TWO POEMS – Daniel Bennett

We toured the backstreets of the old town,
inside the bright cinema of midday sun.
In the plaza, edgy restaurateurs   

offered squid ink and pickled meat,
and the households of grand families
competed in a war of bougainvillea. 

TWO POEMS – Seán Kennedy

A pipe at the edge of Kilcock’s new estate
pushes translucent waste into the canal;
the colourless essence of the town’s inhabitants
perhaps, infused with aloe vera
as most things are these days;

Foxglove – Kathryn Tann

You caught me, Foxglove, with your upright colour. You turned me from the river thinking I had been alone. I liked your pale and speckled belly, and the tiny fragile hairs guarding your mouth.

My Response – Lucy Zhang

In response to your suicide letter, I write that I now order a bowl of vegetable ramen from the local Izakaya whose waitlist fills up twenty minutes before its five pm opening.

ONE POEM – Keli Foster

I swam in the Gulf of Thailand with you.
I held you, small as a kumquat, in my own dark, small sea.

ONE POEM – Teodora Lalova

I often think of telling you
There is something wrong with time here.
I’m not sure whether I age faster or, quite the contrary –
Once we’re introduced again, I’ll be annoying in my youth.

TWO POEMS – James Carroll

She’s pulling up weeds from the flowerbed
And then starts feeling one tug back,
Wrapping her water grip and dragging her
Through the claggy earth.

TWO POEMS – Niamh Gallagher

I look at my bright and blotchy cheeks in the mirror with blurry-eyed fascination, but not for too long because I have crying to do.