Lines Written During my Second Pandemic Eduardo Corral All water flows toward loneliness. Loneliness is a black eye, a gleaming pit, we have yet to split loneliness like an atom. Loneliness arrives on a leash of scorpions. In my scull, loneliness opens like a parachute. It's illegal to chain loneliness to a fence. Flickers tunnel though loneliness to build nests I sprinkle a spoon of sugar over loneliness. In some languages, loneliness is imperfect. Antlers crown the bald head of loneliness. Like rough trade, loneliness won it kiss you. Loneliness crouched in a tree afraid of dirt. In the dark, loneness ripens too quickly. Beneath the roof of loneliness, my blood drifts. Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants, the author of Guillotine (Gray wolf Press, 2020), his work has been supported by fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Lesson on the Trail The brilliant red leaves of the shrub shrugs off the snow, like a stubborn child of Mother tucks it under the blanket. the lodge pall pines in the white coat toss the snows at the passerby, as if warning. Feeling it, I turn my head but see none, not even him; move along the trail, indulging in the peace. yet hear a sound in the no sound, feel an eye in the no eye zone. there, it groans; I turn back and meet it. the mountain lion on the boulder on the slope, hungry, fierce eyes. I froze, then slowly pick up the big stick, mistake. It jumps off the boulder and slinks toward me. toward...the hare playing a statue. I run to the car, inside it, I see the beast chases the hare into the dense woods that whisper, whatever it is, I only wish for the hare home safe. and so, do I. (c)Byung A. Fallgren
On Desire Dujie Tahat A firm hand. The shadow waves of satin. I am not yet flesh. He calls me baby, and I touch my face. I'm searching for god when I oil my body in the mirror. To love it mean to love a man mean an opening to another man. When I take my glasses off all the lines blur. A body is a body without language, I tell my girlfriend and she laughs, mouth wide enough to hide in. she shows me my soft parts. I dissolve into what. I forget hiding also means a good beating, the way passion can be suffering. I can't believe my whole life I never touched what made me holy. We have bread, butter and nowhere to be. Dujie Tahat is the author of "Here I am O my God" (Poets' Society of America, 2020), selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, Salat (Tupelo 2020), winner of the Tupelo Press Summer Garden Chapbook Award.
The Window in the Corner Usually, it is hidden behind the blinder, for the funguses blooming between the panes--guilty one, jealous or lazy soul, with no way of purge it; but when opened the blinder it provides an excellent view of the pasture in all seasons--a person with a lot of potential, like the unfinished project in a box in the dark basement deemed to be silver, if not a little piece of your dream. So, why not banish the blinder? because... the blinder winks; fungus, like the man who would have been there; what can I say? (c)Byung A. Fallgren
Winter, if only well-orchestrated The cows wonder why the cowboy moves them down to the pasture only when the snow covers the whole field; why doesn't he keep them, up in the high country. Only you, mountain lion, laughs at the bovines, not understanding the man who knows beyond his field too much, much more than he needs. Silent songs of the tall haystack at the edge of the pasture; footprints, small and large, on the snow sparkles in the sun; pronghorns be-friend with the cows. Howling coyote at night, wakes the couple of bull snake in their home beneath the sagebrush on the slope, asks why-me-e-e? like the shivering people in the shacks; responding voice, who, who; this is winter says the voice, we need it to cool our heads, time to sit back and think and prepare for spring. Don't cry. (c)Byung A. Fallgren
The Lie that saved my life On a winter evening, I walked round the neighbors to collect the money from the newspaper subscribers. I was helping for my 12-year-old son came down with a cold. When I knocked on the door to a trailer an old man with a grumpy face stood at the door. Collecting for the newspaper, I said. Come on in, he said. Common sense nudged me not to go inside. I'll wait here, I told him. It's awfully cold out there, he insisted. Come inside. His word hypnotic, I went inside. Sit down there. The old man pointed to the couch. We'll make it quick. You'll feel not a bit. In the kitchen, a middle-aged woman was searching for something in the drawer. A knife, or a hammer? she asked the old man. A hammer will do. Sensing something amiss in their conversation, I said, I am on an undercover duty as well. Undercover? the old man looked startled. Where is the hammer, Ed? the woman hollered. Don't bother, woman, he said. Let's just have a talk. The woman took a chair across us. Only then did I notice her swollen feet like a baby nursing mom's breast. Wife needs new kidney, he said. I knew then the whole story; the failed murder scheme and all. I got up. I will think about that, calmly I said. Now, can you pay for your subscription? Sure, the old man handed me the bill. I hurried outside. The woman watched me, with the glistening jade eyes of an animal that just lost its prey that was so close to be its meal. Now, decades later, I realize how careless I was to go inside the house. I was glad I did the collection on behalf of my son that evening. told him to stop the paper delivering; just telling him to not go inside the stranger's house wasn't enough. Even I did! * Every October, I think of my stupidity that happened long ago, one after another on the same night. Thanks to that, I wrote two poems, which one of them published in the Terror House Magazine. Halloween is around the corner, and we need to remind the children not to go inside the stranger's house. No matter how kind the stranger might be no matter how cold outside is; do not go inside! This is a real story. Believe me. Assuming this is a fiction, miss out the genuine feelings of true empathy for the true experiences. Byung A. Fallgren