PoetryIssue 14 | February 2012

Other Than

by Dana Guthrie Martin

I had my life once, where the branches of an oak
met in the shape of a divergent letter L.

I had it up there, playing sentinel above the ugly
ground, neither of us apologetic for what we were,

and were not. A candy cigarette hung from my mouth
the way I’d seen real ones caught in my mother’s tight

lips, their shafts smeared with adobe-colored L’Oreal,
the kind that shimmers like fish scales.The design

of cigarettes moved me to dissection. White paper
thin as onion skin holding at bay soil-rich tobacco.

The thick, fibrous material of each filter, dark with tar
after use. Years later, I would learn we all grow dark

filtering out what the world is in favor of what it is not.
A dry creek bed becomes something other than a gash

that will never heal. A dead tree other than lightening, upside
down, reaching toward, rather than falling from, the sky.

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