Natalie Crick

This House

Fog rolls in on the red mountain. 
A husk. It is blood Winter. 

We sell ourselves, ounce by ounce
To the moon.

The sky has swallowed it’s full and 
Grows colder, darker. 

Years peel back like rind.
My children are as old as scars.

There is no air in this
Dead bird of a bedroom. 

Panic spreads, wildfire.
I wish myself a ghost town,

Wish myself the cool hush of night,
A blanket of dusk,

Listening to illness move 
Beneath the floorboards,
Moths to red clouds,
Clogging my throat like cinnamon.

Never trust the spirit. 
It escapes as steam in dreams.

More light. Fog is rising. 
Let us go in. 


Natalie Crick, from the UK, has poetry published or forthcoming in a range of magazines including The Chiron Review, Interpreters House, Ink in Thirds, Rust and Moth, The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, “Sunday School” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. 


James Owens

The Grammar of Loss


Gets tangled in double negatives.
to gather warm eggs for breakfast.


Scampers out to the thinnest branches
and flies from
tree to tree. Burrows
past taproots
to the sweetest, mineral-savored water.


Grows demented in the slow evenings
when shadows open like wounds.


Whispers urgently at the train station
to the woman in the gray raincoat,
who turns and walks back
into the spring-scented twilight,
down an alley empty except for the sound of footsteps,
past the aching roses,
and to her room,
where she will remember the way these streetlights
burned circles in the fog.


James Owens’s most recent collection of poems is Mortalia (FutureCycle Press, 2015). His poems, stories, and translations appear widely in literary journals, including publications in The Fourth River, Kestrel, Tule Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Southword. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in Indiana and northern Ontario.