Elizabeth Bradfield

Featured Poet Elizabeth Bradfield

First Love

Today, adjusting my jacket
in strong wind, I look down
to the hem, remember the neat
way she’d pull up the bottom
zipper—quick, decisive—to open
a gap for her hips…. 

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Christine Delea

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

Around Back

After summer, brown gulls and red cardinals
bring autumn inland, slowly,
on their salt-sprinkled backs, wings pumping
with chill. I pull my scarf around my neck
like a noose, billowing air blows leaves…

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Jose Hernandez Diaz

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

A Wednesday in Autumn Where I Turn into Pinocchio at the Local Library

I was teaching an online class at the library on the decay of western civilization when the librarian rushed in and told me my time was up. I pleaded for another five minutes in vain. I was just getting to the good stuff. The petite librarian proceeded to get me in a headlock and escorted me off the premises. She told me I was a bad seed…

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Faith Gomez Clark

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

After Your Birth

…the pure white walls your father his chair began to bleed into each other pain pressing my head into the belly of my pillow oh no they said time to mother the mother so the room birthed darkness magnesium flowed ice cold through my veins…

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Carolyn Martin

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

My Mother Is Dead

Afterwards, when relief was still
relief and regret for words
I never said pushed grief aside,
I forgot to forget her red-raw hands
unpinning frozen shirts
clotheslined across the yard…

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Sam Moe

Copyright LEON Literary Review 2023

What we share

What we share
A love of pinecones. Forgotten swan
feathers, now encased in river ice
not to be confused with your obsession
with ocean ice, temporary and lovely
the sea ice is jagged, the river ice…

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Ellen June Wright

Copyright John Erickson Dulay 2022

After Learning of His Castration

grieved I the eleven year old / born just before the end of slavery / who needed a home / needed a protector / so agreed to castration / so he would be no threat to his protector’s daughter / so he would have a roof and access to learning / I grieved for George Washington Carver / all that genetic genius gone down into the grave /….

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REVIEW: Susan Jo Russell

Review of In the Shape of A Woman by Lily Greenberg

From the intriguing cover to the final poem of this book, Lily Greenberg explores what it means to find one’s shape, as a woman—shape that is not so much physical as what I might call spiritual, the shape of self. The opening poem offers an image of resolve, “I am a geyser/in the shape of a woman, and the time/has come to never be murky again [p. 3].” But as we move through this collection, we learn how elusive that clarity is. How can a woman’s shape, Greenberg’s poems ask, ultimately be shaped by her own hands?…

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Neil Barrett

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

Talk Dirty

Turn over my lost,
sustained pauses like couch cushions.
Fold me into something audible,
something more.

Lock the door.
Spread that shirt about your clavicle,…

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Susan Barry-Schulz

Copyrigt Nicole Mordecai 2023


nobody says your name out loud anymore       I’ve forgotten the sounds that it makes       the gentle turn-back of the tongue        a nod to the throat      
the breathy ah       the deliberate collision of lips at the end       the plosive…

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Steve Fay

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2022

Guarding Plovers

…She is older by a decade in her dreams,
or sometimes two, and it has always been
And so she dresses like her mother’s
friends: dull-colored gingham aprons
and bright scarves to keep her hair from
flying in the wind…

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Anne Graue

Copyright Dennis Hinrichsen 2023

Dear Frank

I couldn’t have known you
your oranges gone moldy
wrapped in fuzzy green
and I miles away
from Fire Island
when I was 4
and you 10 times that…

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Tori McCandless

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

Seven-hundred Percent More

One hundred years ago
there were one-seventh the amount of people
in the world than there are today

so when Lorine’s voice in a flooded marsh wrote:
head, write something!
there was less noise…

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Daye Phillippo

Copyright Marjorie Moorhead, 2023

If recollecting were forgetting… 

I both would and wouldn’t recall looking out the south           window,
March, midday while talking on the phone and seeing

two deer and then two more, loping in from the south              field,
each, in turn, leaping over the gravel drive

where it curves as if it were a rocky riverbed flowing                around
 the unfenced field, posts and barbed wire pulled out…

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Hillary Sallick

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023


…It comes pouring in
a wash   a wave    gentle
filling basin   cove    bay
inlet of backyard
narrow driveways   all the airy spaces…

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Henry Hall

Copyright LEON Literary Review 2023
Only Shorter

Dawn’s cool milk, dusk’s sultry stew,
and in between, the roar of work
and traffic jams for armored me and you.

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