Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


by Roxanne Lynn Doty

"Weeping Woman" by Pablo Picasso

It was the end of the line on Van Buren, a Friday night in April, a section of this gritty street where it leaves the city behind, disappears into east valley sprawl, and forgets the history that rumbles beneath its concrete and asphalt, the ghosts of old Phoenix that breathe the night air. The woman stood under the 202 overpass, moving from fence post to fence post, lightly touching each as if in a child’s game or dance, her long hair flying in wind that rushed through the valley that night, blew dead palm fronds across the 4 lanes, debris into the air to flutter gracefully in the haze of dull streetlights and she walked into the oncoming traffic, stood with arms spread—a welcome or a plea or an effort simply to breathe and the cars stopped and watched and some blew their horns and waited as she got onto her knees and folded her hands in prayer in the glare of terrified headlights. And I wanted to say, leave her alone, give her space, don’t call anyone, she has probably been fucked over time and again and beauty has a strangeness and sadness a glow and I looked around for red lights, for an official vehicle that might have been summoned.  But the night remained still and free from authority and we waited and the woman finally rose, and walked to the other side of the street and climbed the incline toward the highway and the traffic began to move again.

Roxanne Lynn Doty lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She has poetry in I70 Review and short stories in Four Chambers, Forge, Soundings Review, Lunaris Review, Journal of Microliterature and Lascaux Review. Two of her  stories were nominated for the New Letters Alexander Patterson Capon Prize for Fiction.