Issue 73 — 

Teri Ellen Cross Davis (ArLiJo #73)
E. Laura Golberg (ArLiJo #73)

Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 73


The books say milk letdown
feels like pins and needles.
But when pumping at work,
You feel lungs constricting
under the crush of muddy water.

You’ll never be this essential again.
So remember this smothering need now:
the engorged breasts, the suction, the release.
Know the ache contorting itself into
milk streams that sail, spray and sputter

comes from somewhere deeper than
maternal glands puffed with pride and duty.
Once you are used this way, there is no going
back, flat belly, stretch-marked less skin.
She has come now, broken you in two-
and you can’t swim away from her.
This is motherhood, you must do.
You must stay.
You must drown.

Copyright © 2015 by Teri Cross Davis.

Family Bed

Her first tumult, roundhouse, flip
little spark of flutter, little slip
when the universe tumbled thru me
I plodded, heavy with important our
path forward. Now she curls to me
the little c to the S curve my breast,
my nipple a breath away from her
needy lips. You say we must break her
of sleeping with mommy with daddy
you say two nights of no rest, of offering myself
is two nights too much— but she beckons
and when have I not heeded her call?
This love radiates, burns brighter with each
diminished night, I cannot relinquish her need.
How tired and lovely it is to fill.

Copyright © 2015 by Teri Cross Davis.

Teri Cross Davis holds a MFA in Poetry and is a Cave Canem fellow. She’s attended Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her poems have been published in anthologies, online, and in journals. She resides in Silver Spring, MD with her husband and two children.



E. Laura Golberg

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 73


I find a wallet on the sidewalk, still warm
Whoever dropped it must be close.
I look around, see
two young women crossing the road,
talking deeply with nods and gestures.
“Excuse me,” I cry.
They don’t hear me over traffic,
over their listening to each other.
I shout again. They look back.
“Is this your wallet?”
The one nearest me looks blank,
the other pats her pocket,
pats where the warmth of her thigh
spoke to the wallet
which then spoke to me.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.

for Jack Gilbert

Fig leaves die and shrink, gnarl.
They fall on the vinca under the trees.
One good rain and the leaves form
a fire blanket, smothering
the vinca. It snuffs out green
memories—no more
promise of purple flowers.

And with you, Jack, we celebrate
your moment in the sun
before the flat mat descended,
how you showed us that Icarus’ fall
didn’t diminish his flight.
We relish the flowers,
though they won’t bloom again.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.


I choose the wood, ash for fair squares,
beech for dark, run my fingers
over the raw edges as I might assess
a new lover. I smell the first fresh cut,
count the rings; the sap that rose
for all those years. Then plane—
feel the texture on my hand
like the smoothness of a warm neck.
I measure, cut cautiously, sand the edges,
fit the blocks together, glue precisely
and let dry. I sand the surface,
apply the lacquer, coat by coat,
as if dressing a lover for cold.
When the gloss dries, I line up the chess men,
make the first move, carefully.

Copyright © 2015 by E. Laura Golberg.

E. Laura Golberg's poetry has appeared in the Birmingham Poetry Review, RHINO, Pebble Lake Review, and Delmarva Review among other places, and forthcoming in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Free State Review and Northern Virginia Review. She won first place in Poetry in the DC Commission on the Arts Competition.