Roshelle Amundson

Serena Mira Asta

Terry Bebertz

James Byrne

Joshua Fischer

Gail Gates

James Henderson

Adam Hill

Peter Laine

Alice Lundy Blum

Tawny Michels

Dawn Nissen-Schachtner

Altamish Osman

Rebekah Pahr

January Rain

Sally Reynolds

Donna Ronning

Jer Rucinski

Jake Ryan

Kah Shepard

Laura Sourdif

Cat Usher

Jonah Volheim

The Good Neighbor -- for M.S.

She clipped the coral,
the only rose.
The yellow tape.
The gunmetal heat.

She didn’t know me. Never smiled my way
walking by with her borrowed-dog or cat or painted lady butterfly.

Clip-clopping wooden clogs down the concrete alley
auburn hair coiffed a messy plastered chignon;
the sweat, the wet. Humidity bullying her skin in breakouts.
I brought her out of doors in the damp —
this death,
cursing my name. She didn’t know me.

She clipped the coral,
the only rose.
One bud bloom this year— the
color of the feather in my hair in the photo
that made the news.

She didn’t know me. Never smiled my way.
She’s clip-clopping down the concrete alley, battling
gunmetal grey strips of lightening and silver heat,
cursing my name,
by the static noise of government SUVs and yellow tape.

She tosses the prize-perennial,
splattering pistil and stamen
against the blinking red-blue-red-blue-red-blue door
of the garage where I

It was our home.
It was his gun.
It was my decision.

It was her only rose.
Up in Smoke

An old European Nord’eastern neighborhood,
in a stand of turn of the century homes—
      in one of those homes, a girl all grown,
rhapsodizing in the quiet
of butterfly racket on milkweed.
Byzantine church bells toll, uniting
the warbling cardinals of spring,
those red hot boys seeking bird sex—
an April oil painting.

Across the street, a girl and a boy and a swarm
of swirling bees, not pollinating, but
getting down to the business of buzzing—
         this flophouse
brought to you by a slumlord and
crystallized geodes of dreams
which never took flight.

Garden girl, breathing earth and dirt,
tending to lilies of the valley, and
pink promises; the return of the wild rose—
thorn in her ring finger, thorn in her cliché,
the solace of backyard spring, of summer, 
         up in smoke.

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Roshelle L. Amundson graduated from Metropolitan State in 2006 with a BA in Professional Communications. She went on to complete an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2008. Roshelle is perpetually chasing the dream, but has yet to define it. At this point, it surely must mean full-time employment and no longer paying for wisdom teeth extraction via credit card.  In the meantime, she continues to live in Minneapolis and performs covert operations to rescue stray and neglected animals, plants and people.