“If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

grow more hands if you’re happy and you know it become a monstrosity   If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it give me the skeleton of everything that’s gone extinct   give me the fossil of optimism   If you need water or will wilt and you know it sit still and pray for water   feel yourself wilting and wilt   Look into the night sky tell it I want to put you in a bowl as if you were a fish to illuminate my room as if you were the night … Continue reading “If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

“A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

83. To Make Poor Paper not Flow When You Write on it.      Dip the paper in alum water.  I, Hohman, will hereafter pour a little water on the alum and moisten the paper. Then I will see whether one can write on it.                                                                From “The Long Hidden Friend”, Journal of American Folk-lore (1904)   Again, some kind of alchemy at work retracing speech in the turning color, in the sighing snow.         Dream of the mirror house on another shore,         where a direct gaze is evaded         where one speaks in the winding steps         of a shadow on the far … Continue reading “A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

“another self-deprecating joke about my criminal record” and “Why Quit When You Can’t?” by Nicholas Alti

        Nicholas Alti writes with and about trigeminal neuralgia, depression, addiction, and an affinity for strangeness. He’s an assistant editor for fiction and poetry at The Black Warrior Review. There’s more of his work at Dream Pop Press, Hypertrophic Press, The Hunger, Pretty Owl Poetry, and elsewhere. Continue reading “another self-deprecating joke about my criminal record” and “Why Quit When You Can’t?” by Nicholas Alti

“Not on my lips anymore” by Elisabeth Horan

Your sexual preference is the strand of spider web across my eyes this morning, Annoyed, I swipe it away; it is perfect and persistent; it laughs at my effort, yet doesn’t let go. My wanting you is for what – I don’t know – as if new clothes would make me Somehow happier – more complete – as if a male outfit could dress me less like a pauper, More like the butch empress who shuns the requisite lesbian clothes Our time was not for naught but smacks of chocolate mints after dinner, you want one so badly especially after … Continue reading “Not on my lips anymore” by Elisabeth Horan

“Burn” and “Salt Water Haibun” by Courtney LeBlanc

BURN I sit in front of the fire, the wood so dry it pops, embers rain out, a small burn marks the rug, evidence of the offense. When I met him the spark glowed hot. How quickly I reacted, knowing to let it smolder could mean a home in flames. I don’t always do this, extinguish the fires that burn low, snuff out the desires before they can rage, burning everything to the ground. By the end of winter the rug is filled with tiny black holes, embers leaving their mark, a reverse constellation. By the end of winter I … Continue reading “Burn” and “Salt Water Haibun” by Courtney LeBlanc

Yum Yum Time by Elisabeth Horan

Hello shattered baby. Lie down – and come, I want to be free with you – I want to be something new for you – to be your new pet. I’m so fun: you drinking / me drinking fun. I want our party to be the kind they love – they covet our things, our makeup, our thighs, our non-existent pantilines. We are goddess lovers / we are body-snatchers. We are what love wishes it could be – calls us up and asks for advice on her asymmetrical nasal profile and pesky mustache whiskers. Bitch. Serves her right. Took yum … Continue reading Yum Yum Time by Elisabeth Horan