I Ask Forgiveness – Devon Balwit Featuring Art by Laura Page

Winter Shirt
“Winter Shirt” by Laura Page

I Ask Forgiveness

My grandmother resurrects
          in flapping laundry, sheets

snapped to rectangles, then precisely
          folded. Her whites

a science of starch and bleach,
          she believed

in the household arts as daily practice,
          her love,

the perfect meeting of corners.
          Wherever she is now,

she knows I am apostate,
          all loads grey and hung

or shelved, once dry, still wrinkled.
          Bad as I am

at the task, I’m the best
          of my house.

At least for me, winter shirts open
          into caesura.

(after Laura Page “Winter Shirt”)

Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and two collections out or forthcoming. Her individual poems can be found here as well as in Cordite, The Ekphrastic Review, Poets Reading the News, Posit, and more.

Laura Page is a poet and artist from the Pacific Northwest. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Crab Creek Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal. The Rumpus, TINGE, and others. Her chapbook, epithalamium, was named the winner of Sundress Publications’ 2017 chapbook contest and is now available as an ebook. Her paintings have been featured recently in A-Minor Magazine, Long Exposure, and The Indianapolis Review.

Cartouche (for Julia) – Joan Glass

Cartouche (for Julia)

When you died,
mom insisted we remove
every photo from the walls.
Not just the ones with you in them,
but also of me and my children.
And your children.

Next, she invited friends
to take your belongings:
a new set of dishes, your perfume,
a book you inscribed with your name
in high school, the little “a”
at the end of “Julia,”
still tender and intact.

Ancient Egyptians believed
that to cross over into the Land of Two Fields,
your heart must be light as a feather,
and your name cast onto stone,
for this means you were loved.
I practice inscribing your name,
leaving it anywhere
that feels permanent.
I press your handwriting
into papyrus wings.

Mom motions toward me
with outstretched hands,
offering up a handful of your jewelry,
as if to say, here take these
before they break
or are stolen from us.
Hold them in your hands.
Pretend that something,
anything,
other than her absence,
can endure.

Joan Glass‘s poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, Rise Up Review, Vagabond City Lit, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, Literary Mama, Bone Parade, Easy Street, and Right Hand Pointing, among others.  Her poem “Bathing Scene” was featured on the Saturday Poetry Series: Poetry as it Ought to Be.  She lives in Milford, Connecticut.
 

The Edge of Middle Age – Kathryn Knudson

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.

For Unwanted Truths – Kara Dorris

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.

Two Liner Contest

Our birthday is coming up on February 22! (We much prefer birthday rather than “anniversary”.) And we want to celebrate with a little contest! Send us your two line story/poem and win a copy of the Dying Dahlia Review: Winter 2017 ebook.

Rules? There are none. Just send us your very best two lines. We’ll choose the best three and feature them in our upcoming Summer 2017 ebook.

Winners will be announced on (you guessed it) February 22nd. No time to lose! Send us your two line poem/story to DyingDahliaReview@gmail.com or simply #DyingDahlia on Facebook or Twitter. 

Happy Writing!