My far away brother writes that
he thinks he’s in love with
doric columns.

He says that he trusts
their flutes and carved capitals
these days
as they reach up high.

What else is there that’s worthy
he says.

And even though he’s not my brother
he still asks me
if he should marry the firmaments —
the kind that taper skyward
for all time.

(Truth be told, I barely know him –
he’s more of a wish
or an echo.
But no matter.)

My better sibling keeps reminding me
from somewhere in the distance
that he needs life’s
marbled assurance.

So I’ll help him
whoever he is
because brothers and others
surely deserve
to learn how great-grandmothers
hold up our temples
on shoulders
by simply turning each page.

Hiram Larew’s most recent collection, Patchy Ways, was published in 2023 by CyberWit Press. As founder of Poetry X Hunger, he’s bringing a world of poets to the anti-hunger cause. www.HiramLarewPoetry.com and www.PoetryXHunger.com


Before you can grieve, you must first know joy.
You must palm joy, savor its deep honey, learn
satisfaction, not just fullness. First
you must fall into dreams, your muscles
twitching as they give in or give up
and embrace weightlessness. Before you grieve,
you must remember grieflessness.

Think of my great good fortune.
Today I didn’t run from a burning building
or hear the high-pitched pop of gunfire.
Today I didn’t worry about potable water.
Today I didn’t shiver against brick. Today
I didn’t tense at every crackle. Where is my love?
Today I didn’t have to search.

Kim Roberts is the author of six books of poems, most recently Corona/Crown, a cross-disciplinary collaboration with photographer Robert Revere (WordTech Editions, 2023). She is currently a writer-in-residence at the Dumbarton Oaks Conservancy through Writing the Land. Roberts co-curates DC Pride Poem-a-Day each June with filmmaker Jon Gann. http://www.kimroberts.org


in italy, we are two lovers in a stone villa.
we drink limoncello into the afternoon and
crush red grapes with our feet. i cut cherries
and apples and oranges onto china. you lick
balsamic vinegar off your fingers and sing
nursery rhymes to the trees. the hills hum
warm when we make love. we molt feathers
in the tuscan heat. a single stretch of summer
spent touching you, my miracle splayed on
grass sheets.

Ishanee Chanda is a prose writer and poet from Dallas, Texas. She is the author or two books of poetry titled “Oh, these walls, they crumble” and “The Overflow.” Ishanee currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she works full-time in the field of humanitarian aid and refugee response. She enjoys playing badminton in the summer, singing loudly to Taylor Swift, and spending time in Brookland with her little family.


We are solar beams
giving sheen

and lusciousness
to all we touch.

The locks
of my black hair,

with mandevilla.

cascade through
the cosmos.

Cattails pop, silky snow
blankets us.

We are genderless
bathing in oceans

full of clouds.

…from A Rabbit In Search of a Rolex (Day Eight, 2023).

Regie Cabico is the author of A Rabbit In Search of a Rolex (Day Eight, 2023) and executive director of A Gathering of the Tribes in New York City.


The next moment
brought you
from different circumstance
out of dreams
wet with need

We could be lovers
never tire of touch
wander the sweet black wilderness
of this lust
or grow familiar

You homegirl
complexity and chronic youth
open me
as only Woman

Michelle Parkerson is a writer, educator and award-winning filmmaker based in Washington, DC. Her work has screened at prestigious international festivals, including The Sundance Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival, AFI Fest and BlackStar Film Festival. Michelle has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Temple University, Howard University, and University of Delaware as well as the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs Advisory Committee.


At first, everything is magic—
the jar opened before
the giver takes it back.

So much rushing out,
the burning and beautiful.
All gifts and little graves, a broken

treaty with balance that blesses
miracle and destruction.

We are all wrong about the end.
The trick is to close the offering

before you hear your name.

Jona Colson’s poetry collection, Said Through Glass, won the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. His poems, translations, and interviews have appeared in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, LitHub, and elsewhere. He is a professor of ESL at Montgomery College and lives in Washington, D.C.


We’d love to see your work! Publication in the next issue of WWPH Writes! Send us your work via our submittable account here.

JOIN US to celebrate the recent publication of AGUAS/WATERS by Miguel Avero and translated by Jona Colson. In July, Miguel Avero will be traveling to Washington, DC for readings at Politics & Prose (July 12 at the main store); The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore (Happy Hour on Saturday, July 13), and at the Writer’s Center (on Sunday, July 14). Please join us! More information here.

SUBMIT to WWPH Writes. We are reading now for our WINTER, 2025 issues. We are eager for new voices! We are an inclusive, writer-driven community and want to see your poetry and prose (1,000 words or less). Free to submit. Send us your work via our Submittable link here. Insider news: our annual TINY POEMS special summer issues are returning. Submissions open on the first day of summer – June 20th. We will be seeking tiny odes (six lines of less)! Keep reading WWPH Writes for details. Insider news: our manuscript contests will be on hiatus until September 1, 2025. We will be seeking submissions to AMERICA’S FUTURE, a new anthology of prose and poetry, which will celebrate our 50th anniversary year. Any writer with any connections to DC, Maryland, or Virginia can submit (no residency requirement for anthology). Submissions open in September.