diff i cult By Kim Morales

diff i cult

I know your irrational refusal
to love. or humor me

I know the noise,
the snapping,
when I crack open bones
of chicken, after, I slip
the greasy meat
into my mouth
I suck on the bones
and right then I know
I know this
distressed and stretched
brown belly of mine,
never full
never never full
I want too much
more than what the world
can give me.

I know
how lonely the walks
in the dying industrial
parts of this town are
and the green-blackness
of the Gowanus Canal
looks like a warm bath
sometimes, I know to draw
a map of red lines
across my forearms
that will lead to
an explanation of
I know
how sometimes I wish
I had choked

on that Thanksgiving night

I know
I cry myself to sleep
because the Earth rotates
to avoid me
my rose mouth is filled
with chicken and swears
when my rose mouth
envelopes you — whoever —
you like it
I’ve wronged and I tend to
open wounds that I call friends
I feel like
holding the world
up to my breast, because
my right tit is lactating

I play-act as a thick woman
with millions of
owned words
and the fat life
to back them up

I know
I want
to crack myself open
like the chicken bones
I suck on
and I want you
to be my mouth
you tell me
you’d rather not
without explanation
written out on a scrap paper
on which I might have
scratched out any
affections for you

I know
I remember
the difficult women before me
their hair was longer and
spiced with the scent of sweat
they had more knowledge
in their hips than me
I’ll never be difficult
like the way they were difficult
they fought fire
instead of trying to be it
they pulled life out of
themselves and the ground
crookedly, they bled
for everyone they loved
I bleed so my life
might be worth something
I am a child still
and I need them to
lay next to me
while I cry myself to sleep —
I remember their sleep
as the soundtrack to my childhood
and I lay now
a weeping insomniac
to express the reds
of being a difficult woman
in ways they couldn’t
they were busy dreaming
of a world where they could
dilate enough to give birth
to rainbows

I know
my sisters
turn their heaving backs
on me, to chew on bones
men leave them sometimes
while I demand full trays
of delicious and fatty meat
when I snap bones
and the crunch scares them
I smile at them
red and chicken grease
smeared on my face
relishing their fear
when they whisper about me
as I gorge myself
on salt soaked food

I know
I am
and there is no end to this

By Kim Morales

Biography:

I am from Brooklyn, NY. I am of Guatemalan and Puerto-Rican descent. I am currently attending LaGuardia Community College.

Homecoming By Yashodhara Trivedi

Homecoming

From alien shores, whose names slip off your tongue
a little too soon to find in them a second home,
the kingdom of your firsts is a dreamscape.
The past will paint over its flaws until
the impatient honks of rush-hour traffic
is a jazz concerto in retrospect. You will
inhale the distilled air of distant mountains
in blind disdain, yearning for its soot-stained cousin
to fill your hungry lungs with welcome pain.

Nostalgia is not your friend:
When the dreams run wild and the tears flow free
and you retrace your steps sheepishly,
the city that rises in welcome will reek
of the past you killed in escaping it.
Ask a man returned from the world
and he’ll tell you what home really is:
A state of mind,
an unfed longing for things
only half as good as they first seem.

By Yashodhara Trivedi

Biography:

Yashodhara Trivedi is a twenty-two years old native of Kolkata, India. Having recently completed the Master’s programme in English at Durham University, she now tries to distract herself from the terrifying prospect of finding a real job by pretending she can write poetry.

Visiting By Loisa Fenichell

Visiting

The animal in the fridge is the same
as the animal is my stomach.
I lean backwards and see a face
that I never imagined as mine
yet is now the present.

It’s easy to tell myself that my face
has always been a burial ground
but really it is just larger than before,
more bloated now,
like the loud groans of a mother hen.

I think I am allergic to my mother’s food.
Its steam rises from the dining room table.

You are on the other side of the table
with hands large enough to wrap around a pregnant belly.
I pray for the smell of human ribs.
But instead all I smell is still my mother’s food
like the stench of legs all cut up by old razor blades.
You watch me with your hair stained wet like a grapefruit.

We said we would love each other
Like we would strip each other to death,
suck at each other’s breaths,
leave bruises in the shape of grieving.

Grieve for my mother and her food.
The death of everyday is buried
in the backyard of my mother’s home.

By Loisa Fenichell

Biography:

Loisa Fenichell loves what is subtly magical. When not writing poetry and when not doing homework and when not in class (she is a student at SUNY Purchase, where she primarily studies Literature and Creative Writing), she can be found reading, running, practicing yoga, walking around bookstores trying not to buy yet another book, and/or dreaming of Maine. Some of her poems can be found at polyphemuse.tumblr.com. You may contact her at lfenichell@gmail.com.

Nebraska By Hannah Gramson

Nebraska 

WAIT.
I have an idea.
It involves a lot of howling. A lot of
standing in one place.

Nebraska, sweat and dust.
Flat and desperate.
Licked my wounds like it was nothing.

Houses lined up, dead-faced. Slumping like old
men. Doors hanging open like
waiting mouths
saying, “Come in, come in. I promise
you’ll be safe here.”

WAIT.
I have an idea.
It involves a lot of flailing limbs. A lot of
hurling my body out the window.

You human-shaped famine. Hands like
a starving dog.
Always wanting more & more of something
I didn’t have and

couldn’t give.

By Hannah Gramson

Biography:

I am a 24 year old graduate student living in the Pacific Northwest, pursuing a degree that has nothing to do with writing.

 

Thoughts From The Waiting Room By A. Davida Jane

Thoughts From The Waiting Room

The formidable ticking,
white walls dripping with
grey light and windows
that don’t look like windows anymore.

They look like gravestones,
they look like highway lines
for the corpses, a two-way mirror
for God to look through.

Nobody tells the ghosts
that visiting hours are over,
they walk the halls all night
with no care for the chill
they’re bringing in.

This is not a place for well,
for the water at the bottom
or the splash that comes with it.
There is no rope for pulling up
liveliness here; you are left
with only functional or not—
and I have to be functional.

Don’t stare at the lights for
too long, you will start to think
you can never leave.

By A. Davida Jane

Biography:

A. Davida Jane is a writer and student from Wellington, New Zealand who studies English Literature and Classics. She spends most of her time around words, from poetry, novels and essays to working in a bookstore, and can’t imagine ever not writing. Find more of her writing at wefragilehumans.tumblr.com

We Are Blessed By Talicha Johnson

We Are Blessed

after Lydia Havens

This poem is for you, dear puckered flesh
of my hardened nipples. You will offend
the followers of a God who has shunned your beliefs,

like the way you think this woman’s teeth,
raking gently across your steepled skin,
would be holy.

This is also for you, beloved palms, and the way you testify
to how she felt like a praise dance
swaying in the sanctuary of your open.

And for you, eager eyes, hoping that she too
would see how we are beautiful pressed
together like this, aren’t we

a stained glass masterpiece coloured
with our mingling salt?
We, a consecrated art.

This poem is especially for the offended
that worship a lord who finds our touch
sick. Do not confuse

He Who Would Dare Attempt To Heal Us
(already well and not in need of cure)
as the same these bodies praise.

We lay tangled among the pews
of this sacred moment and find
that we are still blessed—for that, amen.

For the Holy Ghost gift of her hips, amen.
And for the congregation of our bodies,
let the church say

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, amen.

By Talicha Johnson

Biography:

Talicha Johnson is an American poet and an aspiring novelist. She was a member of Charlotte’s Respect Da Mic Slam team in 2010, and has competed on a national level at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her work has appeared in Germ Magazine, The Four Quarters Magazine, The Legendary and Boston Poetry Magazine.

The Tragedy of a Woman’s Tongue By Alessia Di Cesare

The Tragedy of a Woman’s Tongue

Your hands are rock around his,
but your eyes are loose, always seeking.
This is the tragedy of a woman’s tongue:
swollen from the silence marked by our teeth.
We try to open ourselves up softly,
convincing the world that our insides are pastel and gentle,
that our thighs are glamour trails, glittering with welcome
that blood and gore are not a part of our hearts.
We come to the party, peachy and light,
not saying much, laughing subtly,
barely showing teeth.
We wake up and leave parts of ourselves behind:
clean our sheets and tuck our voices beneath the bed
to gather dust in darkness,
because a woman with an opinion is nothing
but an emotional bitch having a bad week.
By the end of it, your whole body is heavy with censorship
because you try to come off as a soft-hued and gentle girl
because he will only love you when you are agreeing.
Because everyone is afraid of the wolf.
Your nights are spent wishing you could spread fire
every time you were told to soothe with beauty and silence,
every time you were used as a curse.
It takes years to learn that you are not here for him,
or for the approval of a world that tries to shrink you.
Years to be okay with opening yourself up raw,
like the beast that you are,
unapologetic and seething.
Years to learn boldness:
to be wild with everything
that needs to be said.

By Alessia Di Cesare

Biography:

Alessia Di Cesare is a self-proclaimed poet based in Canada, and an undergraduate student studying English Literature at the University of Ottawa. Her work can be found in literary magazines such as Persephone’s Daughters, The Ottawa Arts Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, in the first volume of the “Prose.” Anthologies, and on her personal blog, http://www.featherumbrellas.tumblr.com

The Poet Steals Some Meaning By Cecilie K.

The Poet Steals Some Meaning

The bartender has a tattoo of a magpie,
and when no one is looking it leaps off his arm and steals the twinkle in the eye of
the prettiest girl in the bar.
It steals the pearly smile of the boy flirting with her.
And when they leave they think it was all in the reflection of the bottles.
The bartender has a nest in the hollow of his mouth,
when he laughs he spills jewels everywhere.
He pours drinks and mixes cocktails like you used to mix metaphors.
The magpie looks at you and you look back,
it eyes the knife you keep on the tip of your tongue and it wants,
like only thieves want.
So you take home the man and open your mouth to the bird.
When they leave the next light,
your ribs have been pried open with clever fingers and a clever beak.
And now you’re all feathers and wet empty mouth.

By Cecilie K.

Biography:

Cecilie K. Is a 26 year old Norwegian, lives in London on her 5th year. She murders tomato plants, but is good at growing strawberries. She has sugar packets everywhere, it’s weird.  Cecilie is currently working on multiple publishing projects, first of which will be published late November 2015. She likes to use a lot of colorful imagery in her writing, mixing confessional poetry with urban fantasy elements. She loves Leonard Cohen with a passion and spends a lot of time clutching her chest and being in awe of some of her favourite poets on tumblr. Find more at Ceciliewriteswords.tumblr.com

how you lose him in seasons By sarah kate osborn

how you lose him in seasons

we lay in the grass in the dew in the summer in the morning and stare at each other. your hand is in mine and i can’t find which finger is mine anymore. our feet are bare and in twenty-three minutes you know about my father and my mother and my sisters and how i couldn’t tie my shoe until i was nine years old and everything is good.

we are walking along a path that has already been trodden down but we are alone. it is autumn and we are staring up at the dead stars that still look shiny when you remember that you forgot to tell me about your family or when you learned to tie your shoe and you aren’t sure if you’re ready to. the last girl to hold you left a couple cracks. we are still holding hands but i think you’ve lost your grip a little bit.

it’s winter and we are on the old bench at the park that creaks as we move and i can see your breath tangling up with mine. we don’t talk as much anymore and i tell myself it’s because all we need is to be together but i know you’re just slipping deeper into the sadness i’m trying to pretend i can’t see. it’s hard to believe you still love me but you promised you were sinking for other reasons.

we are melting away with the winter as it turns to spring. i know we’re not falling out of love, you’re just falling into sadness and i’m still trying to pretend i’m blind. you never said anything and i know you don’t want me to know but you want me to at the same time so i am starting to fade too. it’s may when i find the flowers and the letter and i realize how bad it got while i kept my eyes averted. the flowers are pink and the grass is green and the sky is blue and you are gone.

it’s summer again and i’m laying in the grass but i am alone now. the grass is exactly like it was that day one year ago before the sadness consumed you. i am trying to pretend it’s just dew on my face and i’m shaking because of the morning chill. everything could still be okay if i had held your hand a little tighter but i let you slip away.

By Sarah Kate Osborn

Biography:

sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com.

On Ex-Lovers and Insecurities By Sadie Leigh

On Ex-Lovers and Insecurities

Sometimes I hear, or pretend I do,
The lilt in your voice
When you talk about all your past lives.

I wonder, of all the people in the world,
Why your heart calls mine home.

Snapshots –

Your hand twisting around mine
In the darkness of our wrinkled sheets –
You say you don’t mind my sweaty palms.

We drive for hours,
Your hand on my leg as I shift into second gear;
Tonight we’ll watch the stars from the tailgate.

Cheeks ruddy with the cold of a New England winter –
Snowball fights and warm soup and the firelight to warm our souls.

Boxes littering the entryway
Of our second floor walkup
In a city with too many sleepless nights.

Our life together –
These shot glass, seashell, snow globe collections.
Photographs in a kaleidoscope of seasons.

Do you prefer Elizabeth after your grandmother?
What about Samuel for a boy?
Should we get married in the fall or the spring?

And yet –

If she left him,
Called your name across the miles,
Told you she still loved you.

Would you disappear from our bed one winter night?
Forget all the reasons you’ve ever made me laugh
And learn to delight in her smile again?

Hold her close, call her baby;
Like all the back road curves and train rides and changing seasons of our lives were insignificant –
Tell me you loved me once.

By Sadie Leigh

Biography:

Sadie Leigh is a new and emerging poet who has never published their work on-line or in print before. They hail from a cold and snowy state and they are perpetually cold even in warm climates. They enjoy warm cups of coffee on rainy mornings, the smell of new books, and almost all small animals.