Packet, by Jamie Ross

A green light that comes
when you never saw it coming, never
heard it, felt it, but you knew it

like the woman in the sandlot
behind Abram’s Grill
who’s just lost her lenses,
on her hands and knees, her
hair cut short but seems as if
it’s flowing, and the rush
on her throat like a rise
from birth, the music in the car

as the engine goes silent
while you fold down a seat
for the stashed beam lantern
with its yellow plastic grip, six
Ray-O-Vacs, the
movement in the trees
beyond Lake Michigan. It’s

a wave like that
when the wind gets lost
and the mail-boat from Racine, three
hours late, cracks into a tanker,
where the crew, like you, has
waited on the decks, in the hold
for two months out, to send

a message home—or to get a
certain scent, for just one instant,
of weeds, in the dirt, the both

of you groping.

The Split Ends of My Beard Have Split Ends, by Justin Marks

My natural instincts are hardly ever right. When I sleep there is a voice in my ear coming through a cheerleader’s megaphone in a really bizarre language. I understand fully. The world is out the window. When we wake on the weekends and my wife wants sex, I say, the furniture is feline, let’s just snuggle. Then I get up to pee. Nothing’s as good as you think it is. I’m old enough now to say of my past, that was a different time, I’m a different person. What was that noise? Successful ideas spring from great people. There is this music I heard once and if I could just have it with me at all times, there’s no telling what I’d do. I’d like very much to speak the way I’m spoken to when I sleep, to have the perfect cheer. I’d also like to live forever among the brilliant colored cups of the tulips, but know how likely that isn’t. If you want my advice, get out while you still can.