Friday, March 30, 2012

The Last Exotic Petting Zoo

by Jessica Tyner

Jessica Tyner is originally from Oregon, USA, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer and editor for ten years.Currently, she is a copy writer for Word Jones, a travel writer with Mucha Costa Rica, a writer for TripFab, a copy editor at the London-based Flaneur Arts Journal, and a contributing editor at New York’s Thalo Magazine. She has recently published short fiction in India’s Out of Print Magazine, and poetry in Slow Trains Literary Journal, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal.  She lives in San José, Costa Rica.

In the dripping cold of an Oregon January,
miasma of wet dog clung to us like a
discarded lover. You, sick
with a cough and a heavy head tucked
in the pages of a book. I drove
like hell down the coastal
back roads. No one holds tigers
and lions in the winter
but us.
The wanton mud swallowed our shoes,
sucked our feet in searching gulps
while the animals watched.
You held her,
Bristled paws like a kiwano,
as I cradled the bottle of milk
into her frantic mouth knowing you’ll never
think me as magnificent as you
do right now.
I gifted you a tiger cub, her claws etching
delicate scars into your forearms,
while the rain scoured us to the bone.

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Dreams

by R. Welch

for Judy


The storm had been raging for two days. A neighbor had taken Annie and the girls out during a lull in the previous day's deluge and they had returned with tales of fallen trees, flooded roads and boats ripped from their moorings, one of which had been deposited in the middle of Shore Drive, blocking traffic in all directions. "Its like a battle..."Annie said, drifting off mid sentence. "It's a battle...a war..." She faltered again.

"Are you trying to say its like a war zone?" Adam asked, and Annie nodded, visibly relieved as her fingers touched the row of stitches over her left ear.

The remnants of a Nor'easter was battering the north shore of Massachusetts, with hurricane force winds, astronomically high tides and horizontal rain, streaking across the glass as Adam watched from their upstairs bedroom window. Despite the weatherman's assurances that the stalled storm system was finally moving out to sea, the winds appeared to be escalating again, bringing back the torrential rains. Annie and the girls remained huddled in the bed behind him where they'd all watched the non stop storm coverage until the electricity had cut off a few hours before, abandoning them to the roaring dark. The street below was a paved river that gushed against the oak tree at the end of the driveway where its roots had heaved the sidewalk. From the bedroom dormer, it looked like the corner of lawn nearest the oak had washed away. It was hard to tell.