A Change of Climate By A. S. Maulucci

A Change Of Climate

In the morning when the birds are chattering,
I wake from dreams both wild and strange.
My taste of contentment is but a smattering.
My thoughts come into focus on a world of change.

Weeks have flowed by on the current of illusion.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and so to bed,
The world in chaos and life passes in confusion,
Many come to birth, and many more are dead.

So go the cycles of our spinning Earth.
The masses labor to get hold of what they lack,
And spend their meager dollars for an ounce of mirth,
While the rich fight to keep their business in the black.

What can one make of all this struggle and striving?
Populations explode and humanity keeps on working.
Like billions of bees whose instinct is for hiving,
Our goal is survival despite the doom that’s lurking.

More and more of Nature do we plunder,
The storms are lashing fiercer, the seas are rising,
There’s anger in the cry of her deep thunder,
And every morning fewer birds are singing.

A Great Beast has come up from Nature’s bowels,
A grendel who lives to open its jaws and devour.
We can smell its foul breath and hear its howls,
Without a doubt we’ve reached the final hour.

Yet we dance forward oblivious of these facts,
So determined are we to get our pleasure from consuming.
Self-destruction drives our thoughtless acts,
And annihilation of our race is darkly looming.

Awaken to the danger, Humanity, rise and take heed!
The times compel us to make a fine distinction
Between what we want and what we truly need!
Our race is racing recklessly onward to extinction!

By A. S. Maulucci


A.S. Maulucci is a playwright-poet-novelist and world citizen. Author of 15 books and 6 full-length plays, he holds an MA from Wesleyan University, and currently makes his home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he writes, paints and enjoys exploring the local culture with his Mexican wife, a book designer. His work has appeared in publications throughout North America. Maulucci’s books are available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon.com.  You can find more of Maulucci’s work on Blogpot

svalbard global seed vault By Rishika Aggarwal

svalbard global seed vault

i. they say we’re the safest
we’ve ever been in history.
but –
– let’s talk about the wars.
the deaths.

(can you see the
shadows crawl forward?)

ii. today, more children
will have learnt how to kill.
more girls who still can’t
count to ten
will have given birth

(the darkness, it burns
and soothes your pains away)

iii. ayyan has become a calling card
for a generation under attack
we still don’t know the names
of the hundreds of other children
welcomed by rán’s net

(dance in the darkness, sweetheart
it’s all that’s left for you anyway)

iv. today, syria opened a vault
that was meant to protect the world
in case of pandemics
or nuclear wars.
neither has come upon us
and still, seeds of hope
have gone missing

(tell me,
do you see the blades yet?)

By Rishika Aggarwal


Rishika Aggarwal is an aspiring poet from India, currently studying for her master’s degree in English Literature. She’s been reading for as long as she can remember, and dreaming of being a writer for about as long. You’ll be able to find her (and more of her work) at rishwrites.tumblr.com


What I Wish You Would See By Michelle Gordon

What I Wish You Would See

Instead of calling me, “Exotic,” look at the maps on my ankles that tell you where I am, where I will go, and where my roots have grown

Instead of asking “Do you dance like the girls in the video?” notice the movement in
the wave of my fingers when I reach for God
Notice the sway of my hips when I walk with the pride that others try to strip me of

Instead of asking “Can I touch your hair?” watch how it outshines
the amber waves of gold
Listen to the stories of the hands that belonged to the women and men who have brushed,
braided, and styled this hair

Read the lines on the back of my hands
The freckles on my back
The eyelashes that flutter around my dark brown eyes

I’m so much more than the boxed stereotype
I don’t fit the picture frame of a black woman you molded

So, instead of saying, “I wish I could be tan like you,” understand
that women like me share so many hues
We make a rainbow look dull

By Michelle Gordon


Michelle Gordon is a New Yorker who loves old school R&B, Jazz, black and white movies, bookstores and of course writing. She is a contributor for Germ Magazine.

Calling Names By Do Nguyen Mai

Calling Names

Park. Lee. Kim. Chang. Wong. Yee. Sakurada. Matsumoto. Nagasaki.

These are the names that have authored every word of what we must be. Dark hair, pale skin, cherry lips. Limbs like fragile, flexible bamboo sticks. Steps bound quieter than summer crickets. Like Shanghai Girls. Like Madame Butterfly. Like Memoirs of a Geisha.

But we do not see our faces playing part in the tragedies they’ve painted of their opulent, romantic East.

Where are the girls, black hair bound tightly beneath bamboo hats, running on slick, muddy roads with fifty pounds of rice on their tanned, burned backs to the market to try and make five U.S. cents for the herbs they need to heal their bloody, bruised wounds?

Where are the girls, over-sized guns in their malnourished hands, leaping from tree to tree like leopards ready to pounce on the next American soldier that tries to call sweetly for them, only to leave them wailing like children in a matter of hours?

Where are the girls, hair braided tightly with whispers of expectation, crying for their mothers beneath bright red veils dyed just a shade from the color of freshly spilled blood?

Where are the girls, calloused soles wading through leech-infested, waters, breathing pure, melodious song from lungs rotting with the smoke of war?

Where are the black haired, dark skinned, plum lipped girls with limbs like strong, unyielding rosewood and footsteps as loud as the river rapids?

Where are the Nguyens, the Bahris, the Phas, the Albertos, the Soms, the Ahmads?

Where are we?

Where am I?

By Do Nguyen Mai


My name is Do Nguyen Mai, written last name to first in the traditional formal style, like the way most Vietnamese poets sign their works. I am a Vietnamese-American student living in the Los Angeles area who spends too much of her free time singing old, war-era Vietnamese songs. More of my poetry can be found at lotuscrowns.tk

All Through the Town (On a Bus in L.A.) By Jessie Lynn McMains

All Through the Town (On a Bus in L.A.)

On the train from Long Beach to L.A.
on my way to see Dee Dee Ramone and Peter Lorre
at Hollywood Forever, an announcement crackled
over the loudspeaker: Construction on the tracks
ahead. Compton is the last stop. Disembark there
and catch a bus.

And the train groaned to a stop and the passengers
sighed, and funneled out of the train and formed
two lines – one for a bus that would make every stop
and one for a shuttle going straight to the station
where we could catch another train.

And in line for the shuttle, the man in front of
me talked on his cellphone: He did what to her?
Nuh-uh. You tell him he can’t treat your sister
that way. Hell, tell him he can’t treat any woman
that way. And if he don’t listen, you call me, and I’ll shut
that motherfucker down.

And everyone shuffled on board the shuttle,
and the driver warned us: This is the express bus.
We ain’t stoppin’ ’til we get to the transfer point. We’re goin’
straight to 7th Street. He paused, a beat, then:
Comin’ straight outta Compton. The bus was buoyed
by our laughter.

And the bus floated down the road, and I sat
in the way back, in a section that had been added
on; a miraculous monstrosity of metal and plastic.
Every time we turned a corner it expanded
like the bellows of an accordion. A little girl sang
along to the wheezy song:

And the wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town

And a teenage boy at the front of the bus stood
to let an elderly woman sit down. And a Japanese
couple sat side-by-side. They had a huge silver suitcase
between them and sometimes, the woman whispered
in the man’s ear and he chuckled low at a joke
the rest of us weren’t in on.

And outside the bus there were streets of pink-painted
bungalows, kids’ bikes propped against purple
jacaranda trees, community gardens of cabbage
and bougainvillea vines; other neighborhoods had closed-down
storefronts and no one around but a woman selling
tamales: cactus, carne, cerdo.

And everyone wished the bus would stop there
So we could dine

And on the bus two young Latinas twined together;
the taller one had two black braids down her back – amorcita
she said, and kissed the shorter girl’s forehead,
and the shorter girl giggle-sighed and blew a bungalow-pink
bubble with her gum, and the whole bus was
their pink sugar love-bubble.

And through the windows of the bus I saw the Hollywood
Hills in the distance, brown and tinder-dry from the drought
and somewhere up on them was the Hollywood sign,
with the Land gone but still sensed like a phantom limb, like
the scent of a starlet’s perfume; a sad, lovely dream of a lost

And a young black man sauntered from the front of the bus
toward the back. He was selling mixtapes and candy bars and
no one wanted his sick beats or sweet treats, except one
middle-aged white lady who wanted a Hershey bar. She gave him
ten bucks and he looted his pockets for change but she said:
It’s okay. Keep it.

On the days when the headlines get to me, I think of that bus
ride: It’s okay, keep it. Amorcita. Dreams of old Hollywood,
tamales and gardens. Tell him he can’t treat women that way. Mixtapes
and sweetness on a laughter-buoyed love-bubble. Straight
outta Compton

And round and round
all over town

By Jessie Lynn McMains


Jessie Lynn McMains (aka Rust Belt Jessie), is the Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin. She has performed spoken word on tour with the Perpetual Motion Roadshow, at FILF in Cleveland, and at Queer Open Mic and Bitchez Nueve in San Francisco, as well as various other places across the US and Canada. She has been publishing her prose and poetry in her own zines since 1994, and her work has also appeared in The Chapess, New Pop Lit,The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Wonderlust Lit Zine, Razorcake, and Word Riot, amongst others. Her short story “Insect Summer” was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. She currently writes music reviews and essays for Witchsong. Someone once called her the Debbie Harry of poetry, and she thinks that’s a pretty rad description. If you like, you can also refer to her as the punk rock Edna St. Vincent Millay. She loves music, adventure, community gardens, home-brewed beer, tarot, dancing, playing dress-up, her friends and family, and her four-year-old kidlet. She collects souvenir pennies and stick and poke tattoos. She is perpetually melancholy, restless, and nostalgic. She believes storytelling can change the world. You can find her website at recklesschants.net and her blog at rustbeltjessie.tumblr.com.

Doubt By A. Tony Jerome


We’re watching Doubt and I pause right before Viola Davis’s part because
where do we ever get such a succinct explanation of racism and classism as it intersects with
it’s like she’s broken the fourth wall and it’s bleeding into our truths and
my cousin told me it’s just a movie.
But then he asked me if I thought the
Trinity is more like the Tragedy Trifecta where
the Father is priest
the Son is the child
and the Holy Spirit is haunting.
And like that one gospel
no one believes the child until after they’re dead
but a lot of kids aren’t strong enough to Messiah and
push themselves up out of the grave.
They just stay dead.
He asked me don’t you think there’s
there’s something sick in making children get on their knees to
ask someone who holds their world in their hands
for forgiveness?
He said the only times you should be down like that is when you’re giving someone head or
praying, not both.
I asked him if he was okay and he pressed play and Viola told Meryl Streep that “it’s just til
He said, “I fucking hate summer.”
He might’ve been trying to tell me something.
But then again, maybe not.

By A. Tony Jerome


A. Tony Jerome is a twenty one year old explosion of messes. They are queer black writer that was published in a book about how horses heal (Wild at Heart by Heather Kirby), and has work that can be found on theEEEL. Fun facts: they tied a pillowcase to their back and tried to fly after seeing Sky High, their mantra can be found in Wreck-It Ralph, The Babadook, or Orphan Black (depending on the day) and they’re terrified of mostly everything but art makes the fear easier to hold.

Wishbone By Martina Dominique Dansereau


Inspired by “Wishbone” by Richard Siken

You are talking about your ex-boyfriend
and I am telling you about how when I tried to kill myself,
I couldn’t find a sharp enough knife.
I even tried a cleaver from the kitchen drawer,
but I couldn’t bring myself to push hard enough,
I say.
If could have, I would have cut myself into marble
slabs and built a castle. I would have been happy there,
I say.
This is where everything splits in half, love or death,
and death is starting to seem less like a destination,
more like someplace you wake up after a night so drunk
with stars you lose count of your wishes. This afternoon
is bone white. You talk about your breakup, how you’re
swearing off boys again because girls have always
been hotter anyways; you list the names of all the ones
you would fuck and I’m here listing off all the medications
that have run their course through my body like ex-lovers.
Citalopram. Fluoxetine. Olanzapine. Bupropion.
Risperidone. Venlafaxine. Mirtazapine.
Aripiprazole. I could write an alphabet song
out of all these anti-everything’s I’ve tried and forgone.
That’s funny, isn’t it? It’s a joke, you’re supposed
to be laughing, but instead you’re giving me that Look like
when I try to tell you about the music that plays
in my therapist’s waiting room. Be quiet now, it says,
you’re breaking the rules, as if we’re playing hide-and-seek
and this life is a child—like if we can’t see it, it can’t see us.
As if it won’t always find us again, peel back the bed covers,
here you are, it’s your turn now. Grab an end, pull hard.
When we last dried out a wishbone, I ended up with
the smaller piece. I asked what you had wished for and
all you said was that you wanted me to be okay again.
These days you speak a foreign tongue and I keep passing
you dictionaries hoping you’ll get the hint. I cry
so much at night that my bed floats away and strands
me on an island of sadness so big it swallows up my world.
The nights I run out of tears, this riverbank has graves
in it, I’m sleeping with the dead. You’re talking about
falling in love again and I am dressing up corpses, pretending
that I’m not rotting. Can you smell it? Flowers, you tell me,
it’s the flowers. You’ve turned my wrists into roses and
I am still cleaning up the blood. You keep telling me about
the normal things, but I can’t remember what that world
was like; all I can do is take these pieces of mine, these
dull shards of reality, and toss them up in the air. Love
or death, we can’t have both. Catch, grab an end, pull hard.
Make a wish.

By Martina Dominique Dansereau


Martina Dominique Dansereau is a disabled, non-binary lesbian writer and artist whose work centres on trauma and marginalisation, particularly through personal experiences with violence, disability, mental illness, gender, and LGBT issues. When not entrenched in academia or creating art, xe enjoys reading books with xyr snakes, who often fall asleep between the pages. You can find xem on Twitter and Instagram @herpetologics.

Disintegrating By Hannah T. Rosenthal


Words are melting on my tongue
like ice;  water is running down my throat.
A cold sensation that makes me gasp
for air.

Words so heavy, they drag me down.
They are hard to swallow, but even harder
to speak; all they do is leave a metallic taste
in my mouth that carries the reminder
of blood. A silent warning, a sense of
distress in every beat of my heart.

Words never uttered are the
loudest, you know. They scream inside
the mind, they ache behind closed eyes.
They are the pain you try to soothe
with fingers pressed to temples.

We try to silence the voices in our
heads, try to suffocate them –
and in the process we forget that
we need to breathe, too.

By Hannah T. Rosenthal


Hannah T. Rosenthal is a nineteen-year-old aspiring writer currently living in Germany. She is interested in literature of all kinds and language, as well as its development and linguistics per se. Aside from that mythology and philosophy are counted among her greatest interests. More of her writing can be found at ourfragilestars.tumblr.com.

The Territory of a Boy By Isaac Frank

The Territory of a Boy

Tell my parents I’m sorry;
The only grandchild they’ll ever have are these words,
the ones I’ve lent my teeth to – biting through, a kind of skin
outside of my skin, like expensive lingerie,
or loaded dice, or something that makes dying look comfortable
because the only way a boy touches another boy is with a eulogy
pinned to his fingers.

Come here, forgive me that body of yours
our skeletons are crawling out of their closets together, whether
we want them to or not, they come from the ground, slow dancing
finger bones pulling themselves out of a grave we put them in –
how do you feel about nail marks on your back?
It’s kind of a trademark of mine, I need to leave something on
every boy I touch.

You’re at the end of high school and all eyes are on this stage,
you have one minute to speak, the lights are dim for you
and this is how they want it:
I vow to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
or so help me god,
I will not turn this boy into morse code for me
he will not be something for me to touch only when they’re not looking.

There’s a cute boy with black eyes in the back of the room,
a red plastic cup clutched in one hand, like it’s your hand
well, tell me the meaning of consent
because his eyes are pushing into mine,
and that in itself is a kind of murder, for boys like me.

The girls have something that feels like fabric softener
in the womb of their mouths, but the boys
taste like beers on the couch in the afternoon, the quiet crack
of a soda can,   the gasp that is passed from mouth to mouth;
love so thick you can choke on it, love bleeding into the throat.

Oh boy, you’re wearing a red shirt and I’m pulling it off
It’s funny,
nothing but red, and red means dead    -because boys like me;
you’ve been told we can’t keep our hands to ourselves, we’ll
put them anywhere you’ll let us, so
Pray the Gay away, but the weight of a boys sins are written
backwards across the curve of his lips.

I heard you pray for a witch hunt, but you’re a good boy
and you dress nicely; all firm press, all pant suit, all childhood
lust,           like a tree fort is built in the arch of your back
I’m kissing your neck and I’m kissing and I’m kissing because
tomorrow the purple might not be nearly so kind, because for boys
like us;
we have to love like we’re choking on it, around some people,
the wrong people –            our love is kissing as we fall,
sex like getting caught by the throat.

Amen – a man;
you guys would love him, I promise
the kind of boy you would bring home to your parents, if you
were a girl.                          But you’re not,
and with people like these:
a boy who touches a boy like he touches a girl is the most
unspeakable thing in the room,
and every boy is a boy to die for.
because when you’re gay, every boy is a boy to die for.

By Isaac Frank


Isaac Frank is an eighteen year-old poet and student living in Ontario, Canada. Currently finishing his final year in high school, he hopes to broadly study English Literature with degrees in Political Science and Creative Writing – ever invested in finding ways to become a university professor. His first set of work, “Bad Lines”, has received Poem of the Month publications on Mibba, and he is currently working on a second and more extensive collection of poetry titled “The Stories We’ve Known”. He can often be found drinking cold coffee, surrounded by cats, and crying over other peoples poetry.


Girls Who Love Church Girls By Belle Malone

Girls Who Love Church Girls

thermite bones, alkaline breath,
electric tongue–
there are butterflies in your bloodstream
and i want to rip them out.

you, in your sunday best,
bright and bleeding and beautiful-
me, in my wednesday worst,
trembling and wretched and
the antithesis of holy.

there’s a gospel in your fingertips
dragging over the ragged edges of
a broken collarbone three summers past,
the three marks that you left on my neck,
mother, daughter, holy ghost–

your tongue tastes like battery acid in
my mouth and you steal my gum and
steal my heart and steal my
very soul.
you place me between hallelujah
and amen and i’ve been stuck in
this sweet hour of prayer for three

inhale flame, exhale purity, let me
breathe over that bite i left on your neck.
let me beg forgiveness under your skirt. let
me find the promised land in the valley between
your hips. let me be holy. let me be

amen. amen.

By Belle Malone


Belle Malone is a genderqueer actor, musician, poet, and space enthusiast. They have been three of those things for a little over a decade, though poetry has been their newest adventure. They have fallen in love with making words scream and sigh like lovers.