an animal on stilts reaches the virgin’s tears / and tenderly wipes them. / the virgin cries tres monjitas milk, without coffee.
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Someplace else enrages the turtle why a turtle a turtle never did anything to me okay then an old white man with a sign.
Geoffrey, sometimes I think I wear my sadness like caul fat. / Like how a fetal pig never asks to be dressed
Despite everything, my parents raised me. / They even loved me. These things / should always be surprising.
When E is gone / and left / who will I be?
I watched a woman become gore under microscopes, / glowing skin a subterfuge of dust and memory.
In July, the spare room on the second floor of their rental fills with flies. They try getting the landlord to do something—anything—about the flies, but they’ve only been in France a month and can’t remember how to say please. They keep the door to the Fly Room shut tight.
Everyone was shouting this on the first day of the summer of 1993, so loudly it took us awhile to realize we were shouting it too.
The test began. The students worked diligently to fill the bubbles they deemed appropriate. Livia watched one young man methodically draw frowny faces within each bubble and then cover them over with a flurry of graphite.
His date had neon pink shellacked fingernails. Lance couldn’t stop staring at them. The glare off them from the overhead lights was almost blinding. It reminded him of headlight beams bouncing off a rain-slicked road.
My therapist says to remember that I’m young and only human. My mother in our last phone call said that I’m a narcissist. My father wants the money back from my wedding.
M takes it from him. It sits in her palm, a squat little thing that's very white at the top but bloody at the root. She tries to remember what the different kinds of teeth are and which one this is. Around them, the other kids are screaming and prancing but M and V are still, staring at the tooth.
The city is sinking and about to go underwater. You don’t understand that the city is sinking and about to go underwater. I can smell the trash outside getting wet with anticipation.
This Skank Woman has no choice but to surrender to the hospital ambiance; the noise and patronizing nurses with good intentions, most of the time. The TV is showing the treatment of rhinos in Africa.
all of the lights in the store have gone burnt / dim gaping shelves bent back like bones / breathing fruit rot and dust and no one
What is the problem what is it I ask myself day after day it does not change / I walk through the rooms of my house I open the windows though it is cold
The priest feels a softness washing the back of his neck. Maybe it is rain, he thinks, or sweat.
that curved through the lungs and pierced everything I feared losing –
Anxious Diva tells me I’ve lost what’s fun about me. She says I’m flatter than death. Diva, help me cut these onions, help me feel arrhythmia, tell me how alive I want to be.
We cling to each other like / dust motes to light, and / fall the same way - slow and / landing in erratic patterns.
i couldn't remember what flowers The Hatchet liked so i brought some twigs and branches from the backyard
the overweight cannibals feed every fortnight the children frolic on our scalps this knocking is not a verb
Complete the sentence, “Being a Leo is like…” Natalie Eilbert: ...It’s not like any one thing. A Leo collapses the metaphor, possesses her subjects as she is possessed of subjects. She [...]
Family legend has it that one day I walked into the kitchen from the two-car garage, my hands cupped piously as if carrying a communion wafer. I approached my mother slowly and opened my hands to reveal a mouse in my palms.
You have to understand. Loneliness is both the white knight and the dragon. To outlive each of them, you must slash down from crown-to-kneecaps. I threw their hours away. They couldn’t thrive on time anymore, couldn’t ricochet my body with fear.
I cannot take what isn’t a gift. Socket, Stiff dance, misdeed, a half intelligible embrace.
pre-existing conditions and the deep deep cuts that still draw blood and still take cultures
history & all its seasonings. Introduce her to your parents, your gods, your sharpened knives. Fry.
while everyone else takes out the ladder for fun. The last time I was fun
sweeping the floors after dusk isn’t easy, the frangipani petals still fragrant, still usable, when
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="22273" img_size="600x400" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text] Ana Božičević in conversation with Vi Khi Nao Joy of Missing Out by Ana Božicevic. Birds LLC, $18 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-0-9914298-7-5 VKN: [...]
frogs of lead who bust up your skinny lip by agreement, the paradisiac fields excised, the empty spaces removed from our carapace. a better future for the region. international [...]
I receive reams of dry & toneless correspondence that all boil down to never mind
knows this road where it leads us home cocooned we watch our wings we grow we sleep rise and shine
My petals throbbed & stung & shivered with each recitation. & outside, on the play ground
i wanted a way out of the other into the old one, i wanted to fashion handcuffs
Michael—Mr. Stipe? Momentary God?—did your parents ever argue? do you even have parents?
it’s a voicemail when I’m standing in line at the pharmacy I’m working
crow flies through fog never knowing where to land / Crows need other crows / like a smooth monster skull cracking a jawline /
but then i realized that my body isn’t permanent y’know like bodies how bodies are
I am not afraid of the president’s cartoon hair
Skyline fucking up the alpenglow, W/o speed, so few odes
the ball at the top of my spine keeps spinning I cannot relax or see
we only know the night by sound. i can’t speak for the aspects that have been diagnosed as un normal
you say this offering is not death but a transformation from one kind of existence into another
& I too wanted a ghost. To be entered with no fanfare.
. . IN THE MUSIC THERAPY ROOM Sound exposing floor tiles, drumming to ceiling, embattled floor. Recorded music—Tchaikovsky—wolfs me down. I shut it off and beg [...]
After the disaster, we were shuttled in busses to the elementary school. We were a soft-footed herd. They turned us towards the entrance, combating the mass distraction of our frozen thoughts. We were demagnetized compasses, nothing but spinning needles.
. . A REWARD FOR WHIMSY I knew little about Brad when we arranged to meet. Demographics, mostly. He was thirty-seven, an adjunct with abundant graying hair. A childless [...]
. . THE DINNER THING So, they decided to go to the dinner thing. And now Audrey is looking across the table at her husband next to her oldest [...]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="22281" img_size="600x400" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text]The best thing about the city was the train home in winter, after she had spent the day behind the circulation desk at the public library. [...]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="22280" img_size="600x400" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text]They get him on the way out of Trader Joe’s, with a bag of groceries in his hand thawing slowly in the summer sun. Some college [...]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="22297" img_size="600x400" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text]White knuckles knocked on the glass. Tanya flinched then looked up to find a thin woman with an angular face, watery blue eyes, and shiny coral [...]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="22274" img_size="600x400" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text]Every night at 8 p.m. I wait for the beautiful telemarketer to call again. Her voice has a radio liquidation. She’s lowered it like a man’s. [...]
The woman looks confused. She stares at the girl, who is the only other moving thing in the dark of the new year. She says something that sounds like the hissing of water as it falls to a hot pan. The girl has gone through more than half the matches now, and the woman looks old enough to be her mother. She strikes another.
Oh how I longed for that excitement, oh how I longed for that feeling as I would wrap the helicopter in the dish towels given to us by Cousin Vitto and unwrap it again in a desperate attempt to capture the magic that now eluded me but had been powerfully felt not so long ago.
A coat check girl with deep pockets sits across from me. She’s excavating the night’s ticket stubs, dropping them on the table next to the double-wicked candle that conflates [...]
Luxury The narrative is only conflict or complaint. I ask my friends, If a vagina had a facial expression, what would you read? My friend A [...]
I met Ray in the summer of 2014 while I was visiting my father in Greece. My father had moved there six months prior, after his tumultuous divorce from my [...]
Two boarding passes and I’m sitting on a sofa in this airport, waiting for a plane again. I feel my fear in the palm of my hand. The old exhaustion. Familiar churning in my gut. It’s time to leave. I can’t wait. Outside’s a massive, swamplike heat. Humidity. I want to dip my head in acid. Clean myself out. Shake the dirt that’s all over me. It’s time to leave at last and I can’t wait, but I think something’s happened, this blinding flash of light.
My own mother wore the same handmade clothes until the day she never woke up. Try as I might, I am nowhere near the seamstress she was. So now I wear my daughter’s old clothes. She left a closet full of them, in perfect condition, after she moved out of the house. There are enough sweatshirts for me to live out my days in them.
It was nothing more to me than a mantra, and I didn’t see then that the motto was the invention of a school run nearly entirely by black women—teachers, school safety officers, the principal and assistant principal—designed to help us, we hundreds of black and brown children, to affirm our own dignity, while we were young, while school still served as a kind of shield, however insufficient, from the rest of the city, its hard facts and violence.
My first sexual encounter with a woman was homecoming. It was a trip to Disney World after winning the World Series. It was prying the Oscar out of La La Land’s cold white hands and relinquishing it to Moonlight. It was a tweet going viral despite a typo. It was everything.
Tendrils of dark hair dangle from her bun; refusing to be ordered and catalogued. She is wrapped in a dark sweater that has no end and drapes over itself. If she was a color, she would be lavender and the sky at dusk. She does not contrast with the dusky oranges and sun-streaked pink tones. She compliments them.
Gmail, Twitter, an article on Coleridge called “Is the Ancient Mariner a Zombie?”, my Game of Thrones fantasy league score tables, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s “Women’s Work” from the Boston Review, Wikipedia page for the singer Rebekah Del Rio, essay on the Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Twitter
Months after using my camera, I developed a roll of film and found you on it. I thought of Sontag writing, “The sense of the unattainable that can be evoked by photographs feeds directly into the erotic feelings of those for whom desirability is increased by distance.” I felt obvious and became embarrassed.
Was the couch plaid? Or what? I am trying to collect evidence.
The sky is the colour of a sketch artist’s thumb when the bus sneaks its way out of the bus station, headed for the port town of Kisumu – home; a place so distant it requires at least a week of mental preparation and enough love for those whose existence make up that word.
I never slept in this bed, though at one time I longed to. Instead it was left unconsummated. The summer when I imagined sleeping here, I went to have my tarot cards read over and over and over again.
“Guadalajara!” she said to me a couple more times in that locker room, with the showers thundering in the background and naked women slapping their suits down on wet benches. “Guadalajara.”
When I’m young, it’s the season of the rabbit—cute, horrible, skinny, sprinting under the sagebrush when a truck comes up the dirt road.
He, on the other hand, actually did meth, which was less cool that I thought. He looked more like a coke guy to me, but what do I know about what a coke guy looks like? As a child I smelled pot on my street and wanted desperately to call 911, so I'm not exactly what you would call "street savvy".
“Sturdier than the old one,” my mum said, “and it’ll keep the draft out.” A new door to cover the evidence that our house was not secure, but permeable. Walls like sieves, find a hole and enter.
I only remember my friends as having little teeth as so I can’t comment on their current state or the orthodontia sagas they may have endured. I should add here that I was also a thumb-sucker.
Post-coital tristesse (PCT) or post-coital dysphoria (PCD) is the feeling of sadness, anxiety, agitation or aggression after sexual intercourse. Its name comes from ...
I acted nonchalant when I was, in truth, heartbroken.
I can stay calm during a crisis. But only if it’s very, very serious. Trivial complications provoke a totally outsized reaction from me. I can only handle catastrophes.
After rereading it you feel a weakness that draws out of you like a low tide until there are only raised boats in the mud and incredible want. Why didn’t the character in the story predict that? What did she know that you don’t?
Even when he doesn’t look as good, he still can’t quite look bad. Right after he broke up with you, he bought you a drink.
He reached into his briefcase, pulled out an apple, wiped it on his shirt, and took a large chomp. He watched himself chew in the rear-view mirror. He ate the apple’s core too because he had nowhere to dispose of it and he didn’t want to chuck it out the window in case the client pulled in at exactly that moment.
If you think I see Sibley, if you think I see Ruze, if you think I see Gran or my mom or Ms. K – sorry, you lose. In Gran’s town, the streets don’t care if you are desperate or sad – the streets, like the dark houses, like the faraway sky, like the trees, do what they’re gonna do. They keep quiet. They keep calm – each intersection on auto-light: red, green, yellow. Stop, go, slow. Green, yellow, red, green. Go slow, stop, go back…or go home.
We all slept in the same bed— bodies curved like mandibles. I was plume and warm feathered by your ginseng breathing,
Invite him to your mental cardboard, the dream of miniature golf and pizza at the park.
i am sad and everybody knows it i have the urge to take my shoes off and let my toes wiggle in the grass
desires to toss them to the ground desires to read the shards’ constellation of fates desires to know if his is lost somewhere in her
My stated goal is to make closed forms, which are very difficult and very beautiful.
Who will be with you as you become? I am not asking for me, but for the girl character who waits behind my eyelids
The deer neck’d bone hung between your breasts
a traumatic photosynthesis i have built a city entirely made of baby teeth, roots holding still the frosted fort.
Scattered along the wet sand are tiny, bioluminescent plankton, a different, brighter glow than the ubiquitous jellyfish.
of gold dust, the right dust, the only dust claimed or must they be re-worked into concrete dimmed
not coming, flattened, swallowed whole & hung like an old curtain,
The wet of the day I announce to nonspecific Bodies fill a space to watch Words make up a language I’m not sure I completely
Under her keyboard was a faint eeee. Feeble warble weakly insistent like a dog shut outside. The eeee was deep in her laptop’s guts. Her brother Mark was on video chat, her famous and handsome brother, mouth-breathing due to his rhinoplasty and making tattoo suggestions. But she could hear it between his sentences, the eeee.
1. Eat so many almonds, eat them until you are full to the brim with roasted almond skin pieces and tiny chewed up almond pieces, and then look in the mirror and see if your eye resembles the nut.
without the risk of losing myself, and there was blood along the edges of my blouse
There’s nothing wrong with your life, other than the obvious things. The other girl is rich, though, the kind of rich with soft hands and chauffeurs. You meet her outside her mansion, a baseball cap tipped over your face to hide it.
I also occasionally fell into a coma. I would dream of Las Vegas past, when I was a kid, when I flew down with my grandparents and we could still go to the Sands and the Silver Slipper and the Stardust. They would spend six weeks in the desert every winter in a motel two blocks off the Strip with a pool and a large Yiddish clientele.
Within a few minutes a woman in a red sweatshirt came to collect Tammy. Anisha left soon after, and then, to my consternation, so did Daniel Park. By lunchtime half the class had gone home. At the time I had a strange fondness for carrots dipped in ketchup, and it was this I was enjoying when my father appeared in the doorway.
The grandmothers walk through the front door, two and three at a time, bonding over talk of the weather. They lower their umbrellas, brush raindrops from their shawls and smooth their sheen grey hair, propped up in helmets or draped over grandmotherly shoulders. Cats and dogs, they say. Absolutely cats and dogs.