Shonté Daniels
Alligator Mississippiensis

Shonté Daniels - Alligator Mississippiensis

Poetry
Shonté Daniels is a poet and games journalist. She is currently an editorial associate at Rewire. Her poetry has appeared… Read more »
Michele Leavitt
Ash Box

Michele Leavitt - Ash Box

Poetry
Michele Leavitt, a poet and essayist, is also a high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, and former trial attorney. Recent… Read more »
Laura Donnelly
Birding

Laura Donnelly - Birding

Poetry
Laura Donnelly’s first book, Watershed, won the 2013 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize. Her poetry has appeared recently in Passages… Read more »
Philip Schaefer
Portrait for the Anti-Refugee Campaign in Ravalli County, MT

Philip Schaefer - Portrait for the Anti-Refugee Campaign in Ravalli County, MT

Poetry
Philip Schaefer’s debut collection Bad Summon won the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from the University of Utah Press and… Read more »
Roy Bentley
The Keno Caller at the Oxford Cafe in Missoula

Roy Bentley - The Keno Caller at the Oxford Cafe in Missoula

Poetry
Roy Bentley is the author of four collections of poetry, including Starlight Taxi (Lynx House: 2013), which won the 2012… Read more »

Ash Box

Michele Leavitt

What’s left of the premature baby
is not the feathery ash
at the tip of a cigarette. What’s left
are slivers of bone poking
from countless white specks. A label
on a plastic bag, in a banker’s box,
in a metal closet in the hospital morgue.
Before the box, a scorching blaze.
Before that, diminutive flesh. Before that,
a few gauzy breaths outside
an intoxicated womb. No one comes for

the ashes, and the label turns
like a shy child toward the back
of the box, hiding the number
assigned by the hospital, the date
of death, the mother’s name.
The ashes settle toward fusion
like any memory that can’t be
scorched away. Where is the mother?

Caught in the vise
of her present tense,
caught like gravity, which never
turns from its task,
waiting for a gentle
hand to surface from the conflagration,
to rearrange her mistakes,
to sort her burnt parts, one from another. Read more »