featured content: allisa cherry & robin young

Posted on Fri, Jan 26, 2024

Blooming Swan Under Orange Moon by Robin Young

by Allisa Cherry

It began with the smallest things. 
Earring backs and tubes of lipstick. 
Estradiol structures. Dropped 
stitches on salvaged dresses.

Growing in size over time
to all the books I hadn’t finished 
reading and all the annotations 
I’d made in their margins.

Well-worn shirts I liked
to sleep in. All misplaced
in places I’ve since forgotten. 
I watch the sun drop

behind a row of houses
and wonder how little I worry 
about its absence. I enter my room 
and a nameless cat stretches

toward a square of light on the bed. 
My mother, this year, lost to me. 
Being a daughter, gone.
Not like a twig snapping

or a radio switched off,
but an idea as thin as fog
burning off a warming lawn.
My own daughter, I’ve lost her too.

Summer died into fall eighteen times 
and then she slipped over the bridge 
in her silver hatchback. Years ago
I dropped a whole religion. It fell

from my grasp and splintered
to matchsticks on the basement floor. 
Now I carry the bundle
and strike each one by one

to shine a path through the darkness. 
The universe is not where I left it.
I can no longer find it without retracing 
all those pinpricks left by the stars.

Allisa Cherry grew up in a rural religious community in St. John’s, AZ, near the New Mexico border. She teaches workshops for immigrants and refugees transitioning to life in the U.S. and is Associate Poetry Editor for West Trade Review. Follow her on Instagram @allisacherry

Robin Young is an artist and musician based in San Diego. A retired medical assistant turned full-time artist, she creates daily collage masterpieces, often inspired by the likes of Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali, and shares them on Instagram. Not just confined to visual arts, Robin also captivates audiences as a Patsy Cline impersonator, a role she has cherished for over ten years. Learn more about Robin https://alwayspatsy.com or on Instagram @2SongBird