ISSUE FOUR: Sell A Mystery | next poem →


Jonathan Travelstead

Careful in keeping to the lit path,
my headlamp splashes a blue slab of splintered pine
which has fallen across the deertrack.

Blazed neon with fungus, or Easter dye,
a salamander flames over its trunk,
and I see golden slashes resembling viper eyes

stippled down its back. What perfect wonders
dangle before me like a carrot
where I look for them in the circular field

of my light-emitting diode!
A few wayward particles of light escape
my headlamp's orb and a white birch refracts,

flashes into silvery being in my periphery.
Enough moon to see by, I click off my torch.
Fireflies. First a few, then hundreds

like I've never seen and never knew existed.
Synchronous, they twitter in tandem,
or one movement as if on a single string,

or many strings on the same circuit flicked on,
then off. I unfocus. Think emeralds,
or stars glint among needles at the forest floor.

I chase one to its source, expecting a jewel of dew,
find instead a spider's opal eyes,
more treasure I've been missing all this time,

just out-of-frame, just off the path.

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia.

ISSUE FOUR: Sell A Mystery | next poem →

ISSUE FOUR: Sell A Mystery

Jesse Nissim
   Entrance and Difference
   There was a bit of dust
      named Alana

Madeline Vardell
   swept up in silver & yellow

   An Imaginarian

Peter J. Greico
   [1401 - 1500]
   [11601 - 11700]
   [16901 - 17000]

KJ Hannah Greenberg
   Initially Thrilled to the Idea
       of Memories

Douglas Luman
   from Star/Formation

Vincent Toro
   MicroGod Schism Song

Rage Hezekiah

Natalya Sukhonos

Laurel Radzieski
   X and Y Axes of Charts
       Made About T's Lover
       (The Incident)

Jonathan Travelstead

Emily Strauss
   White Night Terror

Les Kay
   In the Basement of the Penal
       Colony, Version 2.3,
       Rimbaud Remembers