Across Balter Beerworks at the corner
            of Jackson & Broadway, Knoxville, TN

Patio twilight subdues the golden
backdrop of a glass of pale ale,
each bubble lifting through the silk glow
as if reaching for the stars.

Beer slips past my lips that are momentarily
silent but questions still effervesce
without answers. Sometimes, in the quiet
lull of a waning summer day, philosophy

merges with that silence and creates
its own music ... or cacophony. Across
the street, between the hush of cars
I hear the haunts of a repossessed building,

its brick no longer in the agony of neglect
but quickened from deep piles, dusty
with crumbled history along with busted
plaster and rotting lumber—a warehouse

of memories that once lit up the downtown
sidewalk with its collage of tiffany lamps
imputing character to the hundred-year-old
building. And now, reprieved, its eyes

literally windows to its soul, reflecting
assurance in the afterglow of the sun—
	glass on fire breathing hope.
	I take another sip, my glass

bathed in the same radiant light
full of intoxicating promise, glints
into the mirror of my own eyes,
my own philosophies whispering

partial answers to those rising
	of mortality
		and resurrection.


  • John C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020), the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020), and the Joy Margrave Award (2015, 2017) for creative nonfiction. He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as the celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His full-length collections are Disabled Monsters (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2015), Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2021), Sacred Flute (Iris Press, 2022), and Song of the Mountains (Middle Creek Publishing, 2023). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A physics professor at Alice Lloyd College, John lives in southeast Kentucky.

  • Historical photographs from