Orpheus by Ryan Mahr-hale

Don’t look back she said on the wobbling log.
Stream an unstrung washing machine;
leaves traffic cops redirecting the light.

The forest was magic that day. There were surely
more people about than you, shyly envying
how your brutal extraction from the world
of organic geometries and green enabled
the hot rush of return. You pitied them,

the spirits of streams and trees, because
they were not you today. The log threatened failure
of the enterprise. You laughed. Looked back.

Two Aspiring Saints Interface in a CVS by Ryan Mahr-Hale

Her hands writhing, she says
“I can sound good but not be good”

as you fiddle with a mascara wand
in CVS under lying lights

instead of answering. She picks up
her can from the ground. “I’m going

to smoke a cigarette,” she says. You nod.
She paid for that Monster energy drink,

curlicued and carbonated. You slip
the mascara wand into your pocket.

<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/34d2c-aaron-burden-xg8iqmqmitm-unsplash.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Ryan Mahr-Hale
Ryan Mahr-Hale

Ryan Mahr-Hale holds a B.A. in philosophy from the State University of New York at New Paltz. For his money, the most compelling philosophical question is whether (or in what sense) we have free will. He has worked in retail and human services and lives in Kingston, NY, with his wife. His poetry has appeared in Neologism Poetry Journal.

Read submission criteria here.