fiction, poetry & more

Honorable Mention
$25 Award


by Laura Foley

It’s raining and I have to go
buy lilies for my butterfly.
He’ll like the aroma of flowers
on a cold November day
since all the wild blooms have faded.
Octubre lives inside a screened-in cage,
because I couldn’t let him out
in last week’s snow, could I?
He seems content, his feet
sticky against the screen,
pleased to drink, when I uncurl his proboscis
with a toothpick,
dip it in honey water while he sucks
through his trunk-like tongue.
I say he because he has a particular marking
that means boy,
which is good for our family
of two lesbians, two bitches
(a Shepherd and a Lab),
and thirty thousand girl bees
who spent the whole autumn
dragging the hairy drones
out of the hive, killing them,
dumping the corpses in a heap out front.
I’m just saying, it’s good to have
a bit of masculine energy round here,
even if it’s just one Monarch
who hangs upside-down all day
and sometimes flutters his gorgeous wings.


Laura Foley’s seventh collection of poetry, Why I Never Finished My Dissertation, is due out in September 2019. Her work has won the Common Good Books poetry contest, the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, The Atlanta Review Grand Prize, Foreword Review Poetry Prize and others. A palliative care volunteer in hospitals, she lives with her wife and their two dogs among the hills of Vermont.