The Postcard Poetry Contest

Issue One

Expecting

I. When she was pregnant with our son, my wife, Rebecca, and I watched a lot of documentaries. About babies. Learned how far we’ve come, medically speaking. More so how far we haven’t. Unnecessary inductions, impatient doctors pressuring women into C-sections because...

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The Shape of Another Life

We tell the children not to look up, expecting a miracle. During dismissal, a coworker asks if the moon is supposed to affect her like this— to change the way she sleeps with her husband and she expects me to have the answers, like I keep them in my palms. The moon...

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Black Bittern

Always reacted bad to happy—crushed it when I could like a gimpy bird squirming under my work boot— at two I chucked a metal Tonka truck into the TV to shut my sister's singing to Big Bird on Sesame Street—drove fists into the cake my mom made for my birthday—a tiny...

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MEEK BLACK WOMAN (as told by an art historian)

Slide 1 (2014) A MEEK BLACK WOMAN sits in front of the camera, speaking to the audience. Nose ring and disheveled hair adorn the MEEK BLACK WOMAN’s face and morning daylight is cast from the right side of the frame. The MEEK BLACK WOMAN’s “obsessional art emerged as...

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Reading Morgan Parker in the Ninety Degrees

I would have let you borrow my Morgan but I am moving down south at the end of the month   for economic reasons and to help a broken heart. My rent will be low so I should buy you ten Morgans   and raise you a Beyonce in the Gaga. August nights in New York City are...

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Twisting Allys

Spencer doesn’t know it yet, but Ally is about to spring a fake pregnancy on him. She’ll tell him in the morning, in their bedroom with the door wide open. She’ll lie about her symptoms and the doctors appointment that never happened at the clinic down the road. After...

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When the Smoke Clears

It is that kind of summer when all your fucks and waste and wading hang out and you are being swallowed half way and sucked on the rest you are returning spit and there is a quilt that don't get as dark as the black comforter your mama threw away there are shared jars...

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Places Satellites Go To Die

Just a few days short of our tenth wedding anniversary, my wife asks me if I’ve ever heard of the Poles Of Inaccessibility. Naturally, I lie and turn away. My attentions are elsewhere, what with the match being on and us the wrong side of a one nil score line, in a...

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Duckfeet

You can’t resist looking in the mirror. Like this time you might see something different. Maybe a lanky shortstop after a promising rookie season with a couple of four-hit days and an eleven-game hitting streak. Or a gigolo with a waxed mustache and a busty blonde...

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5 Role-Playing Scenarios

1.   You: mailman Me: an orange   Juice me with your mailman thighs Make me pulp citrus quench queen Mat the hair curling out of your short brown shorts with sticky juice Slosh me in your cupped hands Your cupped hands whose fingers could have ripped open so many...

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A Prime Family

MY SON, ELDEST (15 YEARS): Cringes at the smell of porcelain dolls and their paper skirts. Only speaks riddled phrases in the nighttime by my bedside. Is silent except for the parrotlike cawing. Is silent excluding rickety nails against blackboard walls. Makes his own...

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No New Negotations

I asked you to bring me chocolate chips You brought me a river Really, I said It’s healthier, you replied Slipping into the light as I drank the cool water   I shouldn’t ask you to bring me things   I’m trying on all these people I could become Like someone who drinks...

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Words for Snow

Nobody tells the truth about childhood. Not even me, though I will try. As a child I recall writing a story about First Nations, about a caribou hunt and a girl who pretended to be a boy so that she could hunt. These days that would be considered cultural...

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Ash

I didn't mean to cheat on Sarah. First she had the flu for two weeks and then she left on a trip. Next thing I knew I hadn't seen her in a month. That's when I ran into my ex-girlfriend Carla at the grocery store. Thing is, I forgot Sarah and Carla knew each other....

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Godless

You were like a hundred tiny spaceships searching for new life or maybe you were just a girl who's been shot in the back of the head and how joy never fit you or me well and how blood pooled from your skull into your lap and onto the floor board under a night so...

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Bug Water

Milton Berle bought a hot dog at the I-80 Stuckey’s near Booneville, Iowa. True. I wasn’t there, but I believe it. Summers during high school, I worked at that Stuckey’s. Sixteen miles West of Des Moines, I pumped gas and sold pecan nut rolls although I never ate that...

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Your First Friday Night At The Movies

You will find rainbow vomit simmering under humming, buzzing, tubes attached to the ceiling; you will find disgust taped to the commodes of toilet bowls, and cigarette butts will be drinking radioactive water, glowing and bubbling. Thirty steps later, you will find...

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A Marriage

We never talked about the job I lost and how long it took to get one back.   We never discussed the children I dreamt of but waited too long to have.   We never mentioned the miscarriage.   Instead, we quarreled over the dishes, the trash, the remote control, and the...

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The XYZ Affair

Citing a lack of respect from the literary community, the last three letters of the alphabet have announced their intention to secede. X, Y, and Z released a statement: For too long we accepted the status quo, relegated to the end of every list, and lumped together in...

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Set Space

We cannot be defined by where we’ve been. We seem to collect moments, hoard them like music collections. Sometimes acknowledging that this instant in time is a transforming coordinate, you going off on the X axis, me the Y, but this other moment we’ve selected is...

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A Version

I lie my head on his chest. This is not love. I am listening. He's brought back the sound of the sea on his sweater. It mingles with the tinny voices from the old movie we're watching. The voices that make me want to say words like 'jaunty' and 'top drawer.' He laughs...

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Ghosting Girl, Magic Trick

I haven’t taken a shower in nine no fourteen no twelve days. Voices say open eyes close eyes needle thread. I trace my fingers over words etched on the door of a graffitied bathroom stall. words written down by girls, so they’ll be remembered. Help! I want to run...

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Dog Makes Love on Sidewalk, People Watch

I want to bury you in follicles of your own beauty, and when that isn't enough, when dogs, alleys, drooping sadness from the parched tops of the clouds to the discount drivers in the street, when in forceful ways we learn to beg from one another where sadness and...

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Another Take on the Story

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Ernest Hemingway Maybe there had been a baby shower, and there was a registry with a pair of shoes on the list, but the baby’s grandmother never checked the list, having spent the last few months in Europe, and she picked up the...

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Apple Murex

Sometimes, voices catch on things—chairs, dressers, curtains. They last longer indoors than out. The sun wears at them and the wind blows them around until they break apart. Sentences become scattered words, and words by themselves aren't useful. I found an apple...

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Bone Marrow Bones

I. bovine and mammal chunks sawn in abundance, not of Adam’s rib, but rib-caged. ancestor stone tools break into long bones of scavenged prey, a firework of blood and bone fragments. note the absence of blood in shrink-wrapped packaging.   II. slurp broth with a...

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Good Sex, Bad Sex

One In my teens, it grossed me out, people having sex past thirty. In my twenties, I couldn't imagine the elderly doing it. Sex as a teenager. Back seat gropings. Steamed up windows. Crazy hot desire.   Two He knew where I worked. He sent roses. He wasn't my...

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Stories We Tell

February in San Francisco is cold and windy and gloomy. When you drive across the Bay Bridge and your heater is turned on high, your window fogs up and all the lights around you turn into a ball of haze. When that happens, instead of trying to clear the view with the...

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My Medicine

The smoke fills the underside of the bridge, and there is the sound of falling water. My brain is raw from earlier hours on the road, and I wear the miles like an invisible dress, the prettiest material no one can see. Attempting to be casual I sidle just a bit...

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Overheard At Midnight

“Be fascinating!”                          Oscar Wilde   Bubbles in a glass of Dom, the passersby on Noe Street pirouette their way from party to party, under the smile of a crescent moon.   Did you hear the Apollo astronaut said one of the most beautiful sights is a...

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Emergency Escape Plan

The best home safety fire escape ladder, it says on the back of the box, is portable and easy to maneuver. The box is surprisingly light with a lid designed for easy flipping. On the front is a picture of a little boy in blue-and-white rocket pajamas, descending a...

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