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by Jeanne Rosen Sofen
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Jake Young


I’ve kept ticket stubs from games
where I witnessed a grand slam,
Bonds’ 54th homer the year he broke the record,
and a suicide squeeze, baseball’s favorite play at home.
In summer, I flatten flowers between pages
of anatomy books, and in winter
I listen for the melancholy chorus
of wind chimes, the hollow steel cylinders
still as ore, silent cathedrals that hang
above my porch. We are ancient collectors.
We gather luck, causal embers,
trinkets of the sublime. We carry pebbles
in our pockets that fit our thumbs.
We eat abalone, that oceanic tongue,
and wear the auric shell. Make a wish tonight
on anything—a hairbrush, lampshade,
the kitchen table. Close your eyes.
Hold your breath. When you’re done,
tear out this page and keep it somewhere secret.

The Plunge

A path leads along the edge of a cliff
down to a dock, where the sea laps

at wooden planks. Beneath the surface,
houses float like balloons

tethered to the bottom of the ocean.
Pastel colored buildings cluster

then bump apart in the choppy surf.
At the top of the limestone cliff,

Stephen points to the submerged buildings,
not knowing I’ve been here before.

He takes my hand, leads me away
from the path to the precipice,

and points again at the houses
that sway, suspended in the sea.

Daniella calls her husband back,
but the waves hide her voice.

Stephen smiles, and still pointing
at the homes, leads us off the cliff.

He wants a closer look:
he wants us to go inside.

Rose Garden

Bright pink tuffs, perfect for the wrist of a girl at prom,
red ones with crisp velvet petals, tangled vines
with rosettes of bursting colors, unnatural pastels,
the brilliance of a lantern within each flower,
roses that confuse the eye, orange on one side
and yellow on the other, tight red buds like ripe strawberries,
white teacups brimming with a honeycomb of scent,
thin petals with the pattern and sheen of dragonfly wings,
wild bushes with wrinkled starbursts,
long, single stems, a flush of yellow, orange and pink,
so sure of itself, petals peeling outward,
eighteen tongues swirling in a single mouth,
and though two weeks ago, none of this was here,
the rose garden is in bloom, and people take notice.

Jake Young lives in Bonny Doon, and works at Beauregard Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He received his MFA from North Carolina State University. His most recent work appears or is forthcoming in ASKEW, The Packinghouse Review, PANK, Miramar, and Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture.

Helene Simkin Jara

Len Anderson
Charles Atkinson
Ellen Bass
Killarney Clary
Helene Simkin Jara
Jake Young
Gary Young

Wallace Baine

Jeanne Rosen Sofen

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