Author: blackbearreview

Muddy tire tracks leading into a stoned in fence area

Alba by Elizabeth Whitehouse

It wasn’t the shag carpets or the original stove that dripped black grease onto the linoleum. Nor was it the fifty-year-old sliding windows that housed leggy spiders creating webs between the panes and those giant furry black houseflies that hatched out of the walls every spring. It was the view! Through the French doors that

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mother braiding daughters hair

Stimming by Tressa Ford

Run your hands through the thick, silken whole of it Once Twice Divide into three equal sections Right over middle, left over middle  Repeat Fold one strand in half Braid in end Braid in loop Pull remaining strands through  Divide into three Keep braiding Hold finished work pinched between your fingers  One breath Two breaths

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Person walking - Black and White

The Long Years by Tressa Ford

Wear a mask The air is poison Choke on the ashes of Californian dreams on the ghosts of Okanagan homes As sick yellow skies melt into stifling nights we wake from sweating nightmares with Lytton on our lips Wear a mask Your breath is poison Cross the street away from your neighbours to show you

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child

Nothing Below the Waist by KP Kaszubowski

toddlers with their faces blurred out or covered by cowboy hat will the mother keep this up until the kid is a man using the initial for his name a short story collection about L. # She’s crushed by the faucet.  The charring of the hand.  The flooring peeling up after run, run, run, running

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girl with a bird cage

Very Few Things are Truly Free by KP Kaszubowski

when you’re waiting for your check to go through – come on over to my house I have a prayer – I am working with a stutter come over, take an echo bath:  share with me come over – make it undone make it lush – make it future make my body a harp you

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candle

Dusty Strings by C.G. Dahlin

It’s quiet.  The hollow shake of a thermos.  Air resting, suspended, lukewarm.  My skull is full of mothballs.  My limbs, stone.  My glands  secreting  in secret.   Whisky dribbling.  Sink half full of muck.  She’s thinking of me,  I can feel it in a pit  knotting in my gut.  She’s wearing white  and she hates it.  It’s blotchy  with granules of  displeasing

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basement

Pupils like Myrrh by C.G. Dahlin

Pluming smoke,   pupils like myrrh,  lavender eyes, sage skin, grenache lips,  a tongue of tannin with a gravel finish.  The record spins, the needle placed, it’s just now catching.   I’m laying on a beige carpet, bonded to it like velcro,  staring at the eggshell white, popcorn ceiling.  My body’s become a cauldron of amorphous fumes,  the future telling me its long withheld secrets, 

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old woman

Crone by C.G. Dahlin

She came to me in the end of night  wearing the stems and leaves of a sword fern,  adorned in cockle shells, her hair sprinkling black sands,  her eyes like moons, her hands swaying and caressing   like the rolling mounds past dry gulch.  She came to me after as the birds started singing,   when the winds took

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darkness

Dark by Oshi Spring

The night is dark So dark you could catch the darkness in a bowl or catch water in a bowl at the bottom of an ocean The machine roars, a lonely rumble It cuts through the dark Disturbing the peace Here I am, controlling this metal beast My headlights barely cut through the night This

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River

Downriver by Gwen Higgins

Life is the river your father drowned in When the tailings dike failed, Or his friend died in the mineshaft, Or some such thing that your mother won’t say. It is lunchtime in the house that smells of cigarettes and mildewed laundry and damp basement, ashes wafting from the polyolefin couch and green sculpted shag

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Walkman

Soundtrack by Gwen Higgins

Have you ever forced your own soundtrack over top of the TV news headphones in ears blocking out assault by political commentary making pundits move their lips in sync with the beat their arms waving, their eyes shouting, their mouths, futile. They are tragic figures of speech, Silenced.

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Hand holding fishing rod

Fishing By Lynda Rocha

“The ferry’s loading right now,” announces my nephew, Lucas, looking down at the time on his phone. He is strapped into the front passenger seat beside me as we hurtle down the narrow, winding highway like the lead cart in a roller coaster.  I am driving as fast as I safely can on the curving, rolling road. A few times I cross over the yellow and white lines to cut a corner but only where I can see far enough

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