Laurie Klein – K.I.A.

K.I.A. Only tempered thorns can bear beauty’s weight—like birthstones, cupped in the prongs of their mothers’ rings, each a glint. One flash, and shrapnel unlocks the ivory columns of vertebrae, those sacral knobs, the spurs, and hollows. Each of us is diminished: something central caves in, our lungs bereft of even emptiness. We see those […]

Mark Kessinger – Joe in Repair

Joe in Repair looking down where the leg used to be there is only hardware. Something issued. The curved blade flexes like a foot that was once there, bone shaft is now composite, part some of this, some of that, like a ghost bone made from other wounded. What has improved as much as the […]

Introduction and Poems by Stefan Lovasik

Introduction by Stefan Lovasik It has been an honor and a remarkable challenge to narrow all the fine poems down to what is collected here, especially given that there were approximately 3,000 poems submitted for this issue of Pedestal. I sincerely wish we could have published many more. My deep gratitude to John Amen for […]

Ruth McKinney – Opposites

Opposites Yesterday, in the shower he was rehearsing his talk on Srebrenica. When he first mentioned it, she was surprised. Why was he giving a lecture on Russian vodka? Today, in the shower he was wondering why opposites attract. How could he be drawn to someone who cared so little and knew even less? But […]

William Conelly – Medal Winner

Medal Winner Accept him afterwards, wedged upright on a sofa, tunneling the sunset: nights aren’t night enough. Why this is so you will not fully understand; he can’t explain himself: Look how hot, bleeding turmoil’s been transfused by cooler, kinder stuff and weeping men still emerge to grip my hand.         William […]