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  volume 1. issue two  
A collection of poetry
by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

from Mongolian Art Exhibit

I turn a corner, stunned now by faces / on the wall—masks of deities, shamans, / in papier-mâché, carved wood, stuffed skin. / Black brows pull down over glaring eyes, / red mouths stretch in snarls or gentle smiles. (more...)
Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Isabelle Ghaneh
Todd Heldt
Pamela Miller
Joan Dy
Lina ramona Vitkauskas
Michelle Bitting
Arthur Joyce
Adrienne Lewis
Anne Durant
Kathryn Ugoretz
Cheryl Stiles
Ellaraine Lockie
Arlene Ang
Ellen Wade Beals
JeFF Stumpo
Lita Sorensen
Andrena Zawinski
Rebecca Clark
Jim Coppoc
Carly Sachs
Siri Steiner
Theodore Worozbyt
Hal Ackerman
Gretchen Skillman
Shawn Sargent
Rebecca Harper
Concetta Ceriello
Patrick Tucker
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by Michelle Bitting

The AIDS report from Malawi, attached photo,
shakes off its skinny folder.
Children huddled in a small room,
skin the color of turned Earth after it rains.
A crop of gazing eyes, popped wide
like an insomniac, the spirit already ghosting.
Their parents are dead
from the illness that will take them,
before another birthday.
Only, there’s nothing to celebrate,
no medicine, no cake—
sugared tea and half a cup of maize
every other day, so who’s counting?
Right now, there’s a chicken stuffed with cornbread
hawking grease across my oven,
some fat red onions drenched in Balsamic,
waffles for the kids I’ll drown in syrup
the way they like them.
And later, when my husband pulls me in,
cups two buttered lips around a cluster of breast,
slides his salty palm over the meat of my thighs,
I’ll let him take what he wants,
if that’s all I can do,
in this house, this night—
be damn certain no one goes hungry.

Michelle Bitting has work forthcoming or published in Glimmer Train, Swink, Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Gargoyle, Pearl, Rattle, Slipstream, Dogwood, Phoebe, and others. She was a finalist in the 2003 Writers At Work Fellowship Competition, and Honorable Mention in the Art In The Air/Inventing The Invisible Contest. Her poem “Trees” won first place in the April 2003 Glimmer Train Poetry Open. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Phil Abrams, an actor. They have two children, Elijah and Vera Rose.
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