Examine the disconnect
examine the fire. A plane crash and government search.
Hit POUND to be found. Hit FIRE to examine
the wrong cheeseburger.
The worst; a prisoner released early
(or was he). Hit HEAD to be there. Hit HEAD to go home.
Plurality of imagined experiences (you had to be there)
fire the examiners. You can do real on your own.
It ain’t your plane that crashed. It ain’t you escaping. Continue reading “Hit | by Chance Dibben”
i’m learning how to knit with my fingers
you’d never guess how many times
i’ve failed at failing i’m bad at talking to myself
truth is: who cares i don’t
i’m not equipped for the long haul
but i’m well i’m chasing my tail in triangles
& forcing geometry to align with my preconceived notions
of how to be a world finger knitting champion
or maybe i’ll blossom into a round slick bottomed
black & yellow honeybee haven’t i been telling you the truth for
years if i were a spider, maybe a lovely black widow
or charlotte spinning webs i wouldn’t
be a liar & this wouldn’t be debatable
everyone wants to save the bees
& kill the spiders this is all i have the binary of life & death
the good & the wicked i could finger knit you a sweater
that’s stained with my blood & you’d call it what it is: ruined
i’ve imagined what i could accomplish if i were waking up
every day & trying on new fingers
would there be a sense of urgency that is often missing Continue reading “living is binary | by Caseyrenée Lopez”
Scott sits in my house after his grandmother dies
and tells me all the ways they might sew her mouth shut
for the funeral.
There are three main ways they do it, he says.
There’s a kind of mouthguard, and a dermal punch,
or sometimes they might attach wires to the gums
to crank the mouth closed. And if none of that works,
they’ll just sew you up. Needle and thread.
Scott stares into his tea.
He’s been reading a book about mortuaries, which he recommends.
He’s learned all kinds of useful information, especially now,
with both of us considering how we would want our own mouths kept closed
when we die. Continue reading “Scott says | by Dessa Bayrock”
life’s ambiguities can be fatal
i study men & wonder when they
will unravel me, pull me to pieces
men study me & wonder why
is she so tightly wound Continue reading “Ribbon | by Ariel Clark-Semyck”
What does it mean when all we have between us
is the lap lap lap of river water against a blue cheek
the smell of minerals and fish the grit of the shore
And do you remember when you told me all you saw in me
was the void and cloudless sky— do you remember the rush of stars
on our faces and when I leaned in I whispered and you turned
and took my hand What does it mean when we emerge together
with twigs in our hair and mouths And will you rescue me
over and over again Do you promise Will you save me Continue reading “A Correspondence Between Laura and Dale, 1989 | by Kolleen Carney Hoepfner”
Learn to swim for the express reason of jumping ship.
Marry knucklebones and kerosene.
Paint your face like the war machine it is, invite the anarchists over for tea and cheat with the one sitting closest to you on the left. Give her a fake name.
Burn your stomach walls thin with coffee and dark rum then tune the shreds of your innards to drop D. Pluck. Repeat. Ignore the fact that you took 8 years of lessons and still can’t play.
Don’t sleep – the hours of 11pm to 4am are reserved for smashing your heart open like a piggy bank and realizing you never did save anything.
Scream like a goddamn banshee.
By the time the aching in your throat stops, the ringing in your ears will start and soon you’ll realize the ringing is in your head, and in your fingers, and your stomach, and never on your phone. Dial 9-1-1 then use both thumbs to play chicken with the “call” button.
Cry when the steps to your apartment look like familiar teeth. Cry when you remember where the books on your shelf came from. Cry when you miss your mom.
Beat at your chest like the empty oil drum it is, fill it with the cardboard from all the 12-packs you weren’t the one drinking, take the last of the kerosene you divorced in the end and light it all on fire. Light yourself on fire, change your mind, jump ship.
Ignore the fact that you took 8 years of lessons and still can’t swim. Continue reading “Portrait of the Artist, Still Angry | by Jamie Laubacher”