PoetryIssue 22 | April 2015

Three poems by R L Swihart


I’m in Dresden. Over-Ibised Prager Strasse. Below me: three alien globes
spraying water. Above me: swallows or swifts (feathered boomerangs
answering to no one’s hand), I can never tell the difference

With one ear, I feel like the son of a mantid and a clam. Oddly enough,
my family has dubbed me Cyclops

I follow the swallows, search in vain for razor and cream, reminisce with
the little green man (“That was your brother in Berlin?”), order a döner
before the kiosks close

I’m in Dresden. Zwinger. Semper. Neumarkt. Frauenkirche is once again
Frauenkirche and not just a pile of rubble. The black stones are diriges
floating in the new cream:

“Old and new stones have been joined to give a clear, meaningful
indication that the past is always part of the future
and that wounds can heal.”

Seems “swift” is more fitting, but the birds aren’t saying a word

Uwe (reeking of Rauchen) meets me in the elevator lobby. His eyes are curious
slits in yellow pouches. Narrow lenses magnify the slits. He smiles and asks,
“English?” “No, American.” “Uuuuu. Can you guess which door will open
first?” Then there’s a bell and two arrows pointing up

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About the author

R L Swihart loves travelling: A circuitous journey from Amsterdam to Poland and back again has just given him a few new beads on his I’ve-been-there bracelet: Aachen, Dresden, Wroclaw, etc. Recent publications include Avatar Review, Burningword Literary Journal, and Rain Magazine.

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