Fiona Sinclair is the editor of the on line magazine Message in a Bottle. Her seventh collection Slow Burner will be published this August by Smokestack publications. She lives in Kent with her husband and an imaginary dog.
I fell for your cashmere overcoat first.
It promised middle class mores,
corroborated by your opening coffee shop door,
helping off my coat, pulling out chair.
Divested, revealed effort made with
black ‘slacks’ and grey crew neck sweater,
After previous odd jobbers, my out breath
at ‘engineer’ a proper profession.
Your narrative honed of course over many such meet ups
but me always hooked by a good story,
sat savouring my cappuccino and your boy’s own adventures.
So, did not notice the carefully redacted personal details.
Later I learned the coat was charity shop treasure,
purchased as a defence against British winters.
Years working in Australia, Saudi, Malaysia
your body’s thermostat had default set to 40 degrees …
But by Spring as we peeled off layers
I found the coat leant you this air of respectability,
your past’s un-expurgated version
colourful as a Grayson Perry tapestry
that made for nodding acceptance
of my own Hogarthian history.
And something about my prodigal wardrobe
awakened your slumbering dandy,
Crombies, dapper with a hint of dodgy,
replaced the great coat’s propriety,
augmented by mirrored shades, gangster shoes,
primary v necks, all revealing your true colours.
Yet at times you still don overcoat responsibility,
insisting I cut up credit cards and ‘save up’ for treats,
whilst Crombied you play the gentlemen crook in B and Q…
Tracee A Clapper is from Charleston, SC. On a journey to heal myself, and anyone else who crosses my path – I’m a seeker, a mom, a wife, a friend, a birder and a poet. I seek connection with the divine feminine, all of nature, and humans who truly see me and accept me as I am. Writing facilitates the evolution of my soul in a way that nothing else provides.
She loves him, she really does and he loves her, so what more could she ask?
The cashier has her three daughters’ names tattooed
with neon pink flowers encircling them
on the back side of her forearm,
above the wrist
black, plastic gems glitter
around a cheap bracelet
dangling over the hand
that reaches out from the tattoo
She chews pink bubblegum,
switches it from side to side
in between pops
and lives in a trailer
with the last man who smiled
at a not-very-funny joke she made.
Tamara Miles teaches English and Humanities at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including Feminine Collective; Fall Lines; Pantheon; Tishman Review; Animal; Obra/Artifact; Rush; Apricity; Snapdragon; Cenacle; RiverSedge; and Oyster River Pages. She was a 2016 contributor at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a resident at Rivendell Writers Colony in August, 2017. She hosts an audio poetry journal/radio show at SpiritPlantsRadio.com called “Where the Most Light Falls.”
“Porn Star August Ames Found Dead of Suspected Suicide at 23”
I was tricked by tongues early,
a grandfather who took his pleasure
in twisted teaching,
and this I learned
too well in time –
was more yours than mine.
My mind went dark; I fought.
A better therapist, I thought, more talk,
less mindless repetition
of titillating movements.
to Twitter for more hands –
these typed –
they took me for a toy