Charlie Bondhus
Built Fire

Charlie Bondhus - Built Fire

Charlie Bondhus has published two books of poetry—What We Have Learned to Love, which won Brickhouse Books’s 2008-2009 Stonewall Competition,… Read more »
Jonathan Travelstead
Dream of Car Wreck and Failed Extrication

Jonathan Travelstead - Dream of Car Wreck and Failed Extrication

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a… Read more »
Liz Robbins

Liz Robbins - heat

Liz Robbins’ second full collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. Her… Read more »
darlene anita scott
How to Keep a Secret

darlene anita scott - How to Keep a Secret

darlene anita scott shares the role of “baby of the family” with a twin sister who found her fifth grade… Read more »
Doris Ferleger
Instead of Angels

Doris Ferleger - Instead of Angels

Doris Ferleger, Ph.D., is a prizewinning poet whose debut book of poetry, Big Silences in a Year of Rain (available… Read more »
Leslie F. Miller

Leslie F. Miller - intersection

Leslie F. Miller likes to break things and put them back together in a random, yet tasteful, order. A writer,… Read more »
Gerard Beirne
Meditation #21 Nothing Is The Matter

Gerard Beirne - Meditation #21 Nothing Is The Matter

Gerard Beirne is an Irish writer now living in Canada where he teaches at the University of New Brunswick and… Read more »
Grace Cavalieri
The Portrait

Grace Cavalieri - The Portrait

Grace Cavalieri’s newest publications are a chapbook, Gotta Go Now, 2012 and a novella in verse, Millie’s Sunshine Tiki Villas,… Read more »
Sid Gold
Wild Dog

Sid Gold - Wild Dog

Sid Gold’s two books are Working Vocabulary (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) and The Year of the Dog Throwers (Broadkill River… Read more »

The Portrait

Grace Cavalieri

This picture that you love—
a sea of flames
I cannot enter—

But it’s just a portrait,
you say,
a baptism of fire.

How could I find myself in this?
Birds flying away
through a tangle of trees?

Hellfire, I think,
is a sea of fire over your mantel.
Framed scintillation.

To find the meaning, you say,
throw yourself
into its meaning.

I step backward.
An inferno, I think,
is not my idea of beauty.

does not deserve better
than this, I answer.

This is just a picture,
you argue, of colors,
luminosity, incandescence,

No, Love
is not a scorching
even if it lights up the sky.

I tie up the cool
ends of my heart into
a ribbon of safety.

After all,
yours is just a portrait
of fake fire.

I’d never
be able to enter. Read more »