Issue > Poetry
Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert was born on Barksdale AFB in 1974, and grew up in Central Florida. He works in a library and is an M.F.A. student at UTEP. He lives in St Johns County, Florida with his wife and daughter.

Home for the Holidays


This evening, I wanna say, is a gift.  
There is good food and there are presents.  
We drink and smile and hold babies.  
Some small part of me wants to self-destruct.  
But it's only a small part. Family is military,
or was, hundreds of years ago. They need you to know:  
you are no better, no matter how good you get.  
Gift giving and thanks giving are white lies, victimless crimes.  
You have to pretend you believe them.  
We can't give each other what we want.
We smile and say thank you.

Poem

             We just don't know what matters...
                                      —Charles Wright


It's late at night. A songbird sings
and startles me.
It's like a distress call.
The work we do
we want to matter.
If it makes someone love you,
or love you more, or keeps them loving you,
it does. The a/c kicks on,
a dog barks once, a man yells.
The woman who loves me for now stirs.
She touches my arm.
I hear the bird again.
This time it sounds like a drizzle of blue sky
in the dark.

Fiction

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