The City Breathes its Last By M.S

The City Breathes its Last

In this city of old,
the day comes
when morning holds
no light and the night casts
its evil eye through stars
that never blink.

These borders crumble
to spill precious innards
for the world to behold
and the trees leave their posts
bony fingers raised
to point blame.

Our homes, stripped
of all dreams,
auction pieces
of our hearts
as the land underneath
gurgles in regret.

In the cauldron of myth,
ingredients churn and bubble –

theatres and museums
stabbed in their sleep,
schools and playgrounds
poisoned to death,
taxi stands and bus stops
throttled by noxious fumes.

We vow to spend eternity
haunting trespassers,
demanding an oath
of loyalty
forever lodged
in a silent scream.

On this day,
we perish together,
the city and I –
bridled by vices
as glorious
as yesterday’s sun.

By M.S


M.S. thanks you for reading her poem. Her flash fiction and poetry can be found in various online literary journals and magazines.

Departure By Jessica Xu


My sister draws maps within the mud, traces her
highways with sticks and sweat, roads like vessels,
all carved within the Earth. She recreates herself as a
landmark, a capital star. Morning dew catches on
the tips of her hair, her eyes like darkened orbs.

It is June now. The months have passed without
a salve and her hair is still curling, withering to the
ground. The hospital needles were never enough
and I am still collecting the fallen blond, saving them for
future’s memory. I have not loved her enough. Her
years have passed through her in days, hollowed
her bones, and drawn her closer to the opening of Earth.

In this moment, I am reimagining her as starkly beautiful,
without the frailness of her arms, without the trembling of
her lips. The sun rests its slow palms against the thinness
of her skin and she is still unwavering in her fate.
When the wind bids her to the place where I cannot follow,
I will mark the Earth as the surface of her, as a landmark,
strong and unbowing.

By Jessica Xu


Jessica Xu is 15 years old, and her work can be found in The Apprentice Writer, Eunoia Review, and is upcoming in the Glass Kite Anthology. She has been recognized in the Scholastic Arts and Writing awards, TeenSequins, the William Faulkner Writing Contest, and more.

For Eric and Erica By Vijaya Sundaram

For Eric and Erica

I can’t breathe, he said, eleven times.
His breath left in a last, choked exhale
Vanishing into the pollution of a
Dying afternoon in New York City.

The police, satisfied that they’d
Done their job, waited for seven minutes
For the medics.
It was just another day for them.

Three years later, his daughter lies dead.
She fought to keep his name alive,
And now she’s gone.

Weep for her, America!
Where are your tears?

People abducted, enslaved, freed, betrayed,
Live and die on your streets, America.
You kill your children every second.
You take them by the neck and squeeze them dry,
And fling them away, and order your sidewalks cleared.

And the rich sneer at the husks of humanity
On their streets, and brush off their dust
From their designer clothes,
Noses pinched, and mouths in a straight line.

And the middle-class, eager to emulate,
Scurry in their wake, buying cars and clothes
They cannot afford, mocking the poor.
And the poor spurn those who lie
Wretched, wasted on street-corners.

And you break their hearts,
You break their lives, America.
Are you not satisfied yet?
How many more choke-holds
Will satiate your breath-lust?

By Vijaya Sundaram


Born in India. Transplanted in the U.S. Musician and poet. Lover of this good earth.

i have not written a poem in three weeks By kmp

i have not written a poem in three weeks

my heart has broken & healed & broken
i am out of love
i rise, i wash, i eat, i work
the sun filters through the leaves
of the apricot tree i climbed as a
child & i feel nothing. eden was
a prison, too.

and this morning i rose before dawn
with an ache in my shoulder
so bad i could not
breathe deeply,
i worked nine hours,
bought a bar of chocolate on clearance,
and washed clothes for my job interview
a process drawn out
by the busted pipes
which make it so i must stand and
watch the machine
to catch it before it overflows when
it drains.

in my dreams i say
i would rather eat glass
and what i mean is this:
my insides are torn up, anyway; how
could it be worse to finally
bleed out?

 By kmp


kmp is a southern californian poet and an undergraduate student double majoring in comparative literature and anthropology and double minoring in gender and sexuality studies and archaeology. their work has previously been published in The Wall, Neon Anteater Renaissance, New Forum, Rising Phoenix Review, L’Éphémère Review: Issue IV, Disquietude, and Werkloos Mag: “In Limbo”, as well as on their blog

Women of Forbidden Fruit By Amogha Sridhar

Women of Forbidden Fruit

To Eve, Persephone and other women of forbidden fruit,

There is a girl who writes a Wikipedia article on a woman in science
every time she gets harassed for being a woman in STEM.
There are now over 5000 female scientists listed on Wikipedia.

Female authors are less likely to be featured on The New York Times book review.
They are less likely to win awards. JK Rowling was told to use a male pen name
like Louisa May Alcott, Marry Ann Evans and the Brontës before her.

My mother had a brain surgery and my father has tried to
convince her that she’s going mad ever since.
Male culture has depended on keeping women in the dark.

Eve, you should see how many works of art
the question of good and evil has inspired.
You would not miss the innocence.

Speaking of innocence, male culture has also depended on
infantalising women but that’s a poem for another day.
Eve, you are not a cautionary tale. Curiosity is not a cautionary tale.

It’s ridiculously unfair that we associate fruit with success and fertility
and the woman who bit into it with monstrosity.
Eve. Eve. Ever.

Persephone, I like the story where you choose to eat the pomegranate seeds
because you love Hades. Queen of the underworld who wanted
to find her way back home, in to Plutonic arms.

Women who ask the tough questions and value hard truths,
women who bite into forbidden fruit, juice dripping past their lips,
You are why heaven and hell exist.

By Amogha Sridhar


Amogha Sridhar is a writer from India. She wrote for the Times of India as a student correspondent and her poetry has appeared in the This magazine and the Thistle magazine. She is currently an art editor at The Missing Slate.

Little Legs By Kristin Garth

Little Legs

A life I’ve lived upon your knee, array
of legs since I was three. You turned it bad
when I was five. Forever Father’s Day
in me alive. Two little legs still sad
that climb on top of strangest laps and spread
sublime. A little love inside a grown-
up head is promised ponies in hundreds
of beds. All knights, so like you, first I’ve known
with blades that seek the youngest bones. My tears
collected, fetishized. Woman, in me,
you have euthanized. I wear my fears
in braids, your tartan target tragedy.
The first and worst leads little love to bed.
My little legs still follow where they’re led.

By Kristin Garth


Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola. Her sonnets and other poetry have been featured in Occulum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fourth & Sycamore, Digging Through the Fat, Murmur Journal, Neologism Poetry and many other publications. Her chapbook Pink Plastic House: Three Stories of Sonnets will be published by Maverick Duck Press in 2018.

Bait By Lorna Martin


From the moment my heart skipped a beat,
we were doomed.

When your smile caught the space light,
The turn of your head, when I followed your laugh
with my mouth, we were doomed.
Every line that you traced in my palm was an end,
Every murmured exchange a self-sabotage.
For each lift of my spirits and each daybreak I
will pay misery in direct proportion. We continue,
for what can we do? This yearning persists, allowed or not,
worth it or not.

Now I am here, our love racked for tragedy,
my heart scripted hollow.
That jackrabbit anxiety, or another name, hope,
which they must keep alive if the snatching is to hurt.
Have we come far enough for them? Is this enough?

Our last kiss was everything inevitable.
I step away and close my eyes; you
and then darkness. I wait for it.

By Lorna Martin


I am a recent Creative Writing graduate living in North London. My poems have been published in A Quiet Courage, Roulade Magazine, Foxglove Journal, and Crush Anthology (Brunel University Press). I was shortlisted for the Mslexia poetry prize in 2014 and created the Lights in the Sky poetry event for Artwave Festival in 2015.

Psalm of bandages By Dean Rhetoric

Psalm of bandages

I associate you with Sunday; domesticated and
thematic through stained glass.

I imagine you being clutched by weeping men,
slamming against you for answers.

We needed a distraction and God was
as good as any. When we hid

under chapel stairs, forehead on forehead.
When your skin was itchy

and too tight for your swelling chest. So close
to your emerald green eyes

that I hoped they’d cut me if you blinked.
You were God’s mint filter,

I was her ashtray. My humble bloodied knee
staining your Sunday best,

as you slit your index finger over Corinthians
and mixed us as one.

This was not the first time we’d been so
carelessly alive.

We had pressed leaves, tied together at the stem,
sat formless in pews

between the lustrous punch ups of rain and the
melody it made on the windows

just to destroy something wonderful. There was no
salvation come morning,

only the light, naked in our shaking hands, sick
at the thought of reflecting us.

An earlier version of this poem was published by Effervescent Lit Mag.

By Dean Rhetoric


Dean Rhetoric is a Hereford born working class poet and former foundryman currently lost somewhere in East London. He is a former BBC writer’s room finalist with poetry in Seafoam, Picaroon, Anti – Heroin Chic, Ghostland, Occulum and various others. He can be found attempting human interaction/wheezing uncontrollably here and here.


american tanka By Elizabeth Moura

american tanka

America again
praying for_______
condolences to_______

By Elizabeth Moura


Elizabeth Moura lives in a converted factory in a small city and works with elders in a small town. She has had poetry, flash fiction or photographs published in several publications including The Heron’s Nest, Chrysanthemum, Atlas Poetica, Ardea, Presence, Shamrock, Flash, Paragraph Planet and Flash Fiction Magazine.

Candlelight / 촛불 By Soo Young Yun

Candlelight / 촛불

Korean Poetry & English Translation


아름답고 구조화 된 단어를 내뱉는
환상일 뿐이라면

금으로 된 수저를 물고 태어난
자들을 위한 기회의
강단 뒤에는
꼭두각시가 웃음을 짓고
대본에서 대사를 암송하듯
독실한 열정으로 실을 다룬다

참 진부한 이야기
아는 것은 오직 그들을 향해 고개 숙이는
이들 위에 발을 조심스레 얹은다

불타는 별들은 거리에서 춤을 추기 시작한다
회색 길가는 사라지며
더이상 볼 수 없게 되고
땅은 빛나는 잔물결로 변하며
따뜻한 누르스름한 빛을 낸다

세상에는 꼭두각시들이 수도 없이 많고
다른 수치들이 또
사람들이 누그러뜨린 주머니 속 깊이
담겨둔 촛불에
불을 붙인다면
별들은 춤을 춰야 하는 걸까


What to do
when textbooks are nothing but an illusion
spouting beautiful, structured words of how
things should be

a nation is a land of opportunity
for those born clutching polished, golden
And behind the podium
smiles a marionette
Reciting words from a script
The strings handled with religious fervor

A clichéd story
For all their life, only knowing
the crowns of heads that bow to them, placing
their dainty feet on these bent heads, like
stepping stones

But then
Fiery stars begin dancing in the streets, the
gray cement disappearing,
The ground shifts in shimmering ripples, glowing
in a warm, medallion light

And yet
What to do
when life is full of marionettes
What to do
When another mishap
is revealed, igniting the
candlelight people store deep inside their
melted pockets
How much longer
must the stars keep on dancing

Previously published in Aerie International – Spring 2017

By Soo Young Yun


Soo Young Yun is a writer from Seoul, South Korea and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Origami Poems Project, Ann Arbor District Library, Writing for Peace, and Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aerie International, Burningword Literary Journal, DUENDE, Emerald Coast Review, Hawai’i Review, Red Weather, The Vignette Review, among other journals and anthologies.