Issue #47



Olivia Soule

has irrigation systems like religious symbols.

Ten-pointed stars within metal circles

fit the field and hydrate the kernels.

My great-great Aunt Christine used to

make her home here. Grandma Jane

remembers her story. I imagine her impatience

at a breakfast fire slow to kindle in 1896.

When the kerosene Christine poured caught fire

and exploded, both she and her son

Vincent burned, along with his new shoes-

it was the first day of school and all.

The small town we pass through to get to

the family farm has red, white and blue

buntings. Corn stalks form a yellow tassel floor,

a few feet up in the air. When the wind blows,

the soybeans look like a lake, leafy and undulating.

Olivia Soule has an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a B.A. in English and Italian from UCLA. She has published work in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal and Pudding Magazine and has also participated in poetry readings. Find her here.

Kissing girls and left-hand turns.

JSA Lowe

I didn't hear the story until years later:

Maine in winter,

semester break, a prep school party, some absent

parents' rec room. And a sofa on which she

and a girlfriend, having drunk enough, decided

making out might also be fun.

Locked in their kiss, neither

noticed when the baseball star approached them, face

thunderous. Until he picked her up and slammed her

into the wall. Dislocated her left shoulder. Had to be

pulled off her. Had never dated either one of them,

unlike me.

So now we're back in the valley of the shadow

of youth, driving around our college town in a rental, getting

lost, going to the pay-and-graze orchard and petting

zoo, spending too much for apple cider, when

I tease her about going six miles the long way round to avoid

a left turn at the blacktop crossroads. What is it,

I say unthinking, about you and left-hand turns. I

don’t know, nothing, she says, looking both ways

again. Well, unless you count that one time.

You know, the accident. That time S---- and I

were almost killed? And I broke

my collarbone? You know, when the truck hit us.

Yeah, I say. No. I didn't

know. And now I'd like to say that something

dawned on me, however slowly; that I sat there

dumbfounded by the afternoon light, thinking

Well that explains everything, or Why didn't you tell me,

but I don't think I did. I probably just watched her

lean forward to peer delicately over the steering

wheel while I drank musky cold

cider straight from the plastic

jug, stared out at the pruned blurs of twisted black

trunks, and thought about pretty much nothing.

JSA Lowe's poems have appeared most recently in DIAGRAM, GASHER, Hobart, Salt Hill Journal, Superstition Review, Third Coast, and Versal, as well as previously in AGNI, Black Warrior Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Harvard Review, and Salamander. Her chapbooks DOE and Cherry-emily were published by Particle Series Books and Dancing Girl Press. She has a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston, where she currently teaches. She is the founder of Samsara Press, and she lives on Galveston Island. Find her at

Corps de Ballet

Elizabeth Galoozis

The year I turned eleven,

Miss April pulled me aside

after class. I had to work harder,

she whispered, to stand straight-backed at the barre

because I was starting to get “boobies.”

My whole body burned.

I’d begged to study,

like my friends,

at the children’s program

at the university,

with pianists and regulation tights.

Not this two-room studio off the state road

where you could also take gymnastics and tap,

and whatever it was called

to step-ball-change to “Rhythm is a Dancer”

in neon fingerless gloves,

and where teachers

used playground words.

The auditions for the program’s Nutcracker

were open – they didn’t have the numbers;

they had to let me.

I was allowed

to understudy as one of twelve preteen soldiers

dance-fighting kindergarten mice.

At last,

standing in first position

in the well-lit rehearsal studio,

I could see from every angle

the way my body disrupted

the other uniform bodies

in uniform motion.

Form off, clothes wrong, hair

in my unwashed armpits,

a swarthy interloper

in my first and final year.

The only night I made it on stage,

the other soldiers

had to tell me not to talk:

This was no recital,

but performance.

Elizabeth Galoozis’s poems have appeared in Sundog Lit, RHINO Poetry, Mantis, Not Very Quiet, and Sinister Wisdom, among others. She works as a librarian and lives in southern California with her wife Michelle, cat Stella, and too many fruit trees. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram and at her website: