She grips the handle of her suitcase hard, so hard her fingers begin to cramp. The wave of passengers buoys her toward Arrivals. A sudden intestinal twist in the corridor [...]
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I woke up this morning thinking about David. I woke up this morning, next to Graham, my sleeping husband, thinking about David. I woke up this morning, next to Graham, [...]
Marla was a polite woman. If a man wanted to sleep with her she never refused. With each new man, she adopted a cat—Fluffers McGee for John, Marion for Paul, [...]
These are the things that have changed about Toronto since I left it. There are about 239 new identical 25-floor condos, where young urban dwellers buy overpriced apartments called ‘cubes,’ [...]
He was the winner of everything in the universe. With a glorious head of hair coiffed into a state of perfection, and a magnificent tan that in no way looked [...]
In her last days, when they no longer try to lure her from her narrow bed, she hears singing, lullabies like those her mother sang to her in Ladino or [...]
I hurry down the sloping street towards dealers who stand like raptors, eyes glowing in the half light of nightfall. The wall behind them is covered in gang graffiti; gold [...]
I had an aunt and uncle whose lives were perfect. They sent the most beautiful Christmas cards every year. They came in thick envelopes with stamps from foreign countries. It [...]
if i wear Larry David on my legs when we're not together can i still be free?
In elementary school, teachers clip Queen-Anne’s lace, place it in a bowl of dyed-red water.
They bend over to smell every mouth, determining causes of death: black plague, weakened heart
what do i call it when you get us beers and assure me that everything's fine and we never talk about it ever again?
driving in cars feels like a new body, new dimension to fuck up.
Nietszche. N-I-E-T-Z-S-C-H-E written a hundred times. I said it wrong. Cha! Cha! Cha!
all the pillows have fallen i keep playing a song till it enters my blood because there is no space
She asked if I had a sister; I lost her to the halfway. Yes to the twinning, the sticking, the stench
With the fake crack of the fake gun a silence falls over the county.
little boy drags his belly across the yellow grass, squeaks it like a violin. arms out, pretends he is a ship or airplane
Where are you in my delusions? With any luck, I narrate you into diver cobbler or blacksmith, a village treasure. Behold—offstage, the forest crone spinning blind for no one.
by Aaron Boothby “How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night?” (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ch. [...]
John Keene—writer, translator, and Associate Professor of English and African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark—published his collection of short fiction titled Counternarratives with New Directions last spring. As [...]
silence come across saturdays sigh again they called you in to excuse making excuses
I will split something unseen, and this invisible will transform my world in an instant.
KISS ME NOW, YOU SPHINX. KISS ME NOW, MR. WONDERFUL. KISS ME NOW, KISSING TREE. KISS ME NOW, KISSING BOOTH GIRL.
After I moved to Oregon, away from California for the first time, Granny came up for a visit. This was a few years ago and I was still living [...]
The girls had heard from the boys that the boys were looking for the girls. Outside English, History, Spanish class. Inside the gyms, stables, dormitories. For one week only, they [...]
The bark of the apple tree is black; alone in the garden, black. It cuts into the winter like calligraphy. The winter paints white dogs yellow and makes the [...]
Bronson invites everyone to a drag bbq on Saturday night. Mada and Kalale are not really that down but they’ll go. Paul wants us all to have amazing looks. I [...]
so open a sky so full just him and he is holding my hand and I am when the clouds part who
In a distant future in which humankind has colonized the universe, Dr. Jan Sangan, a veterinarian specializing in extremely large alien organisms, goes spelunking in the bowels of a creature [...]
Silent Friends The two men flail on the balcony. Sky glitters behind them. One with goalpost arms. The dork with a toilet bowl mouth. Not potty—who said that? Just [...]
and you told me you hated my cigarettes but missed me very much and I tried to say the same thing back but couldn’t stop coughing.
Jane lives with her mother and a stranger in a white house by the sea. Red roses with blossoms the size of a baby’s head grow wild over the [...]
“Ridiculous,” my father says. “Guilt is for people who have done something wrong. All we have is survival.”
You and me: sweetness in our ears, honey on our bread, glorious views in every direction, comfortable and secure; contained in madness.
When I took the number six bus downtown—close to perfection: All that time to read, all that window to look out of and all those trees, all those frozen moments at red lights, all that speed on Lake Shore Drive, all those people, all that segregation I didn’t understand, all the difference; nothing is perfect.
Republican Presidential Debate, August 6, 2015, Cleveland, Ohio Republican Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015, Simi Valley, California
‘VIEWS’: On writing Toronto "Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, [...]
A recently-divorced 70-something took 20 minutes of my 23rd year. First, he called me an idiot savant with regards to my schoolwork. Then his eyes met my ears: “If [...]
Four days in Goa nearly killed me. It started the morning my bus arrived in Mapusa and I didn't see my uncle Quinton waiting for me. A swarm of [...]
Angry girls, say all our neck-bearded uncles: assholes, we say of them ‘Bout them teeth, say our mommies and their endless Tampax-lilted Marlboros
My crooked teeth are weary of their sockets. They’re falling out in mounds as if my mouth
For over a decade, Tracy K. Smith has enamored readers and writers with her language and narrative and the ease of which she displays her mastery of both, manipulating them [...]
Cut the meat / to release its ghosts / Trade yourself / for a girl / who thinks meat is making / a comeback. In / fifth grade my teacher called me / a chink in the armor /
An assault on the stationary floor. The gathering middle. Pray the field clean. Ceramic salsify lies in light. Velvet falcon buttoned in pearls. To your mouth.
I don’t why she did this, says my mother on the phone, she must have...I don’t know..., and I know by now to wait.
Mom and I pick him up from T.F. Green in Warwick. He’d left us at 195 pounds but now he’s around 165, face skinny and honed, chest puffed up [...]
Do you remember eating Scottish oysters in Kew Gardens, the bridge overhead? It was Valentine’s Day, light shifted through the Victorian greenhouse.
Suppose he came to know me as he wrote in Sharpie on my belly: whore, or heroine
The name is called out here on camera.
I was in line at Trader Joe’s, waiting to pay for my groceries. My headphones were on and I felt disconnected from my surroundings. I watched people interacting around [...]
She wanted to see the sea lions fed, but when they arrived it was just past noon and the trainers were leaving the ring with empty buckets. The air [...]
This is the way he walks: north on Grace to College, east on College to Manning, south on Manning to Dundas, then west on Dundas back to Grace. It’s [...]
At the top of her journey, Johanna cracked a lager. She was thirteen and thinking of the beautiful sea. The smothering western sea. The concrete stoop leading down to [...]
i cry because snakes don’t deserve to get shot for just being snakes i can swim with them, it’s okay, just put me in that spot
Flag prayers to the wind. Jean pulls up her black hoody. You have to protect your face from the wind sez Mina. The cold wind can damage the skin’s barrier.
It wasn’t assault, exactly. Or maybe it was. Either way it happened quickly. It stopped. Tree-scales scraped barkily against the cotton of her tee-shirt. The boy was walking away. [...]
I can’t recall how Kate Litterer and I initially found each other in the dense mist of online poetry, but think of it this way: it’s 2001 and we’re on [...]
One drink in and she was laughing. It felt like she hadn’t laughed in a long time, but she was always laughing one drink in, and she drank more than [...]
never mind who dropped it who slipped up there's yogurt
of her serial geography— her vertiginous hair all flames on a dark sun, remains maroon with vertigo, washed ashore
My mother was a haenyo: she dove into cold waters for seaweed, abalone, sea urchin, and other things. My fifth year of elementary school holds my first memory of [...]
let’s lay hands on her said the lord. let’s lay hands on her said the soror. let’s lay hands on her said the black man.
In early April, Derrick Austin and I discussed his debut book of poems, Trouble the Water. From queerness, to blackness, to Caravaggio, to R&B singers, Austin’s sorcery extends from his [...]
runs down my leg Untested as a house plant Tempering
Sweet orange almond crumbs stuck to my sweater front as I wobbled into the dining room—having eaten all the leftover naan, flat-out in a stupor on the couch.
to burning—if i light the sari on the clothesline—if there are many saris hung hem to hem—if they pass the flame like an infant : hem to hem—
on second thought i tried something that was not. i brought my camera thinking i would take beautiful pictures, it was a place to take beautiful pictures. i felt a need to try and capture these.
Last night there was a fountain in the park, and my friend said it’s less a fountain than a body covered in water.
The summer after my first year at the new school was homage to the skateboard. Girls walked right up to the edge of the wooden ramps to watch us. [...]
“The world don’t want you to do that.” Cheese Watkins’ daddy says this through two inches of Plexiglas, holding a sawed-off up to the small gap where the money is [...]
Ines was worried if she got a flat tire now or if she ran out of gas she would never make it from Sicily, useless island, to Argentina, the [...]
“O, Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.” –Augustine of Hippo I cut through the field behind Joey and Shannon’s house. Ice lined the creek, splintering off, [...]
Maggie Dietz, That Kind of Happy Groundhog’s Day has passed and spring has come early. The poet, Maggie Dietz, and I walk from her graduate class in Boston University’s historic [...]
*FINAL ROSE is a book-length poem / a body of images / a collection of screenshots taken by Halie Theoharides while watching episodes of The Bachelor. FINAL ROSE will be out from Mount Analogue next fall.
I read Chloe Caldwell's novella, WOMEN, for the first time last spring. I was still getting used to living alone after my boyfriend suddenly broke up with me and moved [...]
He shows us his backyard, roosters, limes, a coconut tree, dasheen, aloe like spiked tails. One, I can sell for $50, he says. We ride in a blue-painted boat to the island of birds.
I love you, suet couch. I love you, plastic rug I slathered in an extra-virgin sauce.
Listen. I’ll be better. I stuffed it into every pocket of your clothing I could find.
I’ll be here / slipping on the peels / laughing / slipping on the peels / laughing / practicing for your arrival / a word about what you are afraid of / maybe / meet me here / I am so lonely
FIELD GUIDE TO ONENESS It does not begin in an empty room, as one would expect. The field you are standing in does not look onto nothing. In fact, [...]
black medulla “I emulate the black which is a cry but which is not voluptuary like a warning, which has lines, cuts, drips, aspirates, trembles with horror, O black [...]
The donkeys are eating the barn. They’re bored, poor things. They are eating out the shape of a donkey, of a dull, sulking herd of donkeys, until at last, [...]
Peter took a plate from a stack of fresh plates that a waiter had just set out. The plate was warm. The breads at the front of the buffet [...]
Dad yelled at the same boxy TV he’d been yelling at since 1976. Traktor Chelyabinsk didn’t score in the first two periods. Kuzyetznov hadn’t played well. I had moved [...]
Route #3S to 18E: Simple. Shove double-roll toilet paper to the back of a shelf, loosen the blade from a utility belt and break down a box in seconds before [...]
Furo Wariboko awoke this morning to find that dreams can lose their way and turn up on the wrong side of sleep. He was lying nude in bed, and [...]
Mona Awad’s new book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, is a bold, heartbreaking and humorous story of one woman's struggle with her weight in a culture that [...]
TO KNOW ELAINE KHAN IS TO SPEND TIME IN HER BED I take the train to Elaine Kahn’s apartment. I mean Elaine and Kit’s apartment. But, I erase Kit [...]
On Taking Up a Matryoshka Doll Collection All the people I am missing Are stacked matryoshka doll style inside you LOST: LAVENDER AT THE KITCHEN SINK. STEMS FRAYED. Everyone [...]
NATURE POEM from Nature Poem When a star dies, it becomes any number of things like a black hole, or a documentary. The early universe of our skin was [...]
6. The kind that waits until his child is eighteen and about to leave the roost before unpacking his Derrick Rose jersey and handing it over, folded and stained—Love this as I have.
Lessen, voluptuous feathers. Fold up fanwise, hide behind your sisters, single
//a spooky mulder field day i want to meet these aliens. it’s strange that i haven’t. have they landed? i hear a balding man call this tiny woman an [...]
At the Sculpture Museum As a child my mother broke the soft wall of my face .....................................The curvilinear of my torn cheek .....................................the model of an arc .....................................floating beneath [...]
I stopped eating meat when I was sixteen years old. It was more or less an instant process. Many of my friends were espousing the benefits of tofu, and [...]
in good dreams I’m no longer vulpes vulpes at the table.
ONCE I dated a boy named courage. I should have kissed him a hundred thousand more times. . THE BOY named courage told me, “I wanted my life to [...]
by Aliza Sajjad Last week I fangirled. And no, it was not over some dreamy boyband or a heartthrob with nicely parted hair. Recently that piercing, wide-eyed excitement has been [...]
*translated from Korean “H, do you remember me?” a man on the other end of the phone asked. His tone was cautious, as if he hoped I would remember [...]