By Despy Boutris
The moon, bright as phosphorous.
I pick roses along the roadside
as rain christens the town.
Stars puncture the slate sky with light,
one more thing
I’m taught to seek.
This rule that dark is the devil, that the Lord is light.
How many times my mother dressed me
And the rain falls from above, purifies
the roads, the roofs, the night. So why
is it not holy water?
I’d hoped the water would wash away my want.
I ghost through the fog, droplets
falling from trees.
Despy Boutris’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She was a semi-finalist for the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, a finalist for the YesYes Books Pamet River Prize and the Antioch-Frontier Fellowship, and her poem won First Place in the New South Journal Contest. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston, works as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.
Art by Michelle Johnsen, art editor
Michelle Johnsen is a nature and portrait photographer in Lancaster, PA, as well as an amateur herbalist and naturalist. Her work has been featured by It’s Modern Art, Susquehanna Style magazine, Permaculture Activist magazine, EcoWatch.com, EarthFirst! Journal, Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, and used as album art for Grandma Shake!, Anna & Elizabeth, and Liz Fulmer Music. Michelle’s photos have also been stolen by AP, weather.com, The Daily Mail, and Lancaster Newspapers. You can contact her at mjphoto717 [at] gmail.com.