Cologne – David Armand


It was a mirrored, wooden cabinet

hung at about eye-level so he could see

himself before he left for work

in the morning, when it was still dark out

and everyone else was asleep and warm.


And he kept nothing but cologne in there,

bottles and bottles of it: Brut, Old Spice,

Pierre Cardin, English Leather, Coty Musk,

Stetson, Aqua Velva, Afta, Skin Bracer,

Preferred Stock, Aspen. Cheap stuff


his kids gave him, or maybe he bought it

himself at the drugstore for under ten bucks

so he’d have some variety in the morning,

some choice in how he presented himself

to a world where he didn’t have many choices,


a world that was hard on him, and one he’d leave

far too soon: just after a meager Christmas one year

at only forty-two years old, all those cheap bottles

collecting dust now, their contents slowly evaporating

until the day comes when there’ll just be nothing left of him.



armand_lgDavid Armand is Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature. In 2010, he won the George Garrett Fiction Prize for his first novel, The Pugilist’s Wife, which was published by Texas Review Press. His second novel, Harlow, was published by Texas Review Press in 2013. In 2015, David’s third novel, The Gorge, was published by Southeast Missouri State University Press, and his poetry chapbook, The Deep Woods, was published by Blue Horse Press. David’s memoir, My Mother’s House, was published in March 2016 by Texas Review Press.


Synesthesia Among Wildflowers – Don Thompson


Everyone knows how a cheap scent sounds,

its odor loud and clear,

astringent—a sting in your nostrils

that makes you taste dissonant brass.


But lupins in a field whisper

subtle fragrances, inaudible

unless you’re willing to stand still

on a windless afternoon


and listen: a blue fugue

in which you can recognize motifs

of raw denim, antique lilac silk,

or dusty amaranthine velvet.



Don Thompson 3Don Thompson was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and has lived in the southern San Joaquin Valley for most of his life. He has been publishing poetry since the early sixties, including a dozen books and chapbooks. For more information and links to his publications, visit his website San Joaquin Ink (

dark magic – AM Roselli


is it dark magic that occurs

behind a wet curtain

a blanket of steam       spray cascades down your flesh

is it darker magic still

when your eyes close


slight-of-hand for the senses

touch vibrates the clean sudsy silk

no floral bouquet or inattentive perfumes

no phony scent of any kind

unadulterated mist

like morning dreams

pouring over you

awash in clear mercy


when the frothing in your head

caresses the patterned tiles

and floats away in shimmering bubbles


the spray cuts off

the curtain draws back

the steam dissipates


in one breathless moment

the spell ceases

like a heartbeat

evaporates out the window


along with your fantasies


AM Roselli author picture b_wAM Roselli is a writer and artist who lives in the Hudson Valley, New York. She has a collection of illustrated poetry, Love of the Monster, published by Door in the Floor Publishing, 2016, available on Amazon. She previously served as an art director at Prentice Hall Educational Publishing. Since 2014 she has been sharing her writing and artwork on her blog,