Our bodies are cathedrals By Juliana Covey

Our bodies are cathedrals

When did we forget that our bodies are cathedrals?
Palms open, holy kiss.
Tell me about the day you realized you were empty,
how a scream ripped through your throat
and echoed off the ceiling beams.

Tell me about their faces.
I want to know what haunts your dreams so I can
paint their features onto firewood,
make a pillar of smoke so high we all start speaking
different languages.
Pull this temple into ruins—thighs crumbling,
walls trembling.
Tell me about the loneliness,

the way they threw handfuls of dirt onto your body
until they were convinced that you’d take this to your grave.

Tell me about the wildflowers that grew
from your chest,
hands upturned,
ribs unlocking like a zipper to expose
your beating heart at the root of it all,
still alive.

By Juliana Covey

Biography:

Juliana is an avid mug collector, frequent thrift shopper (…the two may be related), reader of young adult fiction and lover of typewriters (working condition or not, she does not discriminate). She has a penchant for pear wine, Taylor Swift and sleeping naked. She often cries during movies, continuously quotes Gilmore Girls, and has wished on many birthday cake candles to become a mermaid. Juliana lives in Kingston, ON, with her husband, Matt, and their exotic pets: a socially anxious hedgehog (Stella) and an unimpressed chameleon (Pascal). In her poetry she writes honestly about her own life and her personal struggles, and because of that, this is the first time her poetry has been published.

Shift By Loisa Fenichell

Shift

1.
My mother was always best
at wearing only her own hands.
She would wander the house
with one palm above the other
against her lonely belly.

2.
Often she would wrap stacks
of snake skin around her throat.
The snake skin belonged
to my Grandfather, had hung
against the walls of his apartment.
We visited Grandfather everyday
before he died.

3.
When he died my problem
was that I didn’t drink enough
water. At the funeral there
was only ice water but with
too much ice, the suffocation
of the water too much
like the suffocation
of my grandfather’s corpse
through the dirt.

4.
The day following the funeral
I walked to school with my hands
breaking themselves against grey
road. I spent most of the walk
trying to force myself to cry. I
was hoping that if I got to school
crying I would be comforted by a boy.

5.
That I had this hope at all
is what made me cry in the first place,
but each time no more than short bursts.

6.
When my grandfather first died
I was sure I would think about him
everyday afterwards, which I have
not done, which is maybe where
the guilt comes from: the guilt
building itself up in my gut
and rising bile to my throat like a boy’s cum.

7.
Then the boys as a displacement
for the guilt. I can do no more
than watch them stand in their
tan coats and brown boots
like cruel stretched dirty iron.

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.

Nothing Red By A. Davida Jane

Nothing Red

The moon was red.
Everybody called it blood but
I thought it looked more like love,

yes, some days my coping methods
are pretty things, some days I
am not a pretty thing.

I ran into her in an alleyway,
stripped away everything true.
I told my mother I was fine.

It wasn’t a lie, I was damn fine,
with the legs, the hair, the eyes,
I was a forest fire.

My heart was a bullseye with
too many bullet holes, some days
my coping methods do the opposite of help.

Some days I want to run through
the streets with a shotgun taking out
every sign that says ‘dead end’,

because I need to feel
like I’m going somewhere.
Some days I’m not going anywhere.

Her heart was red. Everybody
called it love but I knew
it was all just blood,

just an art piece by God to turn
flesh into something we’d miss,
giving us heartbeats

so we’d know what it sounded like
to be alive, giving us a pulse
so we’d have something to look for,

some days I can’t find my pulse.
I always worry there’s nothing beating
inside of me, nothing blood or love just blue.

Just sorrow, just aching, just bruises
on bones with nothing real keeping me
upright, just smoke. Just smoke.

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

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony, The 2nd One By Hannah Gramson

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony, the 2nd One

Lie down in a blue field. Long enough to
dissolve into the ground.

Imagine a red that isn’t blood. A bird that’s a bird.
A scenario in which everything is exactly
what it appears to be.

Katie said, “The future wants to kiss our mouths.
The future wants to kill us in our sleep.”
All things on earth equal parts
good and bad
depending on the intensity of the light or
how we’re tilting our heads.

I want my body to be forceful. I want
my body to be a crescendo,
meaning: heart as violins, gradually intensifying
forever and ever,
but in a way that doesn’t scare me.

Tell god, the devil, whoever, whoever:
I’m here. I have hands.
I’ll try not to hurt anyone with them.

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.

We’ve All Got Eyes, Man By Talicha Johnson

We’ve All Got Eyes, Man

after Sharon Olds

This truth is a raided home left ransacked,
its innards splintered by trigger-happy men

waving badges like permission slips to leave
blood seeping into patches of public housing lawns.

Black life gushes onto pavement, spilling
like overturned cartons of milk.

We aren’t supposed
 to cry though,
not when they say it was an accident,

they were startled by a noise in the stairwell,
they thought the wallet was loaded,

or that the twelve-year-old boy with
the toy gun was quicker on the draw.

We aren’t supposed to ask questions,
let them shoot first. Believe the Blue,

even when it’s covered in a Red that is not their own.
Watch how they celebrate

with streamers of jaundiced caution tape
while the wail of sirens and bruised

lights—still miles away—are all that wraps
around the stolen body, an exhibition.

There is no comfort.
Hardly ever an indictment.

We aren’t supposed to riot though.
Or call them racists, demand justice,

march in the streets chanting
the names of those they have taken.

We are tired of our truth getting broken into.
Tired of it being shot

through with bullets. Swept under the rug.
We aren’t supposed to notice though,

but we’ve all got eyes, man.
We’ve all got eyes.

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 Last Match By Anjeliqueca Bajita

The Last Match

my heart is breaking.
are we burning these matches
for nothing?
lighting candles for vigils for
innocent lives
washed upon shores
torn by strife.
the world sees your light
but some are blinded.
Let your image be the last
to spark a fire
that will blaze within
this generation,
fueling us to act.
let now be the time to
create our present,
shape our future.
but the past is greedy.
the old man monopolizes
time + treasury.
gunshots monopolize the mic,
and red dominates the
beautiful colors of our
world.
my heart is breaking.
the beautiful blacks
and browns of your skin
are hidden by
red. hot. violence.
my heart is breaking.
wisdom brings hope
from the voice of a girl.
there is youth whose
eyes are open; they
know they suffer
at the hands of the
powerful(ly corrupt).
there is no such thing
as too young
when a child’s life is
snuffed out by the sea
because those who monopolize us
also label and divide
– but there is no
SUBHUMAN.
so we burn these matches
to light candles for vigils
for innocent lives,
hoping the world sees your light,
hoping to start a fire
that will blaze within
this generation,
fueling us to act.
hoping this will be the last
match.

By Anjeliqueca Bajita

Biography:

Anjeliqueca “Jel” Bajita is an undergraduate senior at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. She is also a graduate student at the Price School of Public Policy. Aside from her studies, Anjeliqueca is a woman trying to find her voice. Her poems explore struggles with identity, injustice, empowerment, and holistic healing. In her spare time, Anjeliqueca works odd jobs, practices yoga, and fosters community action through her school and her sorority. She seeks balance; within and externally. She is currently working on a collection of poetry and prose. Her work can be found at thoughtsmoke.tumblr.com

To The Dogs By Cecilie K.

To The Dogs

I waited so long to write these poems
because the hurt in me was still a dog
chained up years ago and told to sit.
What they don’t tell you about hurt like this,
the kind that tames you when you’re young,
Is that even when you’re unleashed,
you spend years whimpering on the floor at the ghost of someone’s feet.
You have to relearn how to walk,
how to smile without hope of getting a treat,
how to recognize the poison in the bones they threw you,
and the scraps of freedom
from their hands
were nothing more than your own marrow
boiled down to nothing.
So these words are the calling out to every dog
who flinch when strangers call out
good girl
and good boy,
who feel the choke of a collar around their neck
even when they’re lying undressed on their own,
breathing freedom into their own clawed paws.
These words are the dog tags we left behind,
the dead names,
the empty houses, and the streets we’ll never walk again.
These words are for the dogs
of hurt
and neglect.
Who turn their snouts towards every kind hand,
and hope, hope, hope.
With all their furry little hearts,
that these hands
will never expect them to lie down at their feet.
We are free and feral,
and good,
my god,
we are so good.

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