3 new Valentine’s Day poems by Lynne Schmidt : When I Say I Want You to Love Me, Rush, & Awaiting Further Instruction

When I Say I Want You to Love Me

what I mean is –                                                                                      I want you be reckless.

I want you to throw rocks through windows of abandoned buildings,
and make love on the shattered glass
just so we have a story of how these scars covered our bodies.

I want us to spend months creating a garden,
only to rip it the heads from the flowers
uproot tomatoes and leave them to rot
and start over because we got bored.

I want you to buy me every flavor of cotton candy
because you weren’t sure that I’d like it,
but knew I’d like one.

I want you to dance with me
on top of a mountain top
in the middle of a wildfire
until smoke fills our lungs
with no guarantee the firefighters
will be able to save us.

I want to swim out so far,
my arms grow tired and sink under the waves.
And I want you beside me.

I want you to dye my hair
a different color every week of the year
until we have created a palate
with every color ever known.

I want you to sit in the audience 
mouthing the words to all my poems
the way you’d sing along to the radio.

I want a road trip with no destination,
just a hand on the wheel, and your hand in mine.

I want coffee dates that change with the season,
and you to always remember my order.

I want you to say yes to every idea I’ve ever had,                                to be first in line for the roller coaster,
hands in the air, hair free flowing in the wind. 

When I say I want you to love me,
I want you to make the entire universe revolve around me.

Which means —

I do not want you to be gentle with my heart.
I want you to make it burst.


He tells me as the bleach bleeds out of my hair
as the roots become more exposed by the hour,
that I am gorgeous.

When he pulls me into him,
I feel his heartbeat hammer against my face.

He tells me later,
he wanted to kiss me.

He says, we can wait we can wait we can wait,
and for the first time
I do not rush.

Awaiting Further Instruction

He tells me he is a blank page
waiting for me to scribble on,
he asks me what I want next.

I want to say,
my the inside of my thighs,
my hips, my collarbone…

Want to peel off my skin
and offer it as an instruction
manual that reads everywhere, everything.

His chuckle is an electric cord
and I am water,
begging him to touch me.

Lynne Schmidt is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. She is the winner of the 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest and author of the chapbooks, Dead Dog Poems (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press) which was listed as one of the 17 Best Breakup Books to Read in 2020, and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West), which was featured on The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed for PTSD Awareness Week. Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor’s Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne was a five time 2019 and 2020 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski and Doug Draime Poetry Awards. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.

feature photo by Shaira Dela Pena by Unsplash.com

2 new love poems by Neel Trivedi : Then Aroused, Now Devoted & Casket to Universe


All dreams lie shackled in my fist
When nestled up in your arms
on a cot of supple grass blades

Goosebumps of exultation
being my sole attire
Serene under a luminous blanket
Stars apprenticed by your eyes

Paying no heed to the absence of breasts
For inside the wall that hung them
lies your most intoxicating & attractive organ your heart

Casket to Universe

A body that’s been breathing for 30+ years is only now infused with life
with your acknowledgement

My heart that was just an ash of a wing is a vibrant bird again
with your head nestled against it

Once the waterfalls that overflowed from the eyes are now priceless pearls
when brushed against your fingers

I steal a glance of your coruscating eyes & see myself more limpid
than in any mirror

Locutions like “love” & “romance”
are innominate to my soul

All I perceive…
Is that you complete me
Without you, I am a casket
With you, I am a universe

Bio: Neel Trivedi is a writer, editor and artist and in the advertising business in Dallas, TX. He was a Pushcart Nominee for 2020 and has been published in several online magazines as well as several print anthologies. He can be reached on Twitter @Neelt2001.

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo : the Year of the Ox

Margaret Viboolsittiseri (aka Maggs Vibo) works in print, broadcast, special events, glitch media, and online. She is a contributor for Poem Atlas and has experimental art in the winnow
magazine, Coven Poetry, Ice Floe Press, The Babel Tower Notice Board, ang(st), The Wombwell Rainbow. Recent anthologies include Poem Atlas ‘aww-struck’, Steel Incisors, Fevers of the
Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 (January, 2021) and ‘My teeth don’t chew on shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans (Oxford Brookes, 2020). She tweets @maggsvibo
and her website is https://www.maggsvibo.com/

Poetry by Dave O’Leary : There it Is

His parents
He can’t understand
where the love went,
how it could
end and leave
nothing but a hardened
rectangle of vitriol
and a slew of insults
that he tries sometimes to bury
in the backyard
and sometimes
in intoxicants.

His first real love
ends without insults
after three years
and they part
like long lost
who won’t recognize
each other when they bump
into each other around town
after months of not bumping
into each other in their apartment.
He looks for it
in photos though,
and he sees it in one
from that time at the zoo
when they bumped into a friend
from work and the secret
of their new love
became known.

He says, “I do.”
His second love
says it too
and after the honeymoon
they set their pictures
about their apartment and sit on the couch
with beers
and binged shows
and foot massages
and silent books
and they settle in,
sink in,
into each other,
each other’s lives,
and he marvels
at their secret to happiness.

His own
The sunken couch
that had so needed
never was and he drops
it off
at the dump
when they both move
out to different
parts of town
and then she
to a whole other town
and in the evenings
he thinks
about how she’d said often in person
these last few years
and through her lawyer
at the end
that it was never
really there,
not really. But he doesn’t
believe her. He just doesn’t
know, still doesn’t
know, where it went,
and she took all the pictures

and still single but in a new town
in a new state
by the sea.
The last woman he asked
out turned him down.
She told him he
was sweet but she
wasn’t looking,
wasn’t interested
in that sort of thing,
not in the now
anyway but thanks
for the drink.
And that was fine.
And he went home
to sit on his new couch
with an intoxicant or two
knowing he’d be back out
because it’s always,
at least so he thinks,
he hopes,
just around
the corner
and down
by the swooshing sound of the sea.
Maybe that’s it
just over there.

Dave O’Leary is a writer and musician in Seattle. He’s had two novels
published and has published work in, among others, Slate.com,
Versification, and Reflex Fiction. His collection of poetry and prose–I
Hear Your Music Playing Night and Day–will be published in May 2021 by
Cajun Mutt Press

Twitter: @dolearyauthor

Instagram: @d_o_leary

featured photo by Fadi Xd on Unsplash.com

2 poems by Shiksha Dheda : Old Things & If I Ever

Old things

I tried new things
but the carcass of the old things
took up too
much space

If I ever

If I ever wonder within the realms of fantasy, 
the sombreness of your voice 
will beckon me back to reality.
If I ever get lost in the sheets of disillusionment,
the gentleness of your touch
will waken sleeping hope.
If I ever roam around helplessly in the endless maze
of life’s predicaments, the exuberance
of your smile will brighten the dark road;
guiding me back home.
But if I ever forget you:
you are;
let the unsung hymn that you kindle in
the depths of your bosom
sing loudly to my silence.
For I
-being blinded by reality-
-spurned by fantasy-
will grope onto each 
rhythm-less and clumsy note and 
find my way back.
To you.

Bio: Shiksha Dheda uses poetry(mostly) to express her OCD and depression roller-coaster ventures. Sometimes, she dabbles in photography, painting, and baking lopsided layered cakes. 
Her work has been featured (on/forthcoming) in Off Menu Press, The Daily Drunk, The Kalahari Review, Brave Voices, Anti-heroin Chic, Versification, and elsewhere. Twitter: @ShikshaWrites