“were almost twenty-five and twenty-eight:/even the connection on the phone was faint” | by Emily Leithauser

A Night in Madina

“The stranger didn’t eat much/and she didn’t dance/and she didn’t remove her plastered shoes” | by Brian Gyamfi

The Tree Carries Water

“Dandelions pass where I used to live./The gardener lets go of the river, the water whispers” | by Brian Gyamfi

The Valley

“I took the boat out every morning, / allowing my hands to skim/the shimmering sky” | by Lauren Aliza Green

Pack Your Bags

“In no time, he cannot/ see too far into himself, so full he is, so dull” | by Anna Leahy


“No one is a machine of perpetual motion./ There’s more to it—to us” | by Anna Leahy

The Hidden Springs

“I have a feeling for a moment that the elk is God—/ a god that we can watch.” | by Sarah Maclay

Art Deco Sonnet

“O sleekness, O pizzazz, O mirrors, O chrome,/O remnant inklings of a light-struck world” | by Jacqueline Osherow

Ghazal Season

“Once, I wrote a ghazal trimmed in gold,/ to mirror the implausible” | by Jacqueline Osherow


“The murkiness, the smog, the thickened haze/ in me are hard to love.” | by Jehanne Dubrow, 2021 C.P. Cavafy Finalist

Silence in Syria

“Melt the ink into my hands/ like the metal of a tank being welded./ Use this newspaper as a rag” | by Seif-Eldeine, 2021 C.P. Cavafy Finalist


“On every door in this village/ there are last notes left by families/ crossing the sea to another land.” | by Rasaq Malik, 2021 C.P. Cavafy Finalist

The Starlight in Syria

“The wounded know stars are a furnace/ for mankind’s sins. The wounded curl themselves/ into a ball of starlight” | by Seif-Eldeine, 2021 C.P. Cavafy Finalist


“How I loved saying I was deeply skeptical of the adverb, very/ but then I got run over by a truck” | by Michael Martin, 2020 C.P Cavafy Finalist

We Were the Kind

“to tell it true we’d say/ we don’t know what it is/ we’re nowhere near the end of.” | by Michael Martin, 2020 C.P. Cavafy Finalist