Prayer By Mariam Khan


There’s a crying janamaaz crumpled in
the rightmost drawer,
tucked away
in the ribcage of my bed

I sleep through mornings as its tassels turn into tears,
its fibres into a crusted canvas for stray dust
and beckoning calls.

In the evenings before reunions,
when my long shadow is gifted company
the janamaaz is an ironing table,
The flat metal palm burns
drooling pasts
with the setting on wool.

My eyes are on the ceiling, but there’s steam
dripping down my back
as the janamaaz begs
to call my forehead its home.

By Mariam Khan


Mariam Khan is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, a high school student in Texas and a graduate of the Between the Lines 2020 Program at Iowa University. Her fiction has been recognized by Scholastic National Art and Writing Awards and The WEIGHT Journal. She is from Toronto, Ontario, and lives in Texas.

Supernova, 1990s By Katie Kemple

Supernova, 1990s

and I can still picture, like a super 8
film, you pulling into my driveway
in your first car, a Chevy Nova, super
like that Oasis song—no champagne,

but you had dark messy hair, glasses
off center, layers of flannel, and baggy
jeans. That sincere smile, so that
my mom says it’s okay to go—

she doesn’t see the seatbelt duct
taped on the passenger side seat.
The glove box door rattling open—
laughing skeleton. We drive, we drive,

take the hairpin turn on 44/55—
park at an overlook next to foreign
tourists, all of us jaw dropped, atop
a mound that ancient glaciers piled high,

then left behind, jagged pyramids
flecked in autumn red. I don’t speak
your language yet, only know that rage
is a certainty I crave. We go back

to your mom’s place, but she’s gone
by then—cancer’s the supernova
you don’t name. My hands dumb
to that level of pain, undressing you

down to boxers, tossing each item
into the valley beneath your bed.
Our geographies morphing
the landscape of your mattress.

Bones and flesh clicking into and
out of space. After,
alone in your
bathroom, wrapped in sheets, I am

a sky of constellations, as the flame
of sunset waves to me behind blinds,
she sinks into dusk.

You drive me home in the dark.
Ancient people once navigated
by the stars. But, I’m only a detour

in this space, saying the wrong thing
again and again, my seatbelt coming
unstuck at every slammed break.

Each time, clicking the damn
thing back into place, less certain

of whether we’re together in any real
sense, or orbiting something else,
about to pass—

By Katie Kemple


Katie Kemple is a mostly vegan person raising two kids, an elder pug, and a carnival goldfish in San Diego. She’s married to the love of her life. Her poems can be found in The Elevation Review, The Collidescope, The Racket, and Right Hand Pointing, among others.

Diptych: Two Americas in Capitol Hill By Pamela Huber

Diptych: Two Americas in Capitol Hill

Wednesday in Capitol Hill
The sirens wail something is happening,
draw me to my East-facing windows
on Fourth Street as tinted windows
of unmarked trucks and National Guard Humvee
roll by, then agitated messages arrive asking
if I am safe, if I am inside (of course, like all
my neighbors, I am prepared for siege), choppers
wink unseen from above, their arms stir
languid air to a cicada thrum, I find the news
as the first friend calls, tells me they can’t hear
me, you’re breaking up, I can’t hear you, are you –

there in my unquieted corner of Capitol Hill, I pull away
from the windows as sirens race past, as the screen
loops through scenes of mass delusion long scratched
into paranoid minds of catastrophizing prophets,
and how like a video game they look
scaling walls and smashing windows,
and how sinister the silence that creeps toward me
when I see the man in the Capitol rotunda
in his Camp Auschwitz Staff t-shirt,
and I believe every Jew who’s ever told me
we are born ready to flee.

Thursday in Capitol Hill
Birds break the silence of the morning
with their chatter. The sky is clear,
the sun a tonic pouring through
the memory of tear gas haze in the air.
Runners stop at 2nd street and loop back,
unwilling to close the gap to
the biggest crime scene in America.*

A crowd at the Supreme Court wonders
why no one will listen to them.
Fencing blocks foot traffic
from crossing to the Capitol grounds.
Congress is in session,
bleary-eyed staffers pouring coffee
whispering about the 25th amendment.
Journalists press record, put pen to paper,
start the new day.

I kiss my mezuzah when I return home.
I will not take off my Magen David
for any mob.

*line borrowed from ABC News

By Pamela Huber


Pamela Huber lives on Piscataway land in Washington D.C. Her writing has appeared in Furious Gravity, American Literary Magazine, and

Devotion By Mai Ly Hagan


Odd numbers at the funeral
Incense comes in threes or fives
Three sticks lit, smoke receding,
dropping like ashes, or birds
from the sky.

I lead the procession. I,
the single daughter,
dressed in white,

I hear whispers.
From behind, I
feel eyes on me.

Dead lids, in disbelief, wax
figurine. You remind me of
porcelain. Lips parted, turning blue.

It’s been years since I’ve last seen you,
Stress marks like deep chasms,
deep like hole in chest.
Furrowed brow, stitched,
like tear in cloth or

I swear I hear a scream,
from you or from me.
I have to leave.

I can’t take it—
This is the one place where I’ve seen you at peace.

In a past life, I
think I was a soldier.
You tell me I am
your father, reincarnated.
Dead, in jungle, nineteen seventy.

Violent death is the only way
to explain my belligerence, my
rage. It explains you, too,
in a way,
your trauma, your pain.

Which is why I can’t feel
anger towards you.
Only deep-set shame.

I don’t know
how reincarnation works,
but I suppose after my latest
death, my soul became a seed,
tucked in the nape of your belly.

In my next life, I think I will be a dog.
It is the only way to atone.
I think you will be a bug.
And I will chase you, leap and corner you in a leaf
and chew you up.

A car dressed in flowers leads
your ashes to the temple, we
follow. We hand you
to the monk with soft knuckles.

We take the same route back.
Scattering petals along,
each knob of the path,
hoping you find your way home.

If you don’t love her, why are you devoted?
I place green bean cakes on your altar.
Your favorite.

If you don’t love her, why are you devoted?
I light candles
three times a day.

If you don’t love her, why are you devoted?
I sit, on knees, I pray, I pray, I pray.
Devotion, devotion, devotion.
Devotion, devowed, devoured.
Pray, pray, pray.

On the hundredth day,
I flip the portrait,
I can’t bear to see your face.

Pain is my offering— the
language that we share. Devotion:
is choking from,
shrouds of smoke/slash/
is an offering of your flesh.

By Mai Ly Hagan


Mai Ly Hagan is a high school junior from Hanoi, Vietnam. Growing up, she had a love for fantasy novels, which developed into an interest in creative writing. Mai Ly hopes to study English literature in university.

Cold Butterfly By Dzikamayi Chando

Cold Butterfly

Everything we have was given by a taking hand

My father’s glazed eyes fail to hide mother’s biopsy results
Her winter song’s in her cocktail of herbs and wet soil-like
palm reaching for the miracle man’s in the small screen
Repeat after me. All the pain in my body, all the evil spirits…
Her gentian violet-painted lips labour for the litany
Emollient words falling off like broken hair or lurid leaves
in still wind springing from my little sisters’ unjaded hearts
Mine is a prism splitting the little light left in the lowering lantern
into bloodlines that carried the curses bequeathed to the best
amongst us- divine daughters who walk over scorching coals
for the salvation of our souls before we know of struggle or slogan
Before a soreness is stirred at the sight of their callused hands
and the seared soles of their feet
When our clenched fists hold beautiful gifts like chrysalises
before the cycle is mixed up in our youthful motley-minded moxie.

By Dzikamayi Chando

Dzikamayi Chando writes from Gweru, Zimbabwe. He vacillates between the meaninglessness of life and the purpose of life- reading and sometimes writing inbetween. You can connect with him on Twitter @dzikamayic.

Let Us Pray By Lorraine Carey

Let Us Pray

The birdman laid the sparrowhawk
down on a sheet of crisp, white paper.
Its unblemished form and corn hued claws
depicted the splendour of death.

Hit clean by a car’s wing mirror,
and found beside a weave
of brambles and briars,
weighted with berries on the turn.

Its wings outstretched, a bishop
on the altar, his cassock a marvel
of graduated plumage, slate-grey
with rufous barring.

This consummate hunter
ambushed his prey from a perch.
He flew low, fooling finches,
altered his flight path last minute.

His agility awarded with a hearty meal
and as he cocked his ear
to a magpie’s rattle, his talons
gripped tight his catch.

He plucked his kill like a harried
housewife with a goose on Christmas Eve.
On the Sabbath, she pegged laundry
on the line, the jabs in time

to little feather tufts swirling from a nest of bones,
in an autumn morning’s breeze.
Sated, he flew off over moor and heather,
swooped and circled as death started

her engine three miles away,
the birdman’s wife on her way to church.

By Lorraine Carey


Lorraine Carey’s an Irish poet. Her work is widely anthologised and published in many journals including The Ofi Press, Willawaw, The High Window, Ink Sweat &Tears, Eunoia Review, One Hand Clapping, Poetry Ireland Review, Orbis, Prole, The Honest Ulsterman, Porridge Magazine and Marble among others. Her art and photography have featured in Barren Magazine, Olentangy Review and Skylight 47. Longlisted in The National Poetry Competition 2019, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival)



I miss the
ornamental scenery/
in the museum/ we met – its elaborate kindle/
the dam of elegant photographs/ and the rumps
of antiquity staged
in rows/
where our cheeks cuddled clumsily as
we view : the
laughter/ and sloppy eye contacts
that raced/ through the towers of our
tender feelings/the majesty of our
cologne luring attention from
fellow spectators/ the jabs on our feet as we
dance to the romance of music/ and
the pleasant twinge of never meeting
again/ as the rays from the
sun jolts me from sleep.

By Ogah Friday David


Ogah Friday David is an Abuja based poet, freelance writer, and a Student Trainee at the University of Abuja Radio, from Otukpo LGA of Benue State, Nigeria. He has written several unpublished poems and articles, and has a feature in Nantygreens Magazine. He is currently an undergraduate in the department of Languages and Linguistics, University of Abuja.

Dear, Overseer By Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang

Dear, Overseer

I am this house You don’t repair anymore.

My bones of concrete and metal
Erode with each passing storm.

Water seeps through walls
And paint, they wrinkle like skin

Of the grandmother who once lived.
Sometimes, I can hear her ghost

Walking down my hallway throat.
It has been harder to keep

My ceilings from weeping
With the little girl who

Cries behind the bedroom door.
The dripping on the floorboards

Alerts me like the snap of leather
On a child’s limb. The foot-scrapes

Of a mother depressed and an aunt
Smashing bottles of beer

Ruin the sheen of my floors.
How long will I watch

Every scene over and over?
There is no other comfort

But my roof becoming closer
To the earth during storms.

Please, I know time is finite
And their flesh grows old.

But if You have to choose,
Take me today instead.

By Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang


Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang finished BA Asian Studies at the University of Santo Tomas. She is taking up her MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines — Diliman. Her poems are published in 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, ALPAS Journal, Inklette Magazine, and is forthcoming in The Rumpus. Her interests include esoteric practices, Japanese studies, and Jungian archetypes. She likes sleeping but sleeping doesn’t like her. At the moment, she is tending to a garden in Makati, Philippines — anticipating vegetables to be harvested soon and for the hydrangea to be, once again, in full bloom.