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FEBRUARY

BODY

POSITIVITY

H.D.

WARNING:

DISTURBING WORDS

GRAPHIC CONTENT

Dark Leaf

maybe

Melissa Boles

no one will ever love you if you're too fat

too fat

too fat

what if

maybe I will love myself instead

FULL

Onions

Meagan Johanson

I hold my breasts in the mirror,

imagine the past. Pink nipples

like wanting mouths, skyward.

Skin unstretched by milk and time.

 

Downstairs, my children are noisy.

They laugh and play, want something to eat.

 

My mother had two scars for breasts.

I see them once, in her garden 

of vegetables, fruits, anything she can preserve.

She lifts her shirt to wipe her brow,

two puckered seams beneath

like eyes waiting to open.

 

She leans down to the dirt,

stands up again.

In her arms, a bounty.

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Elizabeth Bates

On a cold winter night,

my womb transitioned

from a grave to an empty tomb.

Yet somehow, this cemetery

transformed itself back into a home.

Roles My

Body Served

H.D.

Old Window

When you fall asleep

Amy-Jean Muller

            I spit in your mouth

a little

Then cover your slumber gently with a pillow where the soft cotton shields your eyes

and the draped fabric smothers your face

            So I can

rush to touch vigorously the salacity of my skin.

That your skin

on mine

           can't satisfy

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Jaina Cipriano

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gyno

Madi Giovina

do you cringe at the thought of

a speculum — at the thought of

spreading your legs for another man

who did nothing

to deserve you?

Sara Dobbie

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Scar

Tissue

Elizabeth Fletcher

I’ve learned to

love this skin—how

it stitched itself together

stronger than before

though still haunted

by how close

this commemoration

of pain came

to dwelling in

more dangerous places—

by life’s razor-thin

margin of error.

AES

Stephanie Jacobs

BODY

David Centorbi

my eyes

are not

your mirror

Old Helmets

Please Touch the Art

KDK

Brush strokes turn oil and skin to paint and sin

so that means all artists are close to coming

and that means all artwork frames up fucking

with the detail in my thighs, lines, stretched wide and a gloss that begs the brain to be touched, spread apart,

You should know my pussy is freaky fine art.

KDK

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beauty enhanced

Melissa Boles

i tattoo my body for relief

and revelation

my body is my temple

and all the best temples

have stained glass windows

Melissa Boles

To the Made Up Girl Who Told Me Concealer Hides Freckles

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Jaina Cipriano

Catherine Zickgraf

I own my cellulite from three babies

I brought into the world.

You wanted a woman, not a little girl.

And still I win against

college chicks with big tits,

the new pussy of a dead fish

gets you nothing in the end.

Jenny Wong

what she doesn’t see beneath this constellation

of bitter stars set in sour milk skin

is the river of words running red -

rusted shards against rising current

of homogenized cream

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Thirty-Five

Jenny Wong

anonymous

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AES

More

Elizabeth Hoyle

"There's just more of you to love, baby."

He says this like it's sweet though I've seen his sideways looks.

My body doesn't make me more or less anything.

He repeats that phrase with a hand sliding down the more of me to what he wants.

"There's always been enough of me to leave."

Elizabeth Hoyle

Patchwork

Makaila Aarin

layer by layer, i lift my skin, cleaving unbelonging pieces,

discarding damage i despise, leaving my body raw, alive.

needle between fingers, i begin the patchwork,

realizing i need a different sort of stitch.

Makaila Aarin

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Rachel Brodsky

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I apologize for the cuts I gifted you just

 

to calm the burning steam in my heart

 

but you're the one with skin.

Dear body,

Rahma O. Jimoh

Sara Dobbie

Pilot Episode

Abigail Swire

It’s got to be a secret the way my mouth floods, bewitched


by the easy way your hands clasp between your knees.


I wonder how the He Gu point in the web of your thumb would taste.


One hand reaches up to kick back your hair.


Isn’t that supposed to mean you “like” like me?


And I wonder if we would fit in each other’s routines


the same easy way you would fit inside of me.

Sara Dobbie

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Disorder

E.G. Regan

i used to hollow myself out with hunger

puke until stomach acid had rotted my teeth

now i’ve gone from extra small to small to medium to large

but at least my teeth are in better shape

at least i’m still alive

H.D.

Sandals Holidays image by hiromi suzuki.

One Foot in Front of the Other is a Ritual, Too

Sidney Dritz

Sun-drunk on my own thighs is a lot like being mad

with power, glaring through my mask-covered teeth

at the vacation-home-town name plastered

across the out-of-state plates.

Hiromi Suzuki

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It’s happening, you said

as though announcing the arrival

of drought or disease

when you saw my breasts

budding too early.

It must have been something I ate.

Blossom

Andrea Lynn Koohi

Sara Dobbie

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"I have too much skin for you to love."

Tell that to the long-dead kings

beating their dicks to my Instagram pictures---

Fuck you.

I am the Renaissance.

Catch Me in

the Louvre

Magi Sumpter

Jaina Cipriano

UNTITLED

Colin Lubner

My mother told and tells me I do not eat enough.

I say I am: enough for me; I am eating even now,

digesting this moment, consuming again a morsel

of world. But she insists: she can see straight through

me,                     clear to the other side.  

I misremember a Milan Kundera novel

Katie K.

Tereza takes me by the hand and tells me it's okay


to shit. That corporeality is good, actually -


not a sign of weakness. And I ask her how


she got my address


but she's thin as the air - the lightness unbearable.

Sara Dobbie

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KDK

Pussy jungle hair

-don’t care. Obsessed much? Don’t share.

Prepare for hot rain

Down there. I hate it

Bare. Nature made perfect my

Pussy jungle hair.

Pussy Jungle Hair

KDK

A pile of skulls and bones, bodies you killed with words.


Drag them along for me to see, but I don't scare easy.

My bones, they are seekers with magic and your time is over.

So the next time, you tell my skinny ass to fuck off, think twice.

Maybe #allbodiesarebeautiful will wring itself around your chest until your ribs resemble mine, but don't worry love, I'll add them to your pile.

Junk Yard

PILE

Adritanaya Tiwari

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Kip Knott

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Christine M. Estel

Rachel Brodsky

HAND-

PAINTED

The curvy, ivory canvas is now splatters of purple and gray, dipping and twisting.

It's a Jackson Pollock

Of guilty pleasures and teeter-tottered self-care,

anxiety and depression.

Of the two fruits it bore in the labor of love, making every stroke perfectly placed in the mess.

Solo show

Sophie MacArthur

When I wank I think of myself

Dancing wet under stage lights

An audience of baffled exes

Not allowed to look away

Sara Dobbie

Baby Lavender

Heidi Miranda

This lavender blood boils inside me

And I love that.

I am vanilla bean coffee cream;

This is to say that nothing

Can stop me once I start to love me.

Sara Dobbie

Socialized Insecurities

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Elizabeth Bluth

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Body Hair Don't Care Anywhere and Everywhere

No matter how much feminist theory

I read, it’s there. I can even tell you

here, on this page, the ways

I have learned to find beauty in

all the flaws and crooked bits. But still,

in the quiet, secret shadows of my mind

haunts the remnants of the girl

society taught must hate herself.

Katharine Mussellam

Close your door on the peddlers selling shame


Hold your rebellion under your summer sleeves


Your leg hair free beneath your cut-off shorts


Softness that shatters their old mould of “woman”


And opiates against the airbrushed world

Alexis O'Brien

Katharine Mussellam

Jo Withers

Sara Dobbie

BACON

“Fat sow,” my sister pealed, oinking like she’d choke.

In death, my rump will turn to grave soap,

Glowing waxed and clean.

Her size six, cocaine bones flaked to maggot meal.

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"I went through every form with you."
"Well certainly not EVERY form?"
"Yeah sure, but still a lot of them, just look at me, just look at you,
the way that I am holding
all your years and shapes,
no hands."


I ran my fingers over her, that mellow, time-worn surface. "How would you

like it if I did that thing –"

"I'm serious, you need to stop expanding and deflating me
and settle on some middle ground

already!"

"You know that's not my call to make."


I let her get on top of me; we reached into our skull.

Skin Back Talking

AES

Lara Bausten

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soul-less

Grace Alice Evans

gone are the days / through which i wrecked the substance / the bone and cartilage becoming viscera / lining my soul-less body / enveloped in the cataclysm of oncoming nonexistence / i am now enduring / learning how to put myself back / atom by atom / to occupy spaces beyond the liminal.

H.D.

MEET THE AUTHORS

MAKAILA AARIN

Patchwork

Makaila Aarin works as an academic librarian in Mississippi where she lives with her three rescue dogs. She holds degrees in English, library science, and education. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Her poetry has appeared in Prismatica Magazine, Stone of Madness, Glitch Words, Poetically Magazine, and other magazines. Her work is forthcoming in Dwelling Literary and Sinister Wisdom. Find her on Twitter: @makaila_aarin

ELIZABETH BATES

Roles My Body Served

Elizabeth Bates is a writer and teacher. She lives in Washington state in a home filled with boys: her husband, her son, and two Siberian Huskies. Bates wrote "Roles My Body Served” in memory of her miscarried child and for all women who have suffered through the trauma of pregnancy loss. She has recent or forthcoming pieces in Versification, The Daily Drunk, Seaborne Magazine, and elsewhere. She tweets about writing and life at @ElizabethKBates.

LARA BAUSTEN

Skin Back Talking

Lara Bausten (she/her) is a writer and grad student currently based in Berlin. She's interested in book studies, textual scholarship and so-called experimental fiction. Some of her texts have been published in Second Chance Lit or Literaturautomate. You can find her on Twitter: @PlayhouseZine

ELIZABETH BLUTH

Socialized Insecurities

Elizabeth Bluth is a writer of fiction, poetry, and plays. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in LIT Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and others. She has a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Astaire. You can find her on Twitter @elizakbluth. www.elizabethbluth.com

MELISSA BOLES

maybe
beauty enhanced

Melissa Boles is a writer, storyteller, and impatient optimist from the Pacific Northwest who recently relocated to Tennessee. Her writing focuses on art, mental health, love, and the human connection. Melissa has been published in The Daily Drunk, Emerge Literary Journal, Stone of Madness Press, and at Fanfare and Sexology on Medium. Her forthcoming chapbook, We Love in Small Moments, will be published through ELJ Editions, Ltd. in May 2021. You can find her at MelissaBoles.com or at @melloftheball.

SIDNEY DRITZ

One Foot in Front of the Other is a Ritual, Too

Sidney Dritz is currently reevaluating what to do with the rest of her life. She finished her three-college tour of America at the University of Southern Maine, and her poetry has appeared in Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, The Daily Drunk, and some other places. Follow her work as it develops on twitter at @sidneydritz.

CHRISTINE M. ESTEL

Hand-painted

Christine M. Estel (@EstellingAStory) is a Philadelphia-based writer, stay-at-home mom, and private tutor. Her one tattoo and nostril piercing are the funkiest things about her.

GRACE ALICE EVANS

soul-less

Grace Alice Evans (she/they) is a LGBTQ+, mixed-heritage poet, writer, sound/visual artist and survivor, whose work explores living with mental illness, trauma, recovery, and the dichotomy between the inner and outer worlds. Grace’s social media handle is @gracealiceevans.

ELIZABETH FLETCHER

Scar Tissue

Elizabeth Fletcher, MFA, RYT-500, has work in Confrontation, Schuylkill Valley Journal Online, Leaping Clear and more. She writes and teaches yoga in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fluent in woo and gif, she can be found on Twitter @esfletcher

MADI GIOVINA

gyno

Madi Giovina writes poems and stories. she has work in/forthcoming in fresh.ink, Polemical Zine, Feels Zine, Second Chance Lit and more. Madi is a co-editor for Backslash Lit and the founder of Perennial Press. Madi lives in Philadelphia with her feisty cat, Shrimp. She has no known allergies.

ELIZABETH HOYLE

More

Elizabeth Hoyle is from and lives in southern West Virginia. Her fiction has been featured in The Daily Drunk, Blind Corner Literary Magazine, 365 Tomorrows, and other print and online publications. Her poetry has been featured in The Daily Drunk, What Rough Beast, and Boned: A collection of skeletal writings. She's currently pursuing her master's in library science and can usually be found spending what spare time she has under a tree with a book and notebook. Follow her on Twitter @ERHoyle.

RAHMA O. JIMOH

Dear Body

Rahma O. Jimoh is a punk from Lagos, Nigeria. She is a  writer and nature photog. She loves to write on humanity, identity and politics. She's a lover of nature, photography and tourism. She has been published or forthcoming in Feral, Serotonin, The Hellebore and other literary journals. She was a joint winner, PIN 10-day poetry challenge, 2019, Second runner up in the Poesy writers contest 2019 and recently shortlisted as top ten in the Hysteria Writing Contest, 2020. She is a 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee. She is the Poetry Editor for The Quills and a Contributor at Best Of Africa. When her mind is calm and she's not thinking of transforming the voices on her head to words, then she should be seen baking, travelling or talking to flowers. FB @Rahma O. Jimoh, TW/IG   @dynamicrahma

ANDREA LYNN KOOHI

Blossom

Andrea Lynn Koohi writes from the grey areas where her brain is happiest. She has work appearing or forthcoming in (mac)ro(mic), Streetlight Magazine and Emerge Literary Journal. Find her on Twitter @AndreaKoohi

COLIN LUBNER

UNTITLED

Colin Lubner writes (in English) and teaches (math) in southern New Jersey. His work has either appeared or will appear, temporally speaking. Recent pieces can be found through his Twitter: @no1canimagine0. He is keeping on keeping on.

SOPHIE MACARTHUR

Solo Show

Sophie MacArthur is a northern poet and performer from the Uk. She has performed her own work at theatres across London and is currently locked down by the coast writing to entertain herself...which doesn’t always work. For other poems about wanking or hope or chips it’s Twitter: @macarthursb and Insta: @_sbwrites

HEIDI MIRANDA

baby lavender

Heidi Miranda is a Mexican poet working towards a B.A. in English. She has published poems in both online and in-print journals and hopes to publish her first chapbook soon. She is active on Instagram (@weepingblueberry) where she can be found posting landscape photography and quoting from her favorite poets.

KATHARINE MUSSELLAM

Body Hair Don't Care Anywhere and Everywhere

Katharine Mussellam is a writer and cinephile from Markham, Ontario, Canada. She thinks conventional beauty standards are a bore. Some of her previous work has appeared in The Mitre and other corners of the Internet. Chat with her on Twitter: @KVMwrites.

E.G. REGAN

disorder

E.G. Regan is a writer from Toronto, ON and is currently studying Creative Writing and Publishing at Sheridan. She loves true crime, fantasy novels, and stomping on ant hills. Her work has appeared in Savant Garde and The Bangor Literary Journal. You can find her on twitter @eg_regan.

MAGI SUMPTER

Catch Me in the Louvre

Magi Sumpter is a part-time paralegal, part-time college burnout. She won a schoolwide poetry contest in fourth grade with a limerick detailing mermaid cannibalism and has since been referred for counseling. She is currently finishing her BA in Political Science, all the while attempting to immortalize her existence on this earth.

ADRITANAYA TIWARI

PILE

Adritanaya Tiwari is a dental intern from India. Her work has been/is forthcoming in Versification Zine, The Daily Drunk Mag, Nightingale and Sparrow magazine, Ayaskala, and others.  

JO WITHERS

Bacon

Jo Withers writes short fiction and poetry. Recent work features in Molotov Cocktail Flash Monster, Milk Candy Review, XRAY and Best Microfictions 2020. Originally from England, Jo now lives in South Australia. Over the years, Jo has lived in some of the murder capitals of the world but she promises this is just a co-incidence.

JENNY WONG

To the Made Up Girl Who Told Me Concealer Hides Freckles

Jenny Wong is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst. She resides in the foothills of Alberta, Canada and tweets @jenwithwords. Lately, her poems have been more about indoor things, but she still dreams about wandering Singapore hawker centres, Portuguese sidewalks, and Parisian cemeteries. Recent publications include Atlas & Alice, Whale Road Review, Lost Balloon, Ellipsis Zine and perhappened mag.

CATHERINE ZICKGRAF

Thirty-Five

Two lifetimes ago, Catherine performed her poetry in Madrid. Now her main jobs are to write and hang out with her family. Watch/read more at www.caththegreat.blogspot.com

MEET THE ARTISTS

JAINA CIPRIANO

Jaina Cipriano is a Boston based artist working with photography, film and installation. Her work explores the emotional toll of religious and romantic entrapment through immersive sets and emotional performances that mirror the subconscious. A new member of the New England Sculptors Association board, Jaina is big on expanding and connecting the art world in Boston.  Jaina’s work was recently published in GRLSQUASH, Gastronomica and The Boston Herald. In October 2020 she debuted her first short film, "You Don't Have to Take Orders from The Moon," a magical realism story about darkness inside and outside us. She is working on her next film, “Trauma Bond” set to film early 2021.

HIROMI SUZUKI

Suzuki, Hiromi  is a poet, fiction writer, and artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of Ms. cried - 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (Kisaragi Publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018), INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018), Andante (AngelHousePress, 2019), Found Words from Olivetti (Simulacrum Press, 2020). Her works have been published internationally in poetry journals, literary journals and anthologies.

 https://hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com/      Twitter : @HRMsuzuki

STEPHANIE JACOBS

"I was in a car accident in high school. The car flipped end over end, and I was thrown through a hatchback and landed in a barbed-wire fence. I had 500 stitches on my face alone, as well as other scars and injuries."

Stephanie is a Kansas girl turned LA lady. She is a psychologist who spends her days listening, and is venturing out to be seen. She has a penchant for witty comebacks and stained shirts. Find her words and photos in Versification, Moxy Magazine, and Crêpe and Penn.

RACHEL BRODSKY

Rachel Brodsky is a Midwestern artist and hairstylist with a Neuroscience degree, who primarily enjoys creating realistic and surrealistic adult art. More of her work can be found on her website, rbrodskyart.com, and IG: @riotjuice_

ALEXIS O'BRIEN

Alexis O’Brien is a poet and film photographer based in New York, making work as evidence of how we’re here, alive and dying. She can be found at alexisobrien.com