

An Easter parade

In the box that I keep:

The two cards you sent when we were trying

Poorly preserved flowers

(2011) You, larger, your hair cut short

Me, pregnant and cleverly manicured

purposely running into you while shopping

for Christmas socks for my husband

The same hug, only

longer. The same laugh

(2015) Your unabashed erection

the one time you purposefully ran into me

It’s hard for me to see you, you say

You always told me we could never be friends

A few lunches, a few beers, a few kisses

nipping at the heels of my divorce

A flood, a flood,

a flood

(2020) The tattoo I got for you struggles

to keep its orbit around my finger

A bruise on my hip looks like Jupiter

I keep leaving. You keep walking


Alison Miller is a writer and sex educator whose poetry has been published in various literary magazines including Hobart Pulp, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Bareback Magazine. The owner of sex positive adult boutiques in Richmond, Virginia, she currently resides in San Diego. She is the editor-in-chief of Throats to the Sky Magazine. Find her here and here.