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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Early morning sky, brimming effervesce, eager 


to spill over into this hour’s quick silver– 

another day, calling . . .  


                                      I stare at myself

in the picture window’s reflection, slightly

startled by the ghost of me rising

in its slippery surface.


Sunlight bleaches memory.


No stains left on mother’s apron.

Her shouts from the kitchen gone.


Come here, I say, in her tone of voice.

A bird, hidden among lilacs, warbles.

                                              -M.J. Iuppa



To the small child holding a balloon


that floats on a string above

your head, not paying attention

to the glum crowd waiting beneath


the umbrella bus stop, who face

the direction that they came from– 

backs to where they want to go.


Stone eyes and frozen mouths– 

unnerved by the share of space

beneath the umbrella. Some rock


on their heels, bumping shoulders

in the cold, while you tap your boots

on a puddle’s skin of ice that shatters


to shark’s teeth– you jump back

and stomp, stomp–arms flapping 

a beat, making the balloon bob


in punctuation above your head,

marking the spot where you are,

with strangers wanting to go home.


But you–you want something

more. Why else would you be

tethered to a balloon?

                  -M.J. Iuppa


Blue Notes


Forbidden twilight, the country road pulls

like a black ribbon into distance.


The slat fence stretches miles–like backbone,

like xylophone–flashing black, then white 


to tires’ urgent thrum: away from here,

away from here–


We sit silent in the rambler, staring straight ahead.

The swirl of air loosens strands of summer hair.


Our not saying anything doesn’t mean much.

One of us thinks of someone else. The one


left behind smokes under the porch light,

watching the red burn of our taillights


disappear over the horizon

into dust’s slow exhale. 


                    -M.J. Iuppa


Looking Back


What I remember– 

shoes scattered on carpet

in so many steps.


If I were to slip my feet

into any pair

I’d twirl en plein air–


still a girl dancing along

the lake’s shore, with a ribbon

on a stick– a song in my body


loud as the brass sun breaking

through the sky’s old plaster, light

falling like glitter, sparkling


flecks on small capped waves–

a narrow path to prophecy– 

another world’s trembling door

                                    -M.J. Iuppa