Levels of Concern by Stephanie Frazee

Levels of Concern

Late summer.
We stay inside,
though the house is an oven,
because the outside air
is damaging.
The sky—
dystopian-future orange.
Air seeping
under the doorframes
smells of campfire, bonfire.
I’m ashamed
to want
a marshmallow.

The chickadees are silent
as they flit to the feeder,
the same color red
as the AQI warning.
Beneath feathers, muscles, breast bones,
particulate matter
deposits itself
in a system designed
for lungs the size
of peanut halves
to find oxygen at high altitudes.
But here they are,
gleaning oxygen from smoke,
dropping seeds
from the feeder
onto the wooden porch rail,
furred with rot,
and hopping down to eat them.
I’ll hold my breath
if I refill
the seeds.

Spring again, and
the chickadees nest
in the laurel hedge.
I’m still waiting to hear
the hungry shrill of chicks.
One daffodil, bent over,
half yellow,
half brown,
half dead already.
The hydrangea
is all brittle wood.
I forget the last year it bloomed.


Stephanie Frazee’s work is forthcoming from The Evergreen Review and Bayou Magazine and has appeared in Third Wednesday, Juked, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is a reader for Juked, American Short Fiction, and No Contact, and she lives in Seattle.

Counting on Climate Change by Wynne Brown

Counting on Climate Change

Forty-one seconds
of voice mail

forty-one seconds
of his voice

Hi, Mom.
It’s me.
I don’t know
what to say?
I want to talk to you—

Five years
six months
two whole days

of icy silence


A glacier
by grief
to melt


into a warming sea


Wynne Brown writes from the Arizona lands of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Her work has appeared in Persimmon Tree, Wild Roof Journal, Blue Guitar, Oasis Journal, The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide by Eric Magrane and Christopher Cokinos (University of Arizona Press), and Spilled: A Collection by the Dry River Poets (Casa Luna Press). Her most recent book, The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art (2021, University of Nebraska Press), won a 2022 Spur Award for Best Western Biography. She was the 2022 Spring Pima County Public Library Writer in Residence in Tucson. Her website is wynne@wynnebrown.com.

Three Poems by Claire Taylor

yes, it’s probably because of climate change, but still

I like a garden of tulips
sprung too soon
speckled with ice in February


A Winter Meditation

move slowly
these days linger
in the pause
between seasons
everything breaks
down beneath fallen leaves
a promise: frozen ground
softens the earth
turns over
starts again


A Healing

post-storm we find a towering maple
collapsed on its side. the City

comes to clear the way
slices trunk and limbs to restore

the road to normal but
they leave the roots

behind, ripped from the ground
and pointing skyward like

hands in prayer

a year later
I walk through the park


and find the roots
have grown over

moss and vines cover
every inch

a new ecosystem


Claire Taylor is a writer in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of a children’s literature collection, Little Thoughts, as well as two micro-chapbooks: A History of Rats (Ghost City Press, 2021) and As Long as We Got Each Other (ELJ Editions, 2022). You can find her online at clairemtaylor.com and Twitter @ClaireM_Taylor.