The Last Thing I Remember...

A Music Major:
 
Walks the green mile
hears timbre like fingers on a chalkboard.
We don’t hate each other
yet

The ivory accuses me
objecting when I command staccato
Elephants pound when I need legato

In the courtroom
high notes bail and
the Jury condemns us

---A McDevitt  

Expecting

Pain found me way too soon

like childbirth, a fat man standing on me
pressuring my back
a burning knife contracting my spine
surprising as lightning.
 
My hope, born in dreams,
long,    languid,    peaceful,
like licorice and lollipops
lavender and lilac…
Downy, induce this bliss.

---L Burton II
Championship Distraction
 
My hotdog, huddled with toppings,
golden mustard like the Arizona sun and onions
higher than the Rockies,
tackles my shirt, skids relish like the turf
as a fumble of red numbers my chest.
The stumble seems insignificant
until my friends recount the game-winning play.
 
As I sit in my Charger, resentment continues
turning the key and my stomach…
 
---A Burton
In Surgery

Before complete submersion in a chlorinated sleep
a soft, slow, rhythmic beep dulls upon a watery entry.
Underwater yet breathing…
with powerful, sleek body movements,
diving into laughing gas, a sparkling oasis.

---R Lopp
Anxiety

Anxiety is best set on a plate at a fine dine restaurant

   like a date with Freddy Krueger
   and his twenty-four dollar steak
   as a life-threatening finger tenderly slices.
 
   Like this Superbowl quarterback
   whose jersey bled in blue and white
   had his plan to win intercepted.
 
Or as the schedule for this college student
   features no breaks
   hours of  studying
   and the instructor from Hell.
 
---I Gallegos
Un-expectancy
 
Un-expectancy is found where least expected:
   Like when two jets
   come to terms with two towers
   on a September day
   and people volunteer to jump out of windows
 
   Or perhaps when a man of color
   takes the presidential office
   and says “Yes We Can,”
   not thinking about why we can’t
 
   And especially the time
   I strode into English Comp II
   only to inherit papers full of red ink
   that would eventually perfect the student.

--- B Finerty
Waiting Room

I was in a boat until the waves tossed, turned
and threw me out of bed.  The Exit sign, a lighthouse
leads me past other wave-tossed sailors
their gaze sends me overboard, again, back into the sea.
 
I am no sailor, no comrade, no island
since not even the stranded come to share in my sand.

---S Iiams
Field of Battle

I charge so quickly past my pawns
to the enemy knight approaching.
My rooks are jammed.  When I decide to stand,
stopping him was the only thing, for Queen.
I hear a crunch, fall to the board--
cold and hard; it is checkmate.
The King is down,
O my knee
my knee.

---J Harrison

First Impressions
 
I flip the switch, and close the door
flush the toilet not thinking.
I start to turn on the shower.
I hear a scream.
A silhouette in a fogged mirror,
introductions are in order.
 
--S Wilkening
An Outdoorsman’s Dream

Two clicks north of Newfound Gap
   where bears strut through fog
   birds trill and breezes scrunch leaves
   Spring rains charge waterfalls
   red spruce clothes the Smokies and
   Dwarf Iris mature in dirt beneath your feet

---Q Mitchell
Kendal
 
I inhale her innocence,
overwhelmed by the whisper of baby-soft hair.
A silent vow resonates in my heart,
reverberates in my actions,
returning to echo in her delicate ears.

---J Barton
Milk
She, slightly wiser, chose the thin.
He, in challenge, chose the thick.
Neither won.
White and chunky sours.

---B Belcher
Waking to a Nightmare
 
I wake on the floorboard
in the stench of gasoline
shards of glass burrowed into my hand
darkness covers and panic and blood
like a thick blanket
offering no comfort

If only, we’d been tucked in correctly.

---O Fritchey
The Hawk and the Mouse

English Composition created the Hawk,
who swoops in on a mouse full of confidence,
and leaves it in pieces looking for rescue.
 
The joker tries to revise the mouse,
but he can only do so much. The mouse makes the grade,
and soon another will be served.

---P Miller
 
Contest of Wills
 
Like the clash of two ram horns,
my skull is broken.
The intruder charges,
bellows me to helplessness.
Strength seeps from an open hole in deep red.
Face-first in hard uninviting earth,
this intersection deflects
my shot into the distance,
caught by something I didn’t see.
 
--- R Whaley
Escaping the Subconscious

Surrounded by the suffocating smell of hot bodies,
I brave the slave market,
an object, waiting my turn to be owned.
I want escape,
to flee in front of a wild crowd
    that yells my name,
    that calls me to return.
Even my family joins.

--- R Evans
Living is Easy

In line at Cat Snack
with my iPod and hunger
I tap my jeans to each beat of
"Strawberry Fields Forever,"
a real nowhere man.

---J Dean
Child Hero

A child stands on the sofa and sees the edge
turn into a building.  The carpet hardens
into a concrete slab crawling with yellow cars. 
Lifting his arm, he sprays web into the New York air
 and swings down to save a redhead.  As she leans in
to give the kiss, the boy crushes the carpet
and picks up only teeth.

---J J Faseler
Like Her
 
Shelbey turns off her computer;
so, I am safe to shut mine down.
But we missed an assignment
and my Apple wanes during reboot.
I write like crazy trying to catch up
and she actually has the ginger to tell me
I spelled a word wrong.
 
I think I still like her.
 
---C Edwards