"The hairs on my neck salute you still"
Daisy Chain 

Don't worry, I am home
Your return, forever warm
In my mind is your sanctuary
I hold you there
I can love you there
Remember your playful hair
Long to be under your skin
To taste the air you're breathing in
In this place, in this space
I can still kiss every inch of your face
Watch the moon shadow pace
With time slowing to an eternal chase
Oh how I love it here
The hairs on my neck salute you still
Succumbing to your every will.
This world defies all that is known
As I die and come to life, both at once.
As I drown like a feather
And sink like a stone
I remember feeling that once.
This land of me and you
Soon become a land completely new
Such a belonging, indescribable in every way
How I wish I could stay
How I wish it wasn't a dream
But that's all you'll ever be
My enigma, my ghost
my memory.

For I am the King!
The power and the glory!
And I eat Babies!

"salute the Summer Solstice"
Sonya Ki Tomlinson 

Day lilies and dragonflies
in Arkansas June
boy do I need a sombrero!
not a cloud in the sky
and I pray for a genteel breeze
to cool my brow
The crepe myrtle has
crept its way into
my heart
From dawn to dusk
She stands unscathed
shocking pink candelabrum
boisterous laughter of
school children on vacation and
belly flops in chlorine blue green pools
brings to mind a delightful dip
in a secluded, sylvan
mountain stream
where I can with palms folded
Love brimming
salute the Summer Solstice

"and salute."
Barton D Smock 


one ground to another runs itself rock and rock in the unclosed pebbles of dirt open to aching at the wire your father fixes for free in the canceled warning of crow made gauze for blacktops poured not wholly over a woman-

she a belt buckle drunk pocked full the called back joy of a pop gun.


over glass I go with my milk bottle feet to church after church past mirrors sick and doctored.


needs hisself a dog he does the speechless boy drawn mother to his own mute breast -

so he clicks the roach of his tongue

makes a hole with the hole in his sock

makes tunnel sounds.


my aunt’s ear like a deformed thumb.
my aunt dreaming she says for two.
my aunt changing her mind, her mind
a mid-bread knife.


soldiers able to turn in the throat a chicken bone straight.


for muscles: jaw down nightly the door of a stove,

jaw it up,

and salute.


tiny cups cured with sugar cubes and stilled with steam taken

from a skinned
pig, a train

of blackest


about ladders and war, about the devil-

a man stands on his hands in three feet of water. about god-

marco. marco.


the blue dolls and the gray dolls and the care with which the chosen choose cloth and after
all of it

some meat colored cloth.


water knows your lips, and mine; takes our mouths

on faith.


top teeth on the skin of an apple. top teeth mine. a test of joy, joy’s age. mama stepping on a scale holding my brother. mama putting him down, cocking her head, picking him up. asking for a towel. asking nicely be a good brother. the towel, hot from bread, sick with ants. heavy my mouth with sorry sorry. my slapped mouth, my loved love. mama’s hands back from hell. dish soap mama hands

uncut by the hair long had by my head.

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