by JC Crumpton
The image in the mirror has become my father’s
during my childhood staring back at me,
wrinkles at the edges of the eyes
like an unvoiced thought. Gray at the temples
representing a wisdom I once thought I already knew.
The hands that held my infant children are also his
and the voice soothing their restless nights
and the words to teach to learn to love
and the smile. His eyes look out at me
from the echoing halls of some distant memory
I only remember in rare, quiet moments.
Moments that flee into the shadows
before the onslaught of a new day beginning.
My hands tremble as I glide the razor
across his strong and chiseled jaw
set in the mirror before me.
JC Crumpton's poetry has appeared in journals like Aoife's Kiss, The Penwood Review, and Violet Windows. Cumpton's collection of poems and short stories are forthcoming from Tweed Press. JC's debut novel Silence in the Garden is due out in May 2017 from Galway Press.
Why is there ear wax?
Why are there mosquitoes?
Why do we have to die?
Why do we call people with darker skin black when their skin is brown?
Why do people hunt and kill animals so they are extinct?
Why are some people mean?
Why didn't we clone the last thylacine?
I don't understand a lot of things.
--Amelia, Age 8
by Casey Jo Holman
A pecan grove grows low and quiet by the side of the highway,
the first thing we see
once we leave the lower nine.
He drives 45, and a line of cars starts to trail behind us,
passively irritated on the two-lane interstate.
He pulls over, lets them pass—the pickups and vans and old, old sedans.
Pecan trees are surprisingly small things.
On the edge of the grove, close to the highway he points out blackened steps.
the concrete is almost too hot, from years alone in the Louisiana sun,
worn down by time and mold and so much water.
Wildflowers spring up everywhere around the foundations,
delicate lilacs and tiny yellow spots of sun.
he picks one of both, hands them to me.
These were houses, before the storm.
At once, I know we aren’t looking at pecan trees.
they’re ghost stories, emotional scars
born by the uprooted people who once grew here.
Casey Jo Holman works waiting tables in New Orleans, Louisiana to support her writing habit. She is a 2014 alumna of California State University, Long Beach. Her work has previously appeared in Shot Glass Journal, Nerve Cowboy, Cadence Collective, Verdad Magazine and a collection of chapbooks produced by Bank-Heavy Press.
by Molly Sloan-O'Brien
I’ve heard all you said and
I love you to death
I always picture you when
the song comes on
I don’t even know why
it reverbs in the chambers
of my heart
I sway gently
as if I am at sea
I want to scoop you up
into my arms
run my hands through
your dark hair
drown myself in those blue orbs
varying between translucent and bright
You’re so beautiful it nearly
renders you exotic
Your mouth alone
the soft swell of your lower lip
Dancing on the edge of
the way you are so unbelievably pretty
I turn into a southern belle
Coming down with
a serious case of
thinking of you
in that sweet Georgia heat
the speed of my heart
come a little closer
relieve me of my senses
Carry me with you
don’t let go
Reach at me with those long fingers
Kiss me like the summer
Molly is an aspiring writer living in Northern Alabama. She is an army brat and is new to the south. She enjoys it despite the heat. Her hobbies include photography, going to the movies and collecting/reading comic books.
Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.
Passionately Ran, Compassionately Fed.