Gary Glauber

Queen of Period Eight She makes a volcano in lab, and I dream of herfor a month after. Chasing through fields of wheat,eager to touch that purple velour top.She is my special harvest, the one I havewatched sprout from seeds and watering and sun. I have never been to her house, but Ican describe her room, the way everythingis perfectly in its assigned place, grouped by colors,textures, systematically labeled by genus,inviting my eventual invasion. She is sheltered; orthodontic bracesprotecting that innocent smile from a harsh world.Her laugh is a sweet giggle, a hiccup ofmirth that spills down from the heavenswhenever I playfully appease her. When I catch her in the field,I know it is only because she lets me.She folds me in quarters, and putsme away on her closet shelf,on top of pink floral contact paper,and I go gladly into the darkness,knowing she will someday return. Her bed is stacked full with dollsof many nations, silent girlsin native dress with mysterious expressionswho share her quiet friendshipwith comfort and pride. From them,I learn my place. Life is impermanent,a parade of clothing and furniturethat grows tired over passing seasons.She is a beaker of solution, a careful notation,and my heart ignites like Bunsen’s burner,a steady and useful flame that I knowis necessary for results currently sought. Reliquary He and the young waitressshare a sweet smile as she passes.At this age, he reads nothing into it,letting such potential betrayalsfind other more willing participants.With certitude, he knows plenty yetare lured by the throes of emotive drama,unknowable ways of the human heart,smooth like sea glass only afterrough business of thousands of waveshave worked their tortured polishing actovernight, over seasons and years.The gray at his templesis earned much the same way.Let it serve as visual reminder,warning and testament,a ruffed collar that indicatesa very different age. Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. In 2013, he took part in Found Poetry Review's Pulitzer Remix Project. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. New work is forthcoming in 3 Elements Review, Fine Flu Journal, Stone Path Review, Stoneboat Journal, The Bicycle Review, Foliate Oak, Poetry Quarterly, and Think Journal. His collection, Small Consolations, is coming from The Aldrich Press in 2015.