Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Civility & Desire

Never twins

the best of times

tamed the demon

to release him

yin and yang, grow

the wild side

blowing off

memories that eat, why

another bed

every color

burning in hell

but the streets were long

wrapped in love’s silk

kick it out

from the top

turn the other cheek

on the edge of

mind your heart

ready to fall

the two won’t meet

the worst

but I don’t ever want to lose

in any sense of the word

neutrons and protons

electric         or

the house (of cards)

does it have to be

a different body

has its season

the neighborhood was small

a slap in the face

tear through fabric

one foot on the floor


now the other

on the dock, spinning

—from it with an effort—

do not. Do it

it was

I have

the taste

flow and go

sanity and in-

keep the lid from

love that feeds

either or

—pleasure’s glossary

turn yearn turn

a scar on the chest

things that don’t belong

rip its lining

at all times (all times)

removing your clothes

profile against dark water

on your heel

drop the key


About the Author

Rita Anderson, a member of Poets & Writers and the Academy of American Poets, has an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Playwriting. Poetry editor at the University of New Orleans, Rita has two volumes of poetry published: Watched Pots (A Lovesong to Motherhood) and The Entropy of Rocketman (Finishing Line Press). Rita won the Houston Poetry Festival, the Gerreighty Prize, the Robert F. Gibbons Poetry Award, the Ralph Cheyney and Lucia Trent Award, and an award from the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in almost 100 literary journals and anthologies including Spoon River Poetry Review, EVENT Magazine, Waves (AROHO), Old Northwest Review, Blue Heron Review, Ellipsis, The Longleaf Pine, Cahoodaloodaling, The Blueshift Journal, Blotterature, Words Work, Transcendence, PHIction, Persona (50th Anniversary Edition), The Artful Mind, Our Write Side, Di-Verse-City: An Austin Poetry Anthology, Inflight Magazine, The Stardust Gazette, and Explorations (University of Alaska Press). Rita is Senior Poetry Editor for Red Dashboard Publishing, and she lives in Austin. Contact Rita at