‘Aubade For My 18-Year-Old Son As I Wonder What He Will Do With His Life Besides Playing Video Games’ by Susan Michele Coronel

Aubade For My 18-Year-Old Son As I Wonder What He Will Do With His Life Besides Playing Video Games

He says college is a waste of time,
& maybe it’s true if it takes ten hours
to write a paragraph about why college
is valuable. The irony. But he stays up
all night to make a hundred bucks helping
others level up on Destiny. I want him to
level up in life, but the keyboard is glued
to his fingers, mouse clicking like termites
scratching under the floor. Brain pulses
confine him to his room, warmed not by
electricity or the moon’s afterglow, but
by dopamine hits every game bestows. The sun
streams in, but can’t interrupt the divine blue
that soothes, that affirms I know, I know.


Susan Michele Coronel was nominated twice for a Pushcart. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including Spillway 29, TAB Journal, Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, Prometheus Dreaming, and Thimble. Her first full-length manuscript was a finalist in Harbor Editions’ 2021 Laureate Prize. She lives in New York City with her children.

Daily Bread by Susan Michele Coronel

Daily Bread

Ultimately, isn’t that all that’s left, the hunger
for community and the sacrament of fresh bread
with an egg hollowed from its center, filling the cave

of mouth? No way to empty the memory bone
except by noticing what’s glazed by the moisture
of morning. In my rocking chair, I’m reading a book

on mindfulness, my stockings hiked up until the elastic
imprints my knees. I keep reading until it’s time
to wash down the last crumbs of the bread body,

flesh rippling like clear water in a tall glass,
fingertips imprinting its sides
as a band of white light bleeds through.


Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City. Her poems have appeared in publications including Spillway 29, TAB Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, and Prometheus Dreaming. In 2021 one of her poems was runner-up for the Beacon Street Poetry Prize, and another was a finalist in the Millennium Writing Awards. In the same year, she received a Pushcart nomination and was longlisted for the Sappho Prize. She just completed her first full-length poetry manuscript.

BUDDHIST FIRE-EATER by Susan Michele Coronel


Each time she strikes a match, she tilts her head
back, imagines she is entering a Coke bottle’s

glass neck, swallowing the last threads of sulfur
before its saw-toothed cap snaps on.

After she seals her lips around the head
of torch, she exhales with ease

to release the flames of attachment
she has been holding her entire life.

A siren of gratitude widens its range.
What is empty cannot be destroyed.


Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City. She has a B.A. in English from Indiana University-Bloomington and M.S.Ed. in Applied Linguistics from the City University of New York. Her poems have been published in or are forthcoming in publications including The Night Heron Barks, Prometheus Dreaming, Amethyst Review, Hoxie Gorge Review, TAB Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Passengers Journal.