Dear Reader, Like us, perhaps you are looking for different perspectives: the world is big, though our lives…
A woman I haven’t seen before walks through the door and demands my attention. She is taller than a medium-sized person. She is a lioness. A redheaded delight. Her lips take up her entire face. They’re red and I want to kiss them, bite them, and stick them in the pocket of my jeans.
When dolphins die they call out their own name. They do this to make sure their family is close––they do this to remind their near ones: this is who I am. I am here now. I have known joy.
We didn’t recognise his terror. We loved him cold. When his battered heart stopped, we cried and tried to bring him back, fingering lightly his pale feathers.
I remember thinking her head looked like the moon: covered in bumps and divots. I wanted to explore the topography of her scalp, but instead I clenched my hands into fists at my sides until my fingernails left half-crescent indents on my palms.
On those childhood Sunday mornings we used to watch the Orions take flight from the naval air base.
We’ve dug our way to the top of the casket. Our pockets are filled with plastic and wood, roots we’ve twisted off and not eaten. We’re tunneling up, making a barrier against the earth above our heads.
they pull out the woman / through her gut: think of the space now, / open studio with white walls, / dust like milkweed drifting
A diving bird, the pink duck returns for its things. What things? Whatever we took that made it dip its pink head under the waters, not to reappear. Its iridescent beetles, split-wings lifting in the air; its patch of jade grass; its water lilies; its tufted body, without the bullet’s path and tear.
I ran all the way home, my backpack bouncing and smacking me in the small of my back. I fell breathless on the couch, turned on the TV, and stayed there until the nightly news came on. The man’s body had washed ashore. The paramedics didn’t know if he’d died before or after he’d gone over Niagara Falls.
Beyond the bathroom window, the celestial jaw of night loosens its grip on the sky. Whale sharks with their astral skin are tracked by the same software that follows the galaxies.
She's snoring, her face turned to the wall. I want to wake her, see if we can take tweezers to it, extract it like a splinter or a rotted tooth and forget it ever was there, but I know it wouldn't take. Her legs are on loan.
Romanians say fleas serve an important purpose in the ecology of living. Fleas whisper true stories to Bucharest's homeless dogs, who then carry these legends from house to house, keeping history alive.
Things around me tend to die. People, plants, relationships…you name it. My father killed by a hit-and-run driver when I was eighteen, my mom with breast cancer a year later. I’ll spare the details, other than to say that this past summer my husband and I lost what would have been our first child.
I can still taste the satsumas I ate when I came round from the anaesthetic. They told me I couldn’t have water. I waited until they’d gone and, hidden by the cubicle curtains, I reached out to my locker for an orange, peeled it, crammed the segments into my mouth, felt the juice trickle down my throat.
you guys look like celebrities / the black jacket and the blond hair / and wow now in this light / he’s off with spit froth and eyes wide
The planets and too-close suns hovered stillborn. The dust motes found their way back.
"But it's not him. No outline can represent a black body. / White space cannot hold who Michael Brown was."
As in dead, a completed action, not / the slow lingering of life lengthening / towards death. I mean the death itself: / vibrant as a moth’s wing, excited /as forgetting.
I went to the window and there, on the sill, was a small mouse, grey with peach fuzz. It looked almost fetal.
But heed me you have not / and as its claws dig your flank, hot mouth hunting your hidden loins realize this: / X gon give it to ya. He’s gon give it to ya.
When we quiet down, she tells me to make the night disappear, to place wishes on her shoulders, to calm the dividing cells in her body because she can hear them switching, separating, calling out her name.
I consider, oddly, / how the Creature from the Black Lagoon / l was filmed in Florida, and is an iteration / of Grendel, and how intrepid saints have / a fondness for banishing serpents a’ la Beowulf.
The outside was getting harder to ignore. What was coming was coming for us all.
Two summers ago I learned how to take a knife / to my arm and cut along a pig’s leg instead.
That uncertainty is also a gift / was your next gift, / the no-questions and questions twinning themselves / on your overflowing bookshelves, under your bed: / Science and art.