Archives for posts with tag: Relationships

All Doors Are Locked Except the Front Door
by Temidayo Jacob

in this house, there are many doors
to open — entrances to elsewhere.

i have a lover — i am addicted to her.
the strangest love i have ever known.

she teaches me how to make love to
myself — something i can’t do alone.

asking her to go out of my life can be
likened to me writing a suicide note.

lately, my lover has been acting like
opener of doors — testing every door

to see which one opens without sound.
last night, we had a brief argument.

this morning, i wake up to a still lover
beside me. all doors are locked except

the front door. my lover left without a
note. a thread from her dress dances on

the door knob. i stare long and hard at
the door thinking of what life without

my lover will wear. tonight, i’m thinking
of going after her through the front door.

i mean, my heart beats to die after my
late lover and there is nothing i can do.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Here, front door is a metaphor for death. We all have people we love so much or are addicted to or feel we can’t live without them. When they leave, there is usually this urge of joining them wherever they may be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Temidayo Jacob is a sociologist who writes from the North Central part of Nigeria, with his work published in many local and international journals and anthologies, online and in print.

Shadows on the Door
by Terrence Sykes

As daylight comes to closure
I lay in bed with another’s lover
My gardening weary body
His blue collar exhausted soul
Yet after a slow smoldering our bodies
Entwine into a fiery falling star
I like you too much — his lament
I make tea for him while he showers
Away with the parable of the adulterous
I open the shades & bedroom window
As the moon shines like a pale rose
I watch him drive away but then
Slowly shut my door so his other cannot see

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The process of this piece was a clashing of memories…real or imagined…of Los Angeles vacations & East Coast home imagination of once or future lovers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Although Terrence Sykes is a far better gardener & forager & cook…his poetry-photography-flash fiction has been published in Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, India, Mauritius, Pakistan, Scotland, Spain and the USA…he was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia and this  isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations — whether real or imagined.

Das front door
These locked-down days
by Subhankar Das

She said come on baby light my virus.
I looked at the deserted road
From my balcony
There were two crows
In their nest
On top of a long long light post.
They know about distancing baby.
The she crow will soon be talking
With her babies.

She is so far away
How can I even try to set the night on fire?
Come on baby light my virus she said.
It was a long distance call
In these lock-down days
The front door is always shut
No one comes knocking.

I will come when all this ends
She said
Or maybe this is just a line she thought
To write on her blue top?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Poet and Publisher of Bangla experimental stuff, Subhankar Das has 30 published books of Bangla and English poetry.

by Kelley White

You’ve got a map open again
plotting a route away from me.
I know you’ll take days to pack
and there may be a few tender
moments, a meal shared, laughter
the farewell promise to return.
We both say its for the best but
I whisper no to myself, this domestic
war almost done, your hat gone
from the door hook, your coat,
your shoes no longer scattered
with dirty socks around the floor,
less dishes in the sink, less towels
to wash and even your little
dog is quiet, sleeping in front
of the open door.

Previously published in Fullosia Press.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It truly cheered me to hear from Silver Birch Press today—I wanted to send something in reply right away. This is an older poem, written with sadness, but the door in the poem is open . . . and the relationship, somehow, actually has endured, though the couple are currently somewhat quarantined as one is a health care worker and the other is in his seventies with renal failure . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Tennille door
When Peace Departs
by Alarie Tennille

You pack a bag, leave
our house, pull the front
door closed between us.
Silence soon rumbles
room to room, scratching
itself. It rattles
windows, presses
an ear to the door, leans
over me in bed. Clicks
its teeth – tick, tick, tick.

CREDIT: A version of this poem was first published in the author’s collection Waking on the Moon.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For almost 43 years, my husband has made me feel happy, safe, and loved. I get nervous being alone at night on those rare occasions when Chris travels and wrote this poem while he was away. Our cats, though meaning well with their house patrols, often impersonate intruders. Now, like many of you, I’m a bit bonkers over being housebound, but togetherness is still a blessing.

Tennille copy1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alarie Tennille graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Her latest poetry collection is Waking on the Moon. Her first collection, Running Counter Clockwise, was first runner-up for the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence (both books available on Amazon). She was recently honored to receive a 2020 Fantastic Ekphrastic Award from The Ekphrastic Review. Please visit her at to check out her blog and learn more about her writing.

Patrick T. Reardon.......
Saw you at the hop
by Patrick T. Reardon

I was nine when I saw
you through open
eighth grade door —
before you went to
Army, to Europe, to
Normandy Beach a
week after D-Day,
and hernia, and
British nurse Betsie,
and Germany, the camp.

Later, a man at the
Thomist Club dance
in school basement —
what was that year? —
your head close to
low ceiling, thin, solid,
arms akimbo.

I told you to dance
with me. Your eyes
dove into my brain
and neck and lungs
and chest and heart
and stomach and dark
place, full of light.

I am your island,
you, my fortress.
We close our front
door around each
other, over us, like
a counterpane, and
I am persuaded
that neither debt nor
wealth, nor demons,
nor powers, nor
tempting, nor
weaknesses, nor
now, nor future,
nor then, nor
height, nor depth,
nor width, nor sons
nor daughters in
their wildernesses,
nor all, nor nothing,
shall separate us.
We are enough.

PHOTO: The author outside his home in Chicago.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My parents fell in love at the post-war dances in the late 1940s in the parish hall of the church and school they had earlier attended, four or five grades apart, St. Thomas Aquinas.  This poem is, in a roundabout way, about their front door and about their eyeball-to-eyeball love for each other.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon, who has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, is the author of eight books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, San Antonio Review, Ariel Chart, Cold Noon, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, Down in the Dirt, Picaroon, Time for Singing, The Write Launch, Hey I’m Alive, Meat for Tea, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm Green Linden and The Write City. Reardon, who worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter and U.S. Catholic. His novella Babe was short-listed by Stewart O’Nan for the annual Faulkner-Wisdom Contest. His Pump Don’t Work blog can be found at

The New Room
by Tamara Madison

When Dad came home the front door slammed
and the house shook. After a scotch and water
he’d settle down. When we built the “new room,”
Mom took that slammed door, covered it
with mosaic tiles, gave it some legs, put it
in the center of the room – a coffee table.

I used to dance on it, in spite of the unfriendly tiles.
The “new room” had a bigger door and a cold entry
with a terrazzo floor that echoed the slams
throughout the house. With the music up loud,
the old door was my dance floor. I could be

a go-go girl until Dad came home from another
angry day at work. I’d jump off the table,
turn that music off as soon as I’d spot the pickup
trailing a cone of dust up the driveway,
and brace myself for another wall-shaking slam.

AUTHOR’S CAPTION: This is what remains of the house that was first entered by the door that later became a coffee table. It was on my family’s citrus farm near Mecca, California. The corporation that bought the property ripped out all the citrus trees and later they razed the house where I grew from small.

coffee table
AUTHOR’S CAPTION: This coffee table is a little bit like the one my mother made from our front door. It was bigger and had some kind of thick blocks for legs and a more chaotic, colorful mosaic pattern. This is the closest I could find online.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac, Sheila-Na-Gig and many other publications. She has recently retired from teaching English and French in Los Angeles and is happy to finally get some sleep. More about Tamara can be found at

Author photo by Sharon De La O.

Collateral Damage
by Michael Minassian

I just wanted to say
that I won’t be coming home
anytime soon, so it’s OK if you
throw out the boxes
I didn’t have time to pack
in my car before you came back
from work; I’m sorry I didn’t
stick around to tell you in person,
but if I could have sent a drone
to bomb our bedroom
I’d accept any collateral damage:
my favorite shirt, the few cd’s, & cologne
I left behind, the photograph of you
that time we saw an alligator
in the canal (too bad you didn’t fall in);
so don’t wait up for me or bother to check
your voice mail, I won’t be calling
& even if I did, these are not the verbs
I would use, WTF do you think?

IMAGE: “Boxer” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982).


Michael Minassian 
lives in San Antonio, Texas. His poems have appeared in such journals as The Aurorean,The Broken Plate, Exit 7, The Galway Review, Third Wednesday, and Verse-Virtual. He is also the writer/producer of the podcast series Eye On Literature. Amsterdam Press published a chapbook of poems entitled The Arboriculturist in 2010.

PHOTO: The author in Mexico shortly before the move.

Snow Storm in Brooklyn
by Tony Gloeggler

It’s the night after Christmas
and it’s snowing in Brooklyn
again. The wind’s blowing
harder and flakes are falling
faster than they did 8 years ago.
This time, my phone won’t ring
in the cold cold night, your soft
sleepy voice won’t tempt me
into walking through Kensington,
the only two people sweeping
snow off car hoods, throwing
snowballs as your hair grew
all wet and tangled. No, we won’t
remove our boots in the hall,
sit on the couch kissing
tentatively, make our way
to the bed for the first time.

But if I was tempted to pick
up the phone, I wonder how
long it would take you to recognize
my voice? Would you know me
in one, two, nine syllables
and win the grand prize
chosen especially for you?
Would you remember it at all,
the way you’d walk your dogs
late at night and call hoping
to hear something sweet
and sarcastic before you fell
asleep next to your boyfriend?
If I asked you to go walking,
yes tonight, how many breaths
before you’d recover your
frazzled grace and tell me
it’s too late, too far, to walk
from Austin to Brooklyn?

Is your husband home, down
in the basement, playing
with computers and machines
making music without melodies
or words? I know, I know
you still love Bill. Would you tell me
in a rushed whisper not to call
ever again, click off quickly?
Would you wish me a merry
Christmas, move to another
room, close the door behind
you? Clutch your new daughter
closer, carry her with you
or lay her down in her crib
quietly? Could I forgive you
if you had a Texas accent?
Would it possibly lend
your words a softer sexier
slur, or make them sound
too sweet and too fake?

Would you ask about my writing,
tell me how much you loved
my new book, how the poems
still tear you apart, make you
cry when you read them
late at night and pretend
you’re not the woman
in the ones that hurt the most?
Would you ask about Joshua?
Would your hands move
like giddy fish as you go on
and on about your baby girl?
Could I imagine how deeply
the light in your eyes burn
when you tell me her name?

Would you say something,
anything about how you miss
New York City, how often
you think of me, no matter
how much you want to forget
those three years? Would you
tell the truth or lie, say
you really loved me?
How you hope I’m happy
and I’ve learnt to let go,
that this new year
will be my best ever
when we say goodbye
one more time?

PHOTO: “Snow Storm in Brooklyn” by algernonregla.

tony g

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of NYC’s boroughs and manages group homes for the developmentally disabled in Brooklyn. His poems have been recently published in The Raleigh Review, Rattle, Chiron Review, Mas Tequila Review, Nerve Cowboy, andPaterson Literary Review. He’s been nominated for Pushcarts a handful of times and would like to know who he needs to talk to to have a chance to actually get one. He has published four collections (One Wish Left/Pavement Saw Press, The Last Lie/NYQ Books, Until the Last Light Leaves/NYQ, and Tony Come Back August — a duo with photographer Marco North — with Bittersweet Editions). The last two books focus on his 35 years working with the developmentally disabled and his connection with the autistic son of an ex-girlfriend.

carole king
A song in my key
by A. Garnett Weiss

The movie threw a spell over the art house
On screen: A riff off that phantom at the opera—
a damaged genius, rejected by his muse, becomes a monster
Clichés abounded, but desire and betrayal, the heat
in the lyrics, in the haunted melodies called to me

I felt bewitched by the guy who had brought me to the show
He’d seduced me away from my man
For twelve weeks
he’d given me a self I hadn’t known
One morning, he left my bed and disappeared

For weeks after that, I couldn’t breathe without crying
Every day brought rain
Empty and concussed, I stayed inside my two-room flat
as storms rattled the slate shingles
When the sun shone, I closed the blinds

It was Carole King who got me through
“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
and show the world all the love in your heart,” she sang

I didn’t know what was left in my heart, of my heart
The love had been drained out of me the way blood
is drawn with a syringe

Still, each morning I put that record on the turntable
One day, I began to sing along

At last, the phone did ring
The man I’d left for the one who left me was on the line
His voice quiet, calm, each phrase ended
with an upswing, like a question

I remembered his hands on my skin
How he would look at me and no one else

He invited me to spend a day by a lake
I stalled, said I’d call back, sat in my tiny kitchen
till the old fashioned streetlight came on below the window
Then I listened to Carole again, to her promise
people would treat me better, I’d feel as beautiful as I am

And told him ‘yes’

IMAGE: Portrait of the author, from around the same time period as the poem.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For this series, I let my mind wander to wherever it would take me and was surprised that the songs which came to me were each connected to a different man at different times in my life. I hadn’t expected to revisit the circumstances captured in “A song in my key.” Returning there felt unwelcome at first but no longer. The song referred to in the poem is “Beautiful” by Carole King (1971).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Published in anthologies and chapbooks, online, and in local and national media, the author’s work has appeared using the pseudonym A. Garnett Weiss or under own name, JC Sulzenko. She served as poet-mentor for The Gryphon Trio’s “Listen up! Ottawa” project, sits on the selection board for Bywords, and is inaugural curator for The Glebe Report’s “Poetry Quarter.” Her books for families and children include Fat poems tall poems long poems small and What my Grandma means to say, launched at The Ottawa International Writers Festival. Visit her at