A Sonnet to the Siren Aksinya – Dark eyeglasses, bare shoulders, very unfriendly | by Akaky Akakievich

Dashing through the waywards ways of how one should stay to

Attach with the golden enterprise of the sauntering side of thus

We have missed her while it is still of some esteem to plead over

The nasty but concurrent has been here to faithfully ponder the rue

Of a moreover steadfast caved in is the luminous sounds to not cuss

Overlapping was the needled and not so much of a torrid vapid clover Continue reading “A Sonnet to the Siren Aksinya – Dark eyeglasses, bare shoulders, very unfriendly | by Akaky Akakievich”

Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon

lemon peel

I want to be soft,
like fine china
sipped antiquity
brotheled smut
I want my navel
to expand
each time I think of you
I want my skin
to turn to sand
and slip between
your weathered hands
I want my eyes to land
inside your mouth
so you can see
I carry innocence
abysmal purity
beside sharp shards
warm milk
old wounds
still bleeding Continue reading “Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon”

Three Poems | by James Pate



Sister Midnight, Queen Midnight, Red Midnight, Red Queen, Carrion Queen, Attic Queen, Sister Twin, Sister Dusk, Sister Eclipse, Sister Arson, Sister Nero, Queen Red, Queen Blank, Queen Tremor, Sister One, Sister Two, Sister of the Velvet Basements, Queen of the Back-broken Chairs, Queen of the Rabid Statuary, Sister of Fortune, Sister of Grace, Sister of Obscurer Elements, Queen Tarot, Queen Serpent, Queen Mourning, Sister Morning: Continue reading “Three Poems | by James Pate”

Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst

Surrogate Dharma

I didn’t think I would get lost
or be chained to a contractual victory.
I thought a grain would grow,
become a solid garden. Fires would come, then
firefighters. I would be testifying about
the worth of what survived.
     That is not what happened. I fell prey
to the propaganda of affirmations,
to the volume of control I could contain.
My dream dropped out of me
like a miscarriage. I hoped I could forget:
Tie my shoes, zip up a coat
and kiss the shelter I have. Bridges here and there –
they are not mine to travel.
Vinegar keeps getting injected into my bones,
replacing the marrow with
its potent clarity. Do you see? I am getting older.
It will be over
and I have to be able to say I served well.
My mouth opens and folds like a fledgling wing.
People pass – each one a violin note, a digit, a reluctant
panting pitch. Conversations are ash.
I don’t like living in these elements, my neck
stretched up into the dense middle
of a monsoon. Let me climb,
dragging this dead beast behind me.
Let me live where my father went to school,
on a Himalayan peak.
I am not a petal. My courage is fickle, it fortifies or fades,
dependent each day on mutual obligatory infatuation.
     I can’t keep pretending:
The sun is strong. The night is strong. I am not stronger.
     I am in this hovel with my lamp, tasting metal
of varying textures –
rusted, gold, and other star-erupted symbols –
greeting obscurity, broken toenails
I can’t be bothered to trim. How many rooms, my God?
How much waiting and walking, and the fish?
I could be a fish. Make me
one of those – sliding about, weaving with one full-body stroke
through a lush intricate terrain, mastering
a juicy undergrowth. Continue reading “Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst”

Three Poems | by Ryn Weil


Remember? What light, water, and earth was memory made of?
Only haptic in my hands and in the crevices of my head, but beyond that.
your soul lies, asleep, curled and muted except for the exhaling of breath
like a small animal tucked in a corner of sunlight. Death wakes it, stirs it
in the same manner as love, and the sight of love. It draws it up and pulls it back.
Death lets the animal of the soul out to feel real air, true sunlight.
But mine, mine died imprisoned, raking claws, talons, teeth against its captive walls.
So the scars, the cuts you see inflicted by my own hands are nothing,
Nothing but the simple necessity of breathing.
Without them, letting the smoke of my burnt soul out, I would be screaming.
Continue reading “Three Poems | by Ryn Weil”

SIDE-EFFECTS MAY VARY | by Stephanie Chang

i return to find you
on our porch swing
breeding ladybugs
by the multitude.
your carcass
wails from the spine,
long-limbed like
skeleton leaves.
don’t scare me
like this: where on earth
did you get those
silkmoth wings from?
–no, no
those aren’t toys, dear–
but look at you!
frothing at the
mouth with stars blended
into bubble bath foam.
tell me how we will
sink teeth beneath skin
tonight, what with you
lapping at my ankles
like a goddamn dog. Continue reading “SIDE-EFFECTS MAY VARY | by Stephanie Chang”