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Bill's Otherworldly Cafe Across from Cafe Bizarro-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Eating Catfish on the Bank of the Sankuru River-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Post Mortem-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Deer in the Headlights-Poem by Brian Rihlmann
I, Cartographer-Poem by Brian Rihlmann
I'll Paint You a Picture-Poem by Brian Rihlmann
beside wild roses-poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
sitting quietly-poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
lifetimes-poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
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like a poem written-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
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Sugar Wolf-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

86_ym_deerheadlights_kjhannah.jpg
Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2021

Deer in the Headlights

 

by Brian Rihlmann

 

I met Randee at the same dive

as all the others

we wound up back at her apartment

on Robinhood Drive

(why do my girls always live

in such shitty neighborhoods?)

where we did our drunken thing

to forget how lonely we were

because just getting wasted together

under the same roof

wouldn’t cure it. . . . go figure

 

of course neither did

being stuck together

like a couple of feral cats

for 23 minutes

or however long it took

 

somehow, I found myself home

in the morning

my car was intact

parked evenly

between the lines

no dents, no blood

no hair stuck in the grille

 

sometime in the early afternoon

came a knock—

it was her and two little ones

a boy and a girl

 

I asked how she found me

bigmouth Tracy

at the bar

had told her

 

(and how did she know?

I hadn’t fucked her. . . . had I?)

 

Anyway . . . I thought you might

want to meet my kids, she said

she told me their names

but they somehow disappeared

into a miniature black hole

occupying the two feet of space between us

along with everything else she said

as I stared with tunnel vision

shook their little hands

and tried my best Mr. Rogers smile

while they regarded me

with wide and leery eyes

 

I have no idea what kind of

expression I wore

as we stood there in the doorway

facing each other in excruciating daylight

for what seemed an eternity

until she said—

Well. . . . we better go . . .

See you later!

 

but it evidently told her

all she needed to know

because she never knocked

on my door again

 

 

 

Brian Rihlmann lives and writes in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The Rye Whiskey Review, Fearless, Heroin Love Songs, Chiron Review, and The Main Street Rag. His latest poetry
collection, Night at My Throat, (2020) was published by Pony One Dog Press.



KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her most recent poetry collection is Rudiments (Seashell Books, 2020), her most recent essay collection is Simple Gratitudes (Propertius Press, 2020), her most recent short story collection is Demurral: Linens, and Towel and Fears (Bards& Sages Publishing, 2020), and her most recent photography collection is 20/20, Eye on Israel (Camel Saloon, 2015).

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021