Shawnte Orion

Other Meaning of Aloha

Of course I finally found you
living on an island. Surrounded
by all those waves. All that blue.
After all these tides.

You exiled the world
from your new life. At home
with a volcano that only
threatens to erupt.

You are simmering lava. Drifting ash
weighted into mud by tropical rains.
Hardened magma.

Between us memories drown
in the blink of a hurricane.
Before washing up
on either shore.

I am desert horizon. Prickly shadow.
Dehydrated coyote wandering
after a mirage. Landlocked.

Through an airplane window
our ocean isn’t wide enough
but it remains far
too deep and briny.

Eight-Proof Path to Enlightenment

(Poem Yet To Be Written By Dogo Barry Graham)

Bringing light to a dark
corner of the bar;
The Buddha sits patiently
waiting for the waitress to bring
another pitcher of beer.

All around him patrons are drinking
to their health, to their sorrows
drinking to their worldly attachments.

Exchanging miseries and failures
they can only express
when intoxicated.

But The Buddha is aware
that he is already drunk.
He has always been drunk
and doesn’t need
any alcohol to prove it.

Love in the Time of Hand Sanitizer

(Poem Yet To Be Written By Rosemarie Dombrowski)

Rubbing my palms together in scalding water
below the same faucet where you used to rub yours

reminds me of years of your bacteria
waltzing around the same drain’s
porcelain dance floor as my own bacteria.

A tango of germs. Our pathogens cohabitating
in ways we never could.

Centripetal swirl of microbes; too minuscule
for the wandering eye, unless viewed
through the refraction of a lens.

Magnified and examined
our sterile relationship left in the petri dish
never mutated into a contagion
infectious as love.


Shawnte Orion’s poetry has appeared in New York Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Juked, DASH Literary Journal, Georgetown Review and other publications. His first chapbook won Red Booth Review’s annual contest and he is often invited as a featured reader at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums and laundromats.

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