Spring 2024


by Mark Gosztyla

When the 7-year-old says, “I’m not tired,
I’m just saying hi to my pillow,” I know
I’m being lied to & I know it’s a good
one one that makes me wonder about what
else I’ve been lied to there’s no maybe only
I know the last place I saw my pile of good
feelings was in a hearty song of beer filling
an open AM window & it’s not yet
time for lunch & making the meatballs
requires the rings to come off the fat be-
tween the fingers to drip & burn in the
pan the smoke the smell of every run
turned into a race then ends with a walk
on the beach again with last night’s beautiful
woman where’d she get to now what’s she want.


To be able to figure how far from
the aw that begins awesome to the aw
that begins awful to best fix the space
that falls between snooze buttons to make love
to Amy every AM to go downstairs
& make a fried egg sandwich
cheddar bacon wheat toast mayo lettuce
tomato & pickled red onion piled
so high I can’t put it down without risk
of splat so another bite & another
& slurp of yolk & now the bottomless
cup of coffee in one gulp that wakes me from
this dream of sex “It’s always about sex!”
says the therapist while Monk says, “There is
no wrong metaphor, just practice
& rehearsal.” Once more then. With gusto.

Mark Gosztyla’s poems have recently appeared in FEED, minnesota review, Miracle Monocle, The Oakland Review, Outlook Springs, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Thin Air Magazine. He studied poetry in the University of New Hampshire’s MFA program and currently teaches at Choate Rosemary Hall. He lives in Wallingford, CT, with his wife and two daughters.

Spring 2024