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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 73 — Teri Ellen Cross Davis, E. Laura Golberg

Teri Ellen Cross Davis


The books say milk letdown

feels like pins and needles.

But when pumping at work,

You feel lungs constricting

under the crush of muddy water.

You’ll never be this essential again.

So remember this smothering need now:

the engorged breasts, the suction, the release.

Know the ache contorting itself into

milk streams that sail, spray and sputter

comes from somewhere deeper than

maternal glands puffed with pride and duty.

Once you are used this way, there is no going

back, flat belly, stretch-marked less skin.

She has come now, broken you in two-

and you can’t swim away from her.

This is motherhood, you must do.

You must stay.

You must drown.

Copyright © 2015 by Teri Cross Davis.

Family Bed

Her first tumult, roundhouse, flip

little spark of flutter, little slip

when the universe tumbled thru me

I plodded, heavy with important our

path forward. Now she curls to me

the little c to the S curve my breast,

my nipple a breath away from her

needy lips. You say we must break her

of sleeping with mommy with daddy

you say two nights of no rest, of offering myself

is two nights too much— but she beckons

and when have I not heeded her call?

This love radiates, burns brighter with each

diminished night, I cannot relinquish her need.

How tired and lovely it is to fill.

Copyright © 2015 by Teri Cross Davis.


Teri Cross Davis holds a MFA in Poetry and is a Cave Canem fellow. She’s attended Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her poems have been published in anthologies, online, and in journals. She resides in Silver Spring, MD with her husband and two children.

E. Laura Golberg


I find a wallet on the sidewalk, still warm

Whoever dropped it must be close.

I look around, see

two young women crossing the road,

talking deeply with nods and gestures.

“Excuse me,” I cry.

They don’t hear me over traffic,

over their listening to each other.

I shout again. They look back.

“Is this your wallet?”

The one nearest me looks blank,

the other pats her pocket,

pats where the warmth of her thigh

spoke to the wallet

which then spoke to me.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.


for Jack Gilbert

Fig leaves die and shrink, gnarl.

They fall on the vinca under the trees.

One good rain and the leaves form

a fire blanket, smothering

the vinca. It snuffs out green

memories—no more

promise of purple flowers.

And with you, Jack, we celebrate

your moment in the sun

before the flat mat descended,

how you showed us that Icarus’ fall

didn’t diminish his flight.

We relish the flowers,

though they won’t bloom again.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.


I choose the wood, ash for fair squares,

beech for dark, run my fingers

over the raw edges as I might assess

a new lover. I smell the first fresh cut,

count the rings; the sap that rose

for all those years. Then plane—

feel the texture on my hand

like the smoothness of a warm neck.

I measure, cut cautiously, sand the edges,

fit the blocks together, glue precisely

and let dry. I sand the surface,

apply the lacquer, coat by coat,

as if dressing a lover for cold.

When the gloss dries, I line up the chess men,

make the first move, carefully.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.


E. Laura Golberg's poetry has appeared in the Birmingham Poetry Review, RHINO, Pebble Lake Review, and Delmarva Review among other places, and forthcoming in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Free State Review and Northern Virginia Review. She won first place in Poetry in the DC Commission on the Arts Competition.

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