Cigarette / Apple by Shane Ingan


Now comes the temptation
to quest after essences,
to lift the veil and
uncover what is hidden—
puff : headrush ::
crunch : honeyed tongue
smoke and sweetness, I
manipulate them, combine
them, then place them
at odds with one

another puff, another crunch.
It becomes me, the way I talk
about such things, I am told—
“attractive” “penetrating” “poignant”—
I furrow my brow, I say something
about the nature of smoke and about
sweetness, this satisfied smile
as I puff on my cigarette
then crunch into my apple,
chew, savor, comment upon
the eye that has opened up, revealing
the core: a little black seed visible now.

O Vanity: I was lost before
I ever began. Butt : core ::
Self : object of contemplation

The velvet cloak has been folded
over upon itself, its span
unaltered, its magic immune
to such feeble incantations.

I huck the apple core out into
the tall grass, the cigarette butt
smush into the ashtray,
the smoke and the sweetness
dry on my tongue.

Shane Ingan is from Indiana and lives in Detroit. His first book of poetry, Lost Loves, will be released early 2023, through Forsythia Press.

Peeling / Aynur Kuğay

This brief, brilliant verse by Aynur Kuğay calls to mind both Whitman’s mystic “I” and Pound’s terse and precise imagism, but stands distinctly as a product of her own unique cognition. What a pure joy it is, to be able to publish such a poem as this.