i’m worried about the man behind me in line.
probably staring, thinking unthinkable things.
probably wanting to put things inside me.
body parts, utensils, dolls, bottles, animals
who knows what people think about these days
screaming in your face
has a lot to say
She’d just sat down to breakfast when she noticed her ex hanging
in the grapefruit tree in her backyard.
Three days later, the tree was gone – all evidence of it –
eradicated, raked up and sodded over.
Now all that stands in the spot is a plastic flamingo,
its beady little eye glaring straight in her kitchen.
a mother's love
They want to know do I think about hurting the baby
are relieved when I say no. I don’t
tell them I think about opening all the windows so the neighbors will
hear him cry when I lie down on the bed and
slit my own throat
five do's and don'ts for a better suicide note
1. Start with your name so the wrong family doesn’t waste their time mourning.
2. If you choose a gun or a razor to end it all, use any color ink but red.
3. Don’t bother with apologies; no one can forgive rigor mortis.
4. Write your note the night before; the desire to revise should not be discounted.
5. Never end with thank you; if you hear you’re welcome, something went terribly wrong.
in my rolled up blue jeans cuff
the morning after furious
the first five minutes
Blood spilling in our courtyard
father sacrificed a cow for Eid ul Adha
A blossoming deathbed of a religious ritual
A woman butchered for not bleeding the first night
on a body meant to make more bodies
the beekeeper packs wax and bloodied linen into the guts,
into the cavity of the pelvis.
"you will be so beautiful," she says. "so full of life."
the bees do not say anything--they are busy
Puking up my insides
onto the page,
swirl my finger
in the sick
to make something pretty.
Chew, chew, chewing regrets.
Smoke snakes my skin like serious sex
As I crush hot incense between my teeth.
A divine ounce allows delicious orgasms
And I feel no need to pleasure men.
A Cannabis Queen can come whenever, she says that shit is spiritual hunger.
a poetry double feature
Charles J. March III
Wispy Moments of Pleasure
Like when it’s cold out, and you’re washing your hands in hot water, and you wish you could stay there forever.
The CIA is starting to survey the rehab owners, to see who’s watching over the tweakers and paranoid schizophrenics.
melissa ashley hernandez
9 PM Election Night; red and blue
bite fingernails while shit-posting
on Facebook, watching states
light up on the map until 6 AM,
fear ferrying us into a restless sleep.
She pressed the ice pack to her jaw, waiting for the throb to freeze into submission.
The tooth would have had to come out eventually.
It was slightly angled, and causing a cavity.
Even a dentist would have done the same, she tells herself,
moving the ice pack to the bruises on her chest.
and the power it holds
Talons perched on my temple, a raven's beak pierces the
Taut film of an eye; it opens me and peers inside, searching.
Spores open their umbrellas beneath my skin and divide me.
I am chained to this rock, rotting and devoured;
The beak grates against porous bone.
after you (left)
The daffodils slump
on their crucifixial stalks.
Their little necks snap
and they suffocate;
chin on chest, they wilt.
Went east to inject my batteries like cleaner to the fuel injectors—
90 into the middle of nowhere, hoping the tach shaking
like spray paint meant it'd burned out the corrosion, blow out
the chalky leftovers settled into the crevasses between the seats
in blue light she pressed against soft skin
broke herself open for strangers
came apart over screens, in harsh embraces
said she wanted love, chased release
awoke alone, gratified, paramount
Dealing in Sanity
My health insurance ran out
so my therapist asked me about
Suggesting I get my medication
on the black market
things to think about
I think about being a mother but can’t imagine it at all.
I picture myself made out of marble, cold and carved.
I pull down my skirt, tights, grey cotton underpants
Still no blood. Instead I think about catastrophes
Disasters, walking home alone at dusk.
I can't tell you every secret
emily m. goldsmith
When I was a young fire-headed girl,
I pummeled the hot bare asphalt with my bare feet.
I would clutch the dirt,
shovel it into my throat tirelessly.
I took the ashes of men, wet and swirled,
when I needed eyeliner.
I couldn’t find anything else so dark and black.
The Limits of My Love
If I could love you, I swear to Christ I would.
You don't know what it means
to have this sickness, this trial, this ghost.
I am limited. In my soul. In my heart.
We shared laundry money and bottled water and email passwords and a personal massager
because you insisted that was what girlfriends did
and I was trying to shrink myself to fit into your twin bed.
Your eyes are rocks with my hand around your throat.
You unfurl when I crack your wings.
We stop breathing together and I unlock the strap,
our final dim form in the mirror is peach melba and vanilla kickshaw.
now, I still have the same wiring in my brain
electricity doesn’t sprint at its old pace, these days
it’s a spark there, a sizzle here: reminding me
where I come from, I can never forget
how to short circuit when needed
[ ] months after I almost killed myself
I can't remember
that didn't blister
over the scars
that summer left behind
Michael Stipe Is On The Fucking Radio Again
Kevin Richard White
"Losing My Religion" blares again as I drunkenly cut off a Forrester.
Catholics! I curse. As I weave to stay in the road.
Jesus! I yell as I approach another intersection.
God. If you can cut a loaf for a bunch of believer idiots,
make sure I stay straight enough to get back to work
Anna E. Fullmer
You try to divide Earth’s frozen dirt,
but Earth rejects your spade,
refuses to fold over
another dead cat in a shoebox,
suggesting: stop taking in strays.
In Search of a New Year's Resolution
Right time, your place
We jumped out of the frying pan
into the car. Full-speed into spike strips.
Sirens fly by. Slide on ice.
"It was only ever...".
Missile tests shook the ground.
Lightning came down.
Now we're on fire.
We come. We go.
You know everything has to break
for a house to feel like home.
-holes in the air
from cheap cigars-
I toss painkillers into coffee-
-Keep food to a minimum;
we have to eat tomorrow-
southern twink sucked my sugar
until I turned sour
You exited the one-person bathroom first,
Before I did, lips curling into a grin -
An old Christian couple stared and murmured.
We were, after all, in Burger King
I am much less interested
in how many angels fit
on the head of a pin
than I am in how much god
can hang from the end of a rope.
The day Mum left, I swallowed Dad’s hornets’ nest.
Throat swelled closed, guts broiling,
I poked the wasps, too—finger right in, buzzing, frying,
vomited me across the kitchen.
I can still make out
The faded scars on my back
Where you clawed me like you had been buried alive
As we fucked in the back seat
Of your husband’s Porsche Cayenne.
I may have wanted...
I may have wanted
all I want
My sister slept with a bible underneath her head.
A non-believer, she thought I was possessed.
Lisa Lerma Weber
I sought help in lockdown,
Zoom sessions only
Waiting to connect, I felt the disconnect
A stranger on a screen
Asking about my past
How many secrets can a stranger keep?
Reconnecting. Please wait.
Deliberately dishonest discussion
She asks, I reply
No one had noticed I wasn’t okay
replied the shape on the screen
Reconnecting. Please wait.
Anyone close you can talk to?
Strange world restrictions
She waits for me to continue
(Or is she buffering?)
Reconnecting. Please wait.
Not the help I wanted
For 40 an hour.