Plain China

On Self-Immolation

Susannah Sharpless · Princeton University

she called in from the highlands refused a secret silence her words wildfire against poppy and stone:

Lifted the Ark High Above the Arth

Paris Gravley · Oberlin College

Voweled suspension above bluing eyes, he slips along a rope, taut between the two poles holding the billowing tent below.

Split Linen

Luke Patterson · University of Houston · Poetry Prize Winner

The rip in my sheet grew until it stretched the length of the bed; its edges curled back, spreading in the middle to reveal stained mattress.

Between Two Cars

Vera Carothers · Brown University

My mom with her nightly TV vigil and my dad with his artisanal bowls meet once in a railway car

Miriam's Song

Bailey Spencer · Boston College

Named bitter, I reach for sycamore, thirst for fig sugar and honey wine

Three Months Sober

Charles McCory · The University of Mississippi

Today the protection of this plastic chip I took at the meeting with a hug and a God bless from— well I shouldn’t say her name— who’s been sober longer than I’ve been breathing and keeps coming back expires.

Lunar Sonnet

Canese Jarboe · Pittsburg State University

There will only be one this month, bloated and pale like leftover rib bones on the plate after you ate the half-rack at Lucky Luke’s.

monkeys consecrated to the moon

Kate Powell · Bennington College

in the tops of trees they peeled long straws and pushed them needlewise through the opal jelly of cyprian wedding night

of women and gods (of learning how to pray)

Lily Jamaludin · Grinell College

The first verse I memorize I repeat over and over in my head for days My tongue tripping over the letters and sounds until they become mine.

Keeping House

Madeline Thieringer · College of Charleston

Calendula, beeswax, jingle shells. The tinge of harmonica swells that find the blues, over-watered geranium leaves.

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