Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, November 02, 2019


by Richard Garcia

The author's Titi Rosa well before her passing.

Titi Rosa came to visit me last night. It was about time. How long? Sixty-five years? Phosh, she said, That's just yesterday. She brought me a fruitcake, the kind everyone in our mean family would make fun of. She always reminded me of one of those maiden aunts in A Child's Christmas in Wales, that sat on the edge of their chairs with their teacups in hand, alert, just in case someone would speak to them. Our old house was quite nice now, with loft-like rooms, and big windows that looked out on the river that used to be buried under concrete. We stood at the window and admired the houses of the wealthy across the river. But these wealthy people were nice wealthy people. One house was like a palace make of sea foam, and seaweed, and palm fronds and driftwood that resembled formations of pelicans. Another had a pile of boxes on its roof seemingly random, but not if you studied it. They looked like cardboard but were really a sculpture of presents yet to be opened. They spilled over the front of their house as if they were falling, but they were not. And there was a skyscraper made of toothpicks by a blind man in prison for shooting his wife. It was justifiable homicide was what he had always claimed, she was a mean wife, and would not stay still when they played William Tell in the backyard. Now you are being silly, Titi Rosa said, and pinched my cheek, which I used to hate. But it felt so nice, to see Titi Rosa, and have her pinch my cheek. Now you eat the fruitcake Richie, she said, all of it, except for one slice. Wrap it up tight in cellophane, and put it in your icebox. It will last you forever, or for the rest of your life, which, according to her, is the same thing.

Richard Garcia is the author of The Other Odyssey from Dream Horse Press, The Chair from BOA, and Porridge from Press 53. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has won a Pushcart prize and has been in Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C.