Cover Photo: "Causal Connections" by Charlie Weeks

"Causal Connections"

Ceding the head trauma filled lesions

That once were seeds planted in my head

Struck by a riot's kisses

The violent idealist was telling me

Over a meal at his favorite place

I shrugged and nodded with a half grin

Struggling to keep the food in my mouth

At least someone out there understood

I thought as my smile stretched from crooked sides

As his blank expression grew

Setting out lines across his face

Reminiscent of tree roots in symmetry and rhythm

"Repression grew out of adolescence"

He continued after another gulp of fine wine.

Wiping his nose

When such behavior was out of season

Drawn to his confidence

Like a painting that sucks you in.

Caught off guard by words

Reinforced by self-taught thinking

Taking too me kindly

I continued to keep sipping

A glass of wine as he poured

Both he and I another.

Deeply impressed

By this rare trust in humanity

He ordered another bottle.

Saying with a grin

"It's gonna a little more to make the pain go away."