PoetryIssue 07 | November 2009

The Lean Season

by Arlene Ang

Untended lawns bloat with daisies.
My daughter packs my clothes for Portofino—
where seagulls bicker over fish,
and flowers, plucked before budding,
are sold for loose change in the streets.

There, the hotel attendant will collect
my beauty case. On bolder days, the dropped
handkerchief. Himself a relic on carpet
and embalmed in rich wallpaper. I’ll tip him
to eavesdrop on the November journey,

how my left breast wilted one morning
under hospital sheets, a one-night stand.
There is no shame in metastasis. I’ll taunt him
to finger the cavity of my loss, watch
as his hands slip into the luggage grips.

About the author

Arlene Ang is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being a collaborative work with Valerie Fox, Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (Texture Press, 2008). She lives in Spinea, Italy where she serves as staff editor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. See more of her work here.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok