when my edges gave way to the wind By Kaitlyn Gaffney

when my edges gave way to the wind

during hurricane sandy, the tree my parents planted
in my front yard splits perfectly in half from wind. one
half lay severed and limp, turning the tree into an L, or
a sad mailbox left open in the rain. i am sad like the

tree. through gentle care, however, the small thing is
saved, the peeled half hauled off and forgotten and
the live bark enveloping the raw edge like a mother
hugging a blanket around an ill child. i leave for college

and forget about splitting in half / recovery, and
how so often they feel like the same thing. so when he
severs my torso in half with hurricane fingers, leaving my
edges serrated and raw, i am not prepared to save

myself. he forgets he left his blood on my shards –
they lodged themselves under my skin as he blew,
howling, through my diaphragm, leaving me short of
breath. i have long forgotten how to haul the peeled mess

of myself, lying limp at my feet, from the scene
that feels more disaster than natural. i have forgotten
that in time, healing / numbing envelops our jagged
edges whether we realize it or not, meaning to make us

feel like home again. but i remember to ask my parents’
tree if it felt the shearing, the laceration – the halving of
self. if it hurt / if it bled. how long its rawness was left
to be whipped in the wind – if it could smell its jagged

bark rotting in the gusting air. by the time i return home
the tree has grown taller / stronger, and it reminds me
that if not for the halving, if not for the healing – it
would not have a concept of time. i remember that i

only have a concept of time when it drags on too painfully
to bear, when his superstorm grip has locked itself like a
jaw onto my roots and i am forced to drag on regardless.
i remind myself that i am now stronger like the tree, and

my skin has entwined itself over my edges like a bark. i am
content like the tree. but i cannot help but ask the tree if
my edges, jagged and bleeding, have grown with me or
if they are still there, sharp and dormant, awaiting his return.

By Kaitlyn Gaffney

Biography:

Kaitlyn Gaffney is a North Jersey poet and a dual major in Writing Arts & English at Rowan University. She is the author of a poetry chapbook called Four Eulogies and has produced two original plays through Rowan. In her free time, she likes to listen to heavy metal, play music, and yell about intersectional feminism.

AN ABDICATION OF IMMOLATION By Moira J.

AN ABDICATION OF IMMOLATION

My body is made of absences,
of meaningless gender, of colonized
language, of unbearable things wrought
from servitude and kinship. My body

is an ocean of dark spots.

My skin reminds me of
inescapable histories, I am built from
ghosts, tongues ripped from mouth
so they could not hear us praying,

but I am still trying to anyways.

My sex is unbearable, both parceled witness
to violence and objectified desires, my legs
learn to open to emptiness, where these
parts of myself are made vulnerable, but

still I am not immune to rage.

I tempt the exploring tendrils of death,
they blush with their eyes made to suffer,
and I am contorting my wide body to ballets

of filament and feminized terror, wishing

to become a formless safety, equal parts
humanized and recognized. There must be
some term for it, when the broken-open
body gives way to forgiveness—becoming

a full mouth, capable of miracles.

By Moira J.

Biography:

Moira J., or Gaagé Dat’éhe (Quiet Crow), is a mix’d Indigenous writer who explores the messy world of being agender, queer, and biracial. They explore sexuality, spirituality, trauma, displacement, and kinships in poetry, origin stories, and creative nonfiction. They have their Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. They currently live and write in Oregon with the support of their spouse, and the family pet: Dana Scully. Moira J’s work has been featured in Girls Get Busy zine, i-D Magazine, Toe Good Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Bayou Magazine, and more. They have upcoming publications with Sea Foam Magazine and The Account. You stay updated on Moira J. by going to moiraj.wixsite.com/home, or on Twitter @moira__j.

Late Blooming Queer Girl By Laura Mayron

Late Blooming Queer Girl

I knew I was queer when
[silence]
and when I saw
[space]
and I had this crystalline moment of
[nothing].

There is no one moment,
because yes, I saw her hips grinding
blue and pink lights into dust
that September night
and I walked into class
to see a girl with a circus tent
lovingly inked between the valley of her shoulder blades
and I looked at my childhood best friend
like she was magic,
but there were endless
[pauses]
conjugated into this-will-end-soon
phrases of suspension,
moon phases of this-can’t-be-right.

But like I tides I hungered toward
[inhale]
too many,
that man with melting eyes,
a girl who was more garden than anything,
[exhale]
and I knew I was queer when
I kissed them and him
and they both kissed me,
two midsummers in the midst of February and
I fell into a purple static haze
of one ecstatic swell after another
when she told me she loved me that first time–
just thinking of any of this I can’t
[breathe].

By Laura Mayron

Biography:

Laura Mayron is a graduate of Wellesley College and was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. A queer poet, she is pursuing a PhD in queer, surrealist Spanish literature at Boston University. While at Wellesley College, worked for three years as the poetry editor for The Wellesley Review. She has won Honorable Mention in Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award and Wellesley College’s Florence Annette Wing Prize for Poetry. Laura has been previously published in Vagabond City, Gravel, Glass Kite Anthology, and Whiskey Island, and ArLiJo (Arlington Literary Journal). If she could go back in time, she’d have a drink with Spanish surrealists.

The inside of me By Mariel Fechik

The inside of me

is ballerina pink, and tastes either of Barbie shoes or stained linen – I’m not sure which. The strainer in the sink contains remnants of last night’s beets, and the smell is starting to choke up the dog and wither the succulent leaves hanging on the windowsill above it. When I tell you my insides feel soft, hard-pressed for the time to build themselves up, you get a look on your face like you’re not sure who I am. It’s me, remember, who took who inside to let you batter the pink of me. It’s me, remember, who strained beets over a flame for you. The red wine spilling over from my lips sweetens in the dog’s mouth as he laps it from the linoleum. In the evening, we hear the clock ticking louder and more red than usual. I go to bed unclean and with the dishes undone, dreaming of the scent of strawberries while it begins to snow.

By Mariel Fechik

Biography:

Mariel Fechik is a 22 year old Chicagoan with a bachelor’s degree she isn’t using very well. She sings in a band called Church Booty and writes poetry that she gives up on and then comes back to in the end. Her work has been published in The Black Napkin, Phosphene Literary Journal, The Stardust Gazette, and Montage Arts Journal.

Septuagenarian’s Calculus Anticipating President Trump’s Inaugural By Gerard Sarnat

Septuagenarian’s Calculus Anticipating President Trump’s Inaugural

No though my baggy heart’ll perhaps be around for a few more
Super Bowls, likely it won’t to vote vs. POTUS XLV’s reelection.

Yes for now I will keep going to some dentist every six months
but decide probably not to have my rotator cuff fixed at least yet.

No more colonoscopies twice a decade but do count me in
for those ninety pills to get rid of such yucky toenail funguses.

Yes I pledge to keep visiting my 101 1/2 year-old Russian mother
each week but decide nyet to become closer to an only sibling.

No more shaving daily except doing it just when I choose —
and then only with Gillette Foamy which reminds us of Daddy.

Yes I shall keep momentary poetic licenses plus get a permit for
guns soas we can all stalk this unpresidented Potemkin Donald.

No more weekend dinners with the wife’s newest best friend
or her enraged husband unless they wanna smoke marijuana.

Yes I’ll keep maintaining bad habits since back from Nam
but decide this isn’t quite the right time for Methadone or Putin…

A disputatious physician who generally didn’t care for old people,
I never knew why they got so much depression till becoming one.

By Gerard Sarnat

Biography:

Gerard Sarnat’s been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. He’s authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published in Gargoyle, Lowestoft, American Journal of Poetry and Tishman Review plus was featured in Songs of Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords, Floor Plan. Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project, Anti-Heroin Chic and Tipton Journal feature sets of new poems. Mount Analogue selected Sarnat’s sequence, KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY, for distribution as a pamphlet in Seattle on Inauguration Day 2017 as well as the next morning as part of the Washington DC and nationwide Women’s Marches. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, interviews; visit GerardSarnat.com. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry’s worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children, four grandkids.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? By Rose Knapp

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Platz ist a poorly
Constructed
Mono Plath
Fur Europa
Ur concept tour
De Flour flourishes
No ppl unversed in
Multiversal converse
Satanal psychedelics
Causality conversations
Space-time influences
But by no mean mines
Determines flwhoures
Comes anymore
Than comma vol
Self sterilization
Is a curious
Spiro affect
‘Crazy’ lab
Tosa usage
Assanges
Snowing co.
Massage par
Lore Lola Lina
Oxford plants
Look up & smile^^
You’re on miso silo
Gynist gyre camera
Courtesy goes 2 Berlin
Much love to fools reading
They heyy say paranoid ppl
Make the best plants
Cura curiosa click snap
Happily we both have
Hackers on our sides
Your bedroom is hardly
What I expected it to be
For a Spin corp slave
Wow your porn is
More boring than
Phoenician poetry

By Rose Knapp

Bibliography:

Rose Knapp is a poet, producer, and multimedia artist. She has publications in Lotus-Eater, Bombay Gin, BlazeVOX, Hotel Amerika, Gargoyle, and others.​ She has a chapbook with Hesterglock Press and currently lives and works in Manhattan.

On Being Told Autistic People Can’t Like Poetry By Keith J. Castillo

On Being Told Autistic People Can’t Like Poetry

told by a doctor
that i can’t like poetry because
autism doesn’t allow for it.

that i would never fully enjoy written words
because i’m not wired that way

that the words and metaphors would fly by me,
like dancing birds
like doctors,
intent on stealing the key
to my brain

i would like to tell him that
words drip from my mouth like blackberry juice
that i can see the rhythm and rhyme before it is formed
that although i may stutter i never falter

that my mixed up words form a beautiful pattern
that i can hear the beat of music in my head each time i read another poets words

that he is a liar,
that my voice is something meant to be heard

By Keith J. Castillo

Biography:

Keith J. Castillo is an autistic poet. His works mainly focus on disability, mental health, and race. He has been published in The Fem, Crab Fat Magazine, and Vagabond City Lit