Rémi Walle

to counter contamination,
damnation, rules to save we damned

from each other, from ourselves,
rules to damn demons

addicted to the tombs, the sharp rocks
with which they scour their flesh,

Jeremy Bishop

a temporary peace that passes
all understanding, rules against touch–

welcome and unwelcome,
rules for City Light friends

who gather for a meal and takeout
Food Bank fruits and vegetables,

rules volunteers of mercy impart
in cups of soup and sweet tea,

S.O.S., chicken on Friday,
slices of someone named Marie’s

birthday cake ordered, purchased,
forgotten at the supermarket bakery,

Hernan Sanchez

Dana’s rules–her smile, her hand,
its extended finger rising

toward my cheek–may she
give me a little kiss, her almost touch,

its surprise I snap back unprepared for,
her gift I know is one of healing

Jesus never refused to accept
or give as Dana offers her smile

Gene Brutty

I must carry–more shame and guilt,
too late for apology, just one more

rejection in her life of being
turned away, and her smile widens,

what now seems a knowing grin,
and says, “Well . . . maybe in Heaven.”

Cheng Qi Huang