Rachel Custer


where the lady who owns the liquor store
invites you to church again. double-bagging

your wine box. says sweetie all of us alone
together here. side-eyed in the lunch truck

line we’re Mountain Dew prayers and gas
station Stackers to stay awake. loving the

dirt creased into our old jeans. Mama has
a million stories about some lake somewhere

and we all drank a beer there at least once.
talking about God like he’s sitting right

beside us, head thrown back and guzzling
Bud Light. tosses his empty into the trash

fire. God like any other man halfway gone
to drunk, picking an old guitar and singing

Styx. Hell both here and anyplace but here


About the writer:
Rachel Custer is the Poetry Editor and a reviewer and editorialist at O:JA&L. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in RattleOSU: The JournalThe American Journal of PoetryB O D Y[PANK], and The Antigonish Review. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rachel Custer is the poetry editor at O:JA&L.

Image: Portrait of My Father, #4 by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas on board. 16.5 x 9.4 inches. 2005. By permission.

About the artist:
Alejandro Rosemberg is an Argentine fine artist trained by Claudio Bogino in the classical style of the Italian Great Masters. He studied color under Graydon Parrish at the Grand Central Academy of New York. His works are presently being exhibited in the United States and Canada, respectively represented by Principle Gallery in Virginia and White Rock Gallery in Vancouver. Passionate about teaching the techniques he uses, he invests much time and dedication to his drawing and painting classes and workshops held in Brazil, the USA, and Argentina. Rosemberg is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for February 2019.