issue 13: locked

Cold Harbor

- a.g. (bio)

His arms open,
A respite from the dark,
A kind word.

Reassurance at most,
But no compassion,
Only fear.

He feels no spark,
Holds no candle,
Barely breathes.

He wishes to help,
To hold,
To care.

But he cannot.

So he shies away,
Unable to help,
Too cold to care.


- a.g. (bio)

A cold sky,
Yet clear.

His eyes close,
At peace,
Still scared,
But strong.

For he knows,
They cope,
His calm,
Holds theirs.

Take solace,
He says.

And he is gone.

His eyes dim,
The kind twinkle fading.

And he is gone.

Soft lines of mirth,
Tracing over aged skin.

And he is gone.

His heart gives out,
Having given so much for so long.

And he is gone.

The Bird and the Butterfly

- h.p. (bio)

Hello, dear crow, I've come again
A butterfly made of ink and page
Here to keep you company
And rest upon your silver cage

I found you here behind these bars
Sat atop a concrete shelf
Cawing, calling out to the air
Captured and all by yourself

How long have you been here, my friend?
Do others think you estranged?
Longing the strength to bend silver bars
To see how much the world has changed

We could travel across land and sea
A weathered bird and butterfly
Carried by the currents of wind
Again, your wings may touch the sky

The time shall come soon enough
Until then, I must leave when dawn breaks
I have been here with you, as you sleep
And I will be gone when you awake

No need for worry though, dear crow
Do not give yourself into fear
When nightfall comes once again
Still you shall find me resting here

You Will Feel It

- c.m. (bio)

can you
just stop?

just take your body
and put it under
a ghost.

where are you
going? you, yourself
don’t even know.
storm off into
a storm, please.
a wild one, like
my heart for you
once upon a time
where i stopped believing
in dormant volcanoes.

your face is a
fog that I had
driven through
many times
to die.

i’ve died in
you, 2,555 times.
my eyes
bright headlights and
it was always dark
around you - sharp
air like the kind
in deep caves.

you better be scared
of my heart because
it will not sit
in this cavity
for you no longer
and when it erupts
in magma, you
will have felt it all over your body.

you once had it.

you will feel everything i
tried to give to you
but it will hurt
because it will be for another
and your body will
be addicted to it and thirsty
for me like a desert.

you’ll sweat incessantly
as i make another one
sweat, on top of
him and you will hear me
breathing heavily…
very close to you…
only for you to fall to the ground
alone. because i am not close to you.

can i stop? i’ve stopped.
put yourself under a
familiar ghost. you
seem to do it so well.

lose yourself in
the loneliness you
stir into other people.

you’re an active volcano
no matter how vacant
you may feel.
it happens inside of you
and that’s the most dangerous kind.

Shameless Self Promotion

- j.h. (bio)


Every day's an interview for the days to come.
Some succeed with certitude and dignified aplomb.
But then there are those precious few, the silently inept.
That when their lonely day is through, have sat alone and wept.
It is to these that I speak, my comrades in despair.
Even though you think you're weak, your life can be repaired.
All it takes is faking it for just a little while.
Before your mind starts making it more that just a guile.
So go out and promote yourself like you're already on the top.
And when they put you on a shelf, just refuse to stop.
Eventually they all will see, what you've got to offer.
It's more than simple misery, it's wisdom you can proffer.
The only actual difference between you and all the rest,
Is that you've served a different sentence, and faced a different test.
So, if you want what they've got, caring and devotion.
Go after what it is you've sought, with shameless self promotion.


lock * key * thrown away

- anon

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- anon

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- anon

end of issue 13. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox