Street Light Press

Street Light Press is looking for poetry that moves us. We don’t care for elaborate use of language--give us your real, your raw, and your intimate. The work that you write and hide away because it feels too fragile to share with the rest of the world, that’s what we want.

31

By Kate Lohnes

atop our dublin apartment a crash of blackbirds 

curdled my body cuts

sharp lines in shadowed turf

on roof bedded you sprawl yourself

glowing there in sun’s soft syrup

each sprouted follicle lit and glossy

 

were there any love

you might have felt it then

i recall only erosion on the banks

of our anatomy    how i let myself open

like canyon

split to wounds of earth shifting

those shared breaths

steaming off me hot

as i paw fake grasslocks till sky

snaps in wineblack fury

above us

 

like runaway kite or fighter jet hurling

or snake

slick tongue wet with promise

begging of me only ever

consume

 

some moments are too viscous

to condense further:

i took one bite of sweetflesh

wet chin ever coiling stream

 

i formed a river of myself  

Kate Lohnes is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Philosophy and Creative Writing. She spent time reading for The Iowa Review and has been published by the Iowa Chapbook Prize [creative work] and Encyclopaedia Britannica [academic work]. 

The Funeral

By Linda Rhinehart

there is a cold breeze in this place
the touch of the door handle under my finger-
tips is ice steel and silver
eons of loneliness inscribed in one touch
in the hours before wakefulness

the next day is warm but not
enough to dispel the breeze’s whispering
among the garish flowers
magenta neon and solemn geraniums
that line the polished funeral car

I try to shrink and hide from the eyes
of the breeze and from its silent laughter
among the cars cyclists and funeral-goers 
but in the silence it recognizes me
with its unblinking never-sleeping eye 

Linda Rhinehart is a poet, writer and translator who has been writing for almost three years. She first began writing when she was accidentally invited to a poetry festival and became inspired. Over the course of her life she has lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. She holds an MA in Translation and another MA in English Literature. In her spare time she enjoys playing piano and going on short hikes.

November 15, 2019

Breakfast

By Rachael Mayer

I remember breakfast. 
September, 1939. 
The kitchen is more like a free floating box 
than a room in a framed-out house, 
a box suspended in ether
now that
two out of three of us are dead.
Breakfast, 
and there's no relief
from an interrogating sun. The light 
in the kitchen is so white 
the edges of the room will singe—my 
grandmother’s spine is so straight
she is like a lamppost 
though her arms
and hands are busy, her elbows sharp–
she will be like this all her life, 
tall and sinewy—
she has lots to say
though her back is turned.
My mother is looking at her back.
I see her round pale face, and her wintry 
blue eyes—she is squinting,
somewhat frozen in minutes.
Her snowy curls are so sweet, so soft
like actual cotton flower—they camouflage 
her anguish, her lost father,
abandonment in many episodes is preordained.
You can see how young she is
by the dimples in her hands. 
There is a generous serving
of cruelty with her porridge
though it is of the 
for your own good variety.
Half of me was there, a follicle.

Rachael Mayer’s poetry has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Hiram Poetry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Hudson Valley Echoes, The Avatar Review, Poetry Quarterly, Typishly and is forthcoming in Mothers Always Write. Ms. Mayer lives with her family in Montclair, New Jersey.