DISTANCE AS A METAPHOR By Temidayo Jacob

DISTANCE AS A METAPHOR

bodies are dropping to the ground like rain

i do not understand
what that means, but
i do know that these days,
the world is obsessed with news of sneezing,
of breath, of               death.

you get too close to people
and
you become a body inviting your own doom…

bodies are dropping,
and i am here in my room
staring into the television,
watching the newscaster help me count them
while i think of
distance as a metaphor for survival.

my neighbour who said
he can’t keep a long distance relationship
is now loving from afar
because his life means so much to him.

also,
there is a boy out there, distancing himself
from his creator,                   from his purpose.

i want to go out there
to touch the helm of my lover’s cloth just once,
but i am afraid,
this longing might damage my lung.

even if the messiah was on earth as at now,
he wouldn’t let the woman with the issue of blood

touch him.

By Temidayo Jacob

Biography:

Temidayo Jacob is a Sociologist who writes from the North Central part of Nigeria. He is passionate about espousing the conflict between the individual and the society, especially through identity, sexuality and conformity. He is the CEO of foenix press. He is also the author of Beauty Of Ashes. Temidayo’s work has appeared and is forthcoming on Rattle, Outcast Magazine, Lucent Dreaming, The Temz Review, Peeking Cat Poetry, Kissing Dynamite, and others. You can reach him on Twitter @BoyUntouched.

whiskey baby By Amanda Kay

whiskey baby

is born from whiskey father, together they
dance under moonshine moon. light me on

fire, picture of burnt flesh—a firefighter’s nightmare
in cognac flames. this smoke rises in cold

air, not the one for the summertime heat. let’s
sip beer from soft lips, we are the shattered glass

that litters these beaches. sinner’s feet get cut on
sharp edges, melt back into our birthplace. whiskey

baby burns burns burns towards the heavens, no baby
doll smiles for paid lovers. not when my lineage tasted

the salt of this country as it dug into our bandaged
feet, no more than a spot of blood among a sea of denial.

whiskey baby cries tears of liquor, watch it pour down
our foreign throats, no home no home no home. drifters

of drained seas, take this salt and spread it onto unwilling
tongues, all dried up without a drop to drink. sinner in the

summertime, we are no aliens but just addicts searching for love.

 

By Amanda Kay

Biography:

Amanda is a current sophomore at Santa Clara High School. She enjoys swimming, reading, and drinking a good cup of tea.

Larkfield St and 200 By Rena Su

Larkfield St and 200

I miss my old town whose crooked homes
Enclosed me and took me in. That roundabout’s

Moss-roped walls guided me down haywire
Sidewalks covered in washed-up chalk

It’s rhythm of nostalgia bore familiarity in
My veins, drumming and silently roaring

Like the garage band, two doors down the street
Every Saturday evening; Metalheads with dreams

Of making it big. The walls weren’t soundproof so
They would roar out those melodies mixed with

Foreign conversations. I couldn’t understand those words,
But heard the same hopes and dreams in a world of accents.

It almost made it seem like the neighborhood children
Were a patchwork quilt. So different but glued together

With Elmer’s Craft Glue. I joined them and laughed
Among forget-me-nots. That memory engraved, lingering

In my mind like those second-hand tobacco trails from
The gas station around the maple-strung corner

Those memories, they still linger. Those moss-roped walls
Guide me down a bygone past — strumming and murmuring.

By Rena Su

Biography:

Rena Su is a 16-year-old writer and poet based in British Columbia, Canada. She thanks you for stumbling across the vast expanses of the internet and landing on her piece.

 

everywhere whispers to us, a promise By Sam Crocker

everywhere whispers to us, a promise

everything was still

and
the old world
began to eat itself

like the apocalyptic
snake
that wraps
tight around the globe
again and again.

the rest of us spoke
among ourselves

and grew strong.

together

we wrenched production
to a stop.

all the powers of the old world
strained forward
against human impulse

as if they could continue
forever.

when they no longer could

they withered like
corn husks
left in the sun
for too long.

then, finally
we were left alone
with ourselves.

so we blessed
the bakers;
the bricklayers;
the farmers;
the doctors;
the carpenters;
the mothers.

for some among us
the world had ended
many times before.
we knew it could again;
this time it could begin.

so everywhere:

in the smell of the wind;
in the creaking of the metal
behemoths of industry;

in the hushed breath of lovers;
in the black dirt;

in the shifting oceans;
in the rising of bread;

in the falling of leaves;
in scraped knees;

in the turning of thin pages;
in the turning of the earth;

in your blinking eyes;

everywhere
whispered a promise
of the new world.

By Sam Crocker

Biography:

Sam Crocker is a young writer from Bernardston, Massachusetts. He spends most of his time gardening, writing, and playing music. His poetry has appeared in the Little Brown House Review, and his songs have been featured in the Valley Advocate’s “Valley Sessions,” (a local site for live music in the Pioneer Valley).

In This Prayer Room By Chiedozie Kelechi Danjuma

In This Prayer Room

I am unlearning this art of lifting head
& lifting hands, with nothing to lift the
spirit

—Logan February.

I would not tell a lie, when your heels
exited the door, moths swarm into the
sitting room, forming a silhouette of
your frame. I bit my fingers hard and
black till the sun walked into the house
& drank tea in my sockets on your
favourite chair. Last harmattan was
cold: the bed sheets had fog on them.
Every night brought you curled. I lean
over, falling on pillows. I am the kitchen
you loved to make sweet jollof noises in,
& an empty glass cup missing your wine.
The space in my soul was a box
and you were claustrophobic—you
could not stand its smallness, so you
broke the walls down with a mallet,
made for escape, leaving crushed
cement in my mouth. I sent birds out
one morning in droves, with little neatly
packed boxes of your phone number,
your face & this poem. I hope you find
the one will colour you in silver &
lightning, & all I gave you in a single
piece of how best to love a woman who
breaks everything.

By Chiedozie Kelechi Danjuma

Biography:

Chiedozie Kelechi Danjuma’s work has appeared on African Writer, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, Boom, and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a law degree.

lacuna By Eunice Kim

lacuna

i borrow my mother’s sadness tonight &
distort it over me like it will replace the
history. the god of my childhood is jaundiced,
a silverfished body in the attic. the house
i grew up in—soft & muffled, cinnamon
-colored. here is where i broke my arm, here
is canary that died nine years ago,
here are the footsteps that ran up the stairs
in the kitchen light & here is where it hurt the
most. the pathways i stopped remembering,
the ones that reached a terminal velocity.
haunted houses lack a sense of legibility, which
is to say, humans are incapable of
recognizing a dead thing. i scythe the lupine
leftovers of my body. i sing fake elegies for
the asleep. the air textures itself with the
quietest violence & just because i bled here
doesn’t make this room a holy space. just
because i tried to build an altar doesn’t
mean this city is jerusalem.

By Eunice Kim

Biography:

Eunice Kim is a Korean-American writer living in Seoul. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Polyphony, The Heritage Review, Vagabond City Lit, and more. She currently works as a staff reader for The Adroit Journal and a volunteer writer for Her Culture.

 

Will I Be Allowed to Speak Again? By Jayant Kashyap

Will I Be Allowed to Speak Again?

The days have now become longer; everyday
a newspaper reads out loud the deaths

of people – found deaths – sometimes
in the sewers, in the mosques and temples

at other times, and then in their own homes,
burnt to nothingness – as if to say that dust

you are, and to dust you shall return; – all
of these bodies are collected the way a child

collects pebbles from sand: everyone
remembers only the first one. Everyone

forgets about them in time, even the child.
Three days ago, someone in the crowd shot

at a person and recited their god’s name,
as if god would tell them what they did was

right. What god, though? Two days ago
the pages blared that the chaos wasn’t silent

anymore, just as everything else isn’t so.
Someone tells me they don’t stand with

“the said victims,” because they are wrong
too; but sometimes the victims are

nothing but victims. “Oh, you are but all
metaphorical. A country doesn’t survive

with metaphors.” Well, nor does it with
suppression and oppression, or does it? The

fests in colleges do not allow skits
surrounding politics, as if to say that only

silence is practical; but what of the water that
is mostly more politics now than water –

the newspaper cuttings lately tell me both
about how a government decides what amount

of water a person should drink every day
and only how much I should speak against my

government. It’s funny how in a democracy
every citizen can be named a militant

except the government itself, as if the regimes
don’t break within themselves anymore;

don’t the broken regimes also lead the nations
to dust? – say Eritrea, say Liberia, say Korea,

say nothing else; say no more.

(for india)

By Jayant Kashyap

Biography:

Jayant Kashyap is a Pushcart Prize-nominee, and one of the founding editors of the e-magazine Bold + Italic. His poems have appeared in Barren, StepAway, Visual Verse, Perverse, Outcast and other magazines. His debut chapbook, Survival, was published in 2019 by Clare Songbirds, and Unaccomplished Cities is upcoming from Ghost City Press.