Suzanne Roberts, Gale Acuff, John Kay

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Suzanne Roberts is the author of three poetry collections, Shameless (Cherry Grove, 2007), Nothing to You (Pecan Grove Press, 2008), and Plotting Temporality (forthcoming from Red Hen). She was recently named "The Next Great Travel Writer" by National Geographic's Traveler Magazine. She holds a doctorate in Literature and the Environment from the University of Nevada-Reno and currently teaches English at Lake Tahoe Community College.

My Lover’s Feet


Many things, I cannot imagine,

cannot picture a prehistoric world,

long before the sky turned blue.

But the mundane is the more strange—

unable to picture a lover’s feet.

I see the stones of his spine, the curving

neck in sleep. The hip bones slanted,

and the navel spiraling in and in.

The fingers thinly knuckled, broken kites

of glass in the blue eyes, the tidy rows

of teeth, but not the ankle, the arch—high

or low? The toes, I do not know. 

I must have never glanced down at his feet,

the knowing him left incomplete.

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Adirondack Review, South Carolina Review, Ohio Journal, Santa Barbara Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives.

Comic Vision


I sit on the floor with my dog and read

comic books. He can't read, of course, so I

read to him, even point at the pictures.

See there, boy? Batman and Robin swing down

from the top of the Gotham Museum

just in time to catch the Riddler--see?--in


the next panel. I guess he can't see them

well so he sniffs at them, leaving some drool

on Robin's crotch. I laugh because it looks

like the Boy Wonder pee'd in his pants, though

he doesn't wear any, only green shorts.

My dog's laughing, too. But does he know why?


When we get to the end of the story

I pin a towel to my shirt. I'm Robin.

He's Ace the Bat-hound. But there's no Batman

to play with, except my father, who sits

under the oak tree, reading the paper,

and he's too old and out of shape and won't


play anyway. Fooey. So we pretend

Batman's away on a case, out of town.

Maybe he's with the Justice League. Superman

needed him, maybe. Or he's Bruce Wayne, out

on a date, or at Wayne Enterprises,

or has the flu or is in the Batcave

working on something Top Secret, leaving

us to fight crime. But we can handle it.


When we're through we go back to Wayne Manor

and fill him in. A job well done, he says.

Still, I say, it's not the same without you

out there with us on patrol. I take off

my cape and we go outside, where Father's

fallen asleep with the business pages.

I look at him and think about heroes

who wear suits and ties and go off to work

each morning and come home late and eat and

have a beer and watch a little TV

and go to bed too early for grown-ups.

In his chair he's as still as a cartoon


character in one of my comic books.

His paper is white, like a word balloon, and

the words aren't his, but if I rearrange

them they say Crime does not pay, and, Evil

never rests, and, The good always triumphs.

My dog and I sit at his feet, and if

we wait long enough, then he'll come to life.

But if we disturb the world will end.


John Kay is a poet/photographer who lives and works in Heidelberg, Germany. His poems have appeared in the New York Quarterly, Bellevue Lit Review, Pearl, and many other magazines. He has three chapbooks, and another, "Phantom of the Apple," on the way. His photographs can be seen at
The Last Christmas Poem

With a Joe Pesci twist,
she drew back, aimed,

and quickly jabbed him
in the jugular with a jagged

red and white candy cane
that had been broken

earlier--the other half eaten
by their son who went off

to bed whistling the theme
from White Christmas, snug

in his sugarplum dream,
--still a believer.