Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing. She is also an award-winning poet of four books: In Defense of Objects (2009), O Dear Deer, (2011), This Too (2017), and Fearn (2019), as well as the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain. Poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. She lives in the hills just east of Los Angeles, where she serves as the faculty editor of MORIA Literary Magazine at Woodbury University.
Mid-Life with Teeth
What if you don’t jump the shark, you just swim up to it
and touch its body with one of your fingers. Its toothsome grin
wrapped in the skin of silvered shingles, after storm after storm
roughs them. Gills like shuttered windows. The whole machine
turning on you, a house in a hurricane-force wind, time
you thought you could weather. You want to do something
besides just starting over, over and over again. You want the arrow,
which resembles a tooth in the mouth of this imaginary shark,
to hit home and stick, sprung taught from your fingers.
You want to stop throwing away body parts. You imagine
your discarded breasts, floating on the tide like a bottle.
Inside is a message that something is trying to end you.
It is small and hungry. You hurl all this flotsam back
to the surf as far as you can. They are bait for the shark.
They will bring it closer. What’s left are two scars--
mouths, straightlined and unamused—running over
your heart. You will fill the scars with color, with ferns
and starlight and wings, like repaired cracks. You reach for
a word—kintsugi—to describe your body as a bowl,
the gilt-filled breaks. This is the life of an object.
The shark, of course, is an empire of greed.
DT McCrea- On occasion of my own death
Noor Hindi- Unkept
Linda Dove- Mid-Life with Teeth
Stephen Furlong- I Don't Know About You, but Mostly I Just Want to be Held
Dorothy Chan- Because You Fall Too Fast Too Hard
Kevin Latimer- MIRAGE
Taylor Byas- Rooftop Monologue
Matt Mitchell- FINE LINE TRIPTYCH
Todd Dillard- Will
Heidi Seaborn- Under The Bed
Heather Myers- A Rainbow, Just For A Minute
Donna Vorreyer- In The Encyclopedia of Human Gestures
Conor Bracken- THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A MAN
Ben Purkert- 2 Poems
Emma Bolden- What Women's Work Is
Chelsea Dingman- Lockdown Drill
Raych Jackson- Pantoum for Derrion Albert from the Plank
Elliot Ping- in the eighth grade
ii. dance moves
D.A. Powell- Sneak