By: Michele Habel-Coffey

You linger

Like the scent of campfires on my clothes

I move in tandem with the wind

Around the burning circle

Just to drown in the smoke

Staying far enough away

Not to burn

My eyes water

But don’t cry

Provocation of tears

Comes now only

From wind and waves

Of white spirits passing through me

You surround me

I drink you, like coffee for breakfast

The welcome smell

Of my familiar, vaporous friend

Prep Dreams

Wuji Seshat

Screen Shot 06-26-15 at 11.23 PM

When I awake to the pawnbroker that you are
I will not criticize you for being a scavenger
Cheapskate, penny pincher, for
I will remember poverty, like sleep

I’ve placed it against my lips and
Cried its tears against my stained pillow-cases
I know the feel of a bed that turns
From hard to soft, until it is no longer a bed

I know loneliness like the back of my hand
Through broken fingernails and chipped dreams
And the lucid reminder of how class is destiny
And birth-lottery is the current state of things

And the black-eyed bruise of opportunity
When I awake to the people climber that you are
I will not criticize you for being a shark

For people hurry in their sleep to dream faster
Lay me down then and I’ll close my eyes
And I’ll pretend too that capitalism is real

That consuming and owning is…

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Prismatic: By Michele Habel-Coffey



By: Michele Habel-Coffey

Transparent glass with angles

Pointed, dense and clear

Traditional triangles

Sometimes used as mirrors

Reflecting what’s internal

No colors bursting through

Just an image of yourself

Starring back at you

This requires angles

Of the steepest kind

The narrowest of options

For the narrowest of minds

Who only want to see themselves

Reflected in the glass

Instead of all the colors

That at better angles pass

Through the surface of the prism

Refractions of the light

Dispersions of the varied waves

Rainbows, spectrums, sight

There’s beauty in the colors

Much more than just plain white

But one must meet the other

At an angle that’s just right

To produce the dancing rainbow

For all the world to see

Takes more than just a piece of glass

Or varied energies

Conversations of the past

Call to mind a prism

Geometric and triangular

Common colloquialism

But rainbows don’t just come

From the shapes of yesterdays

It all about the angles

Dispersing light, refracting waves

Even tears can make a rainbow

As they’re falling to the ground

Pain calling forth a beauty

Without a single sound

I prefer refractions

And dancing colored rays

To self-absorbed amusement

Reflections showing age

Remember ole’ Narcissis?

Poor fool, you know he drowned?

In a shallow pool reflecting

The image of a clown

So if you want to see a rainbow

Stop gazing in the mirrors

At the hardest, steepest angles

As rigid as your fears

Bend a little, my dear friend

I promise you won’t break

But instead might see a rainbow

Put down the mirror, for Heaven’s sake!

Michele Habel-Coffey: Pictures of Volcanos

volcano in the clouds

Pictures of Volcanos

By: Michele Habel-Coffey

Sorrow in a stormy soul

Volcano in the clouds

A painted woman smiling

Next to a man, erect and proud

Molten, bubbling substance

Brewing just beneath

Her dress dancing with the wooden floor

And brushing at his feet

Like lava rising, reaching

Up caverns giving way

The woman’s pallor’s reddened

At a collar that is frayed

Hiding skin like porcelain

But not the blood that flows

Daring to color neck and cheek

Where passion’s secrets show

He’s gazing down, upon her head

But her eyes are on the man

Whose lens and light have captured

Silent storms and shifting sands

I turn and face Grandmother

Who wonders what keeps me

Longer than I should have been

Bringing her the tea

“Wasn’t I a song my child?

Dressed in tattered rags?

Such a scene so long ago

Oh how their tongues did wag!”

“Did you love him?”, I ask bravely,

“The man behind the lens?”

“No matter child. No matter.

I was married; he was kin.”

We stand a moment gazing

At the image on the wall

Though the mountain never boiled

There’s still an ash that falls

It covers what surrounds her

Like islands veiled in dust

The remnants of the nether

A long since buried lust

Its many years since Grandpa’s gone

Untimely was his death

Leaving her a widow young

Some years to her last breath

But each week she keeps her visits

Sometimes she’s gone for days

She returns with pictures of the places

That keep calling her away

Mr. Jones, he takes those pictures

Camera’s always ‘round his neck

When he calls for Grandma on those days

It’s the one thing I expect

There’s no pictures though, of Mr. Jones

Only Grandma, smiling bright

With colors in her porcelain cheeks

Reflections in her sight

Of the man that captures more

Than the images in her hands

He is movement on the richter scale

He is more than just her friend

From Mr. Jones, photographer

The man ever with no name

I see sometimes it’s the imagery

Holds more value than the frame.

The Place Where the Clouds are Formed: by OFELIA ZEPEDA

clouds michigan
Every day it is the same.
He comes home.
He tells her about it.
As he speaks, his breath condenses in front of his face.
She goes about her business;
every now and then she looks over.
She doesn’t hear his voice.
She sees the soft fog that continues to form a halo.
She knows he is still talking about that place.
He never tires of it like she does.
Only on summer days when the air is hot
and moisture is still a long time in coming,
she asks him to tell her about that place.
She sits facing him.
Waiting for the first vocalic, non-stops,
the push of air from his lips.
He tells her of the place where clouds are formed.
The cool dampness of his voice is rich.
Even on a dry June day
her face beads with wetness
as he talks directly to her.
Each aspirated sound a gentle burst of coolness.
“Tell me again, tell me again,” she teases.
If he knew she only wanted relief from the heat
and not the story, he would stop talking.
He begins, “The first time I saw the place
where clouds are formed was from
the window of a train . . .”
Another time was in a mirage
in the heat outside Tucson.
Once he thought he saw it
in the dry light of stars.
The place he remembers best
was when he saw it in the eyes
of a woman he spoke to.
When he first noticed it,
she hid it by lowering her gaze.
Soon she let him look freely.
There were times when she opened her eyes
wide, allowing an unobscured view.
Sometimes he saw her eyes smolder
with dryness on a summer day.
Other times she was rich with moisture.
Clouds came in succession.
The earth’s shadows muted.
“You know the forty days
and forty nights?
I was there.
I’ll be there when it happens again,”
she said with a slight smile.
Like a child, he rushed to look
into her eyes at every opportunity.
If he could, he would hang on her eye socket,
peering inside,
marveling at her displays.