Confession – Kortney Y. Watkins

poems

Confession

There’s a party here to witness all my sin.
It was not enough that there be just one; The Son
I feel most guilty about and it freezes my blood to ice,
unworthy and judged by others, yet not him.  How nice
to feel secure and safe and loved, kissed nose to nose
like Eskimos do to defrost the chilling snow cone,
flavored by the selfishness of me’s and my’s and I
Then it must be done.  To my love I’ve wronged, I confess.

Kortney Y. Watkins is a poet, short-story writer, novelist, and educator.  She lives for love, waits on the moon, and hopes for the sake of humanity; every slash of a pen and stroke of a key is dedicated to exploring those things often done, less considered.  She resides in the Atlanta metropolitan area amongst loving kin and friends.

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Weeds – Tammy Daniel

poems
Weeds
 
She doesn’t know why she thinks
of it now—his unexpected phone call,
the hesitant static of goodbye.
 
As if it were yesterday,
she recalls that first night alone,
the way the bed grew weeds—
gallant soldiers, spear thistle,
black medick—
 
how, for days, she tossed…
turned…tossed…
lost beneath a milky canopy
of dandelion clouds, her whys
a trowel of tears sifting fog
low in a valley of dead-nettle.
 
Pervasive, she whispers,
as I watch her eyelids, thin
as time, drift against the wilt
of memory, but
 
suddenly, clear as a gleaned
field, she says, For a while,
didn’t think I’d last another day,
then talks of God and faith;
how His ways are often peculiar
as a compassionate enemy,
 
even that creeping vine,
a sign—three leaves.
Let it be.

 

Tammy Daniel was selected as one of the New Voices of 2015 by The Writers Place in Kansas City, Mo. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Red River Review, The Ekphrastic ReviewTouch: The Journal of Healing, Rusty Truck, and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

2 Poems – Nikita Gill

poems

The Passion Grove

There is still dirt under my fingernails
from the burying of passions in groves
made of ashes. Scorched earth is meant
to grow better fruit trees after.
No one expected the weeds.

Gasoline Girls

Gasoline girls-
barehearted brazen
but bounded bones,
soft soiled sinews
disappoint death

Nikita Gill is a cat mama and a chocolate lover. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, Literary Orphans, Agave Magazine, Gravel Magazine and elsewhere.

It Stays with You – M. Stone

poems

It Stays with You

I.

My mouth houses too many tenants—
overcrowded incisors and molars
yielding no space for canines.

The pediatric dentist recommends
a second surgery. I inhale grape-scented
gas from a rubber mask, am transported
to a twilight state. Nitrous oxide leaves me
limp and mute, swallowing dread.

I know from the time before
I will still feel the needle stab
in the roof of my mouth,
the curve where my jaws connect.

Hours are minutes, seconds are hours.
I regain use of my limbs. My cheeks packed
with bloody gauze, I carry a triple offering
for the Tooth Fairy in a plastic vial.

II.

Today in the dentist chair, I grow clammy
and wan, trembling—struck by sudden flu.

He guides a syringe toward my mouth.
No gas to subdue me now. My hand strikes,
snake-fast, connects with his arm. He pauses,
says, “It stays with you, doesn’t it?”

I nod, reply between shallow breaths:
“Let’s try it without, this time.”

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes fiction and poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.

Dying Dahlia Review: Summer 2017

flash fiction, poems

It’s finally here! We are so happy to present the Summer 2017 edition of Dying Dahlia Review!  We are featuring some amazing flash fiction and poetry by some awesome women writers!  And check out that beautiful cover art by Ashley Parker Owens!  Make sure to snag yourself a copy today! Follow the links below to purchase the ebook at your retailer of choice.

DDRsummer2017

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple iBooks (Search for “Dying Dahlia Review”)

 

This Shit is Ripe – Elisabeth Horan

poems

This Shit is Ripe

Ready to play tag with poems in the night?
Open up I’ve got something nice

Some part of me lay dormant
it might have been my smile
it took a while to find it’s teeth, lost in the back of that van
where we met over seafood and smack and weed
you laid me down on a dirty sheet

I hid that away for so many days wasn’t gonna let it play out –
No neediness.

Just propped on a shelf, fine wine or a puppet.
I’m Bonnie you’re Clyde – made out like a bandit.

Cixous, what she do – only got me confused.
But damn, she was right on a hot summer night –
there’s steam coming out my ears
No pants can hold me –
I’ma bad fire.
I’ma​ cauldron.

Go ahead, take a sip – what I be brewing is good for your bones –
what I be needing, I left alone.
Watch out for me, Medusa’s back, I guess she gets the last laugh.

Ain’t no knockoff, Baby. This shit is ripe.
And I’m just started yelling.

Elisabeth Horan is a stay at home mom in Vermont, caring for her two young boys, feeding the animals and writing her heart out. Her poetry has appeared in The Feminist Wire, The Fox Poetry Box and Walking is Still Honest Press. She was recently featured at Anti-Heroin Chic and Swimming With Elephants. Meet her at http://ejfhoran.weebly.com/ and @ehoranpoet on twitter

The Edge of Middle Age – Kathryn Knudson

poems

The Edge of Middle Age

In the cul-de-sac culture
snippets of vulnerability
mar the illusion of harmony

I’ve always preferred to leave
the snags in my sweaters

I’m not letting invisibility
lock me into listlessness
Someone has to tell the stories

Kathryn Knudson’s short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured in a 2017 podcast of Pushcart nominations. She works at a utility, writing poetry and fiction on her lunch hour, and lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their sheep dog.

2 Poems – Deborah Chava Singer

poems

Grotesque

well, isn’t this grotesque
me crying
and your mouth all wet

 

Woman, Fractured

a woman, broken
fractures fused
if not stronger
more complicated
than before

Deborah Chava Singer is a product of San Diego, California, the Mesa College Theatre Company, Queer Players, and other “stuff.”  She currently resides in Washington state.  Recently her writing has appeared in The Human Touch, MUSE, Jonathan, Cirque, Chaffin, Heart & Mind Zine, Snapdragon, and Twisted Vine. Her website is www.latenightawake.com.

For Unwanted Truths – Kara Dorris

poems

For Unwanted Truths

Just to let you know, my brother says, “tattoo”
in Samoan means open wound, 

life is a regression to the mean, the clear pocket of air
in an ice cube that heat releases

Just to let you know, my lover says, when fire ripples
so violently wood splits from itself,

experts call it “alligatoring”
Just to let you know, I say, I like to mirror fire

Just to let you know, my mother says, car, star,
stonepit—we are all made of carbon,

we end the way we came
Just to let you know, my grandmother says, it’s time

to travel to that foreign country,
to be carried by Saint Menas across the flooded river

Just to let you know, I say, “have a nice journey”
doesn’t mean “may you walk in beauty”

& “may you rest in peace” really means “may your ghost
not haunt the living

Kara Dorris earned a PhD in literature and poetry at the University of North Texas where she teaches writing. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Tusculum Review, Harpur Palate, Cutbank, Tinderbox, The Tulane Review, and Crazyhorse, among others literary journals, as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Her stories have appeared in Wordgathering and the anthology The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016).  She has published two chapbooks: Elective Affinities (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) and Night Ride Home (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She is also the editor of Lingerpost, an online poetry journal.