Three Poems by Lori A. May

Side by Side

he was raised in a series of eight,
learned to horde his helpings

she was raised on budgets and bottom
lines, warned to consider famines of families

his plate: a potpourri of leftovers
his stomach full and satisfied

hers: scraped clean, reflective
ready for washing


There’s that feeling you get
when you know something
is changing,
when you can feel the sadness
but don’t know why.

There is a weight you feel
with an emptiness
for not knowing how
you will react to something
that does not yet exist.

You will wait and you will
wonder, knowing it’s coming,
but not know it’s name.

The weight of it will burden
you as you taste the changing
winds on your tongue,
as the bitter rind of an orange
vacuums up your saliva.

You will smell the smoke
in the distance, with the flames
stretching out to you in screams
you hear, just slightly, as voices
carry in the wind.

In and Outside of Glass

Ice becomes one with tea
uniting energies
bringing sweat to life
tears rolling down
in humidity.

Lori A. May is the author of four books, including stains: early poems. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Writer, Rattle, Two Review, Writer’s Digest, and anthologies such as Van Gogh’s Ear. Lori is the founding editor of Poets’ Quarterly and an associate editor with Northern Poetry Review. More information is available online at