The Bowhunter By Elijah Noble El

The Bowhunter

It takes her to the river,
the deer off in the woods.
Always so gentle, always so
full of bright. Feet crunch
in the leaves, she follows it down.
She sees herself in its eyes.
There’s fading in those eyes.
A wound somewhere, and she knows
she cannot save it. She knows
she cannot ease the way.

Hands spread too much too far.
Favorite girl, favorite beer.
Father’s drunk.
He calls his little girl over.
Always so timid, always so
full of fear, she sees the bottle.
She sees herself in the reflection.
There’s a wounded deer in that reflection.
A wound made from something
untouched, so much undenied.

Girl reads in the space
between night and morning,
of Artemis and mythology and warrior and blood.
She closes her eyes and hounds run the field.
Closes her eyes where things protect her.
She runs to the field, lays in the cool grass.
Looking up, always looking up,
she sees the comets and the wishing stars.
Reaching out, she sees herself in the universe.
There’s strength somewhere in that universe.

By Elijah Noble El

Biography:

Elijah Noble El is the twenty-two year old author of The Age of Recovery (2015). His numerous honors include a nomination for Best Writing at the Top Indie Film Awards for the short film Dog-Faced Honey. His work has been featured in Literary Orphans, Words Dance Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, Straylight Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Kerosene Magazine’s CONTRA, Illumination, Exist Magazine, Soul Anatomy, The Odyssey, L’Éphémère Review, Erstwhile Magazine, and elsewhere. El is the co-founder of Girls Don’t Cry, the film division of the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters, a magazine founded by Meggie Royer dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.

Séance with Lavender & Bleach torrin a. greathouse

Séance with Lavender & Bleach

this is an undressing : body dissolving : like a pill
on the swollen tongue : beached & blood heavy : whale
suffocating on the gravity : of its own chest

mix this powder into paste : mud thick scent that burns
chlorine turning : ghost dance on the breeze : sting
that crawls : dirty fingers down the back of throat

coat your hair in this paste : & how you phantom
a part of you : slow burn body : into belonging
skin peeling back : like abandoned layers of glue

//

mama, i am trying to give your
son a proper burial, but you are
dredging him up, swollen & blue
from the river of your throat.
& how lucky we are, that my
name has not curled, wounded
animal in my throat. clog of
gray-brown blood & matted
hair guttered into shower drain.
this [crippled/queer] body is
a collection of disappointments.
wrong answers. body named
boy/girl/ghost. in the winter i run
the water & the pipes scream
louder than i am willing to, drown
out my voice & i become the
sound of summer rain.

//

strip the bleach from your hair : acid rain : drenched skin
drown the scent : in lavender & orchid pulp : stain
everything : the color of blood : before it abandons you

i run a razor across my thigh : soft rain cracking
against tiles : split the pale blue : tributaries of skin
nick my knee : watch the red gather & drip

watch myself pool : in the bottom of the shower : thin ribbon
of red winding : cigarette smoke in a still room : momentary
afterimage : of emergency flares : before it slips away into the sea

By torrin a. greathouse

Biography:

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer, schizophrenic, cripple-punk from Southern California. They are the Editor and Co-Founder of Black Napkin Press. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Assaracus, Heavy Feather Review, FreezeRay Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Polychrome Ink, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Thought Erotic, Emerge Literary Journal, & The Feminist Wire. torrin’s work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Rust + Moth. When they are not writing or editing poetry, they are trying to survive in america long enough to earn a degree.

for some Americans passing By Dana Rushin

for some Americans passing

Before I get too comfortable on your couch,
pull my Bostonian’s off, slide
my feet, still twisting in those brown
dress socks , over the Saxony rug
your mother washed with Tide,
the spot your dad would sit eating his
dinner and rooting for the Pirates

and if you could unearth the origin of everything;
shadows, the refusal to accept as true
that all our dad’s have gone on now,
yours being the last to go
but needed two live in nurses,
to get his story out perhaps. To
document the stuff younger minds quickly
forget.

Then we got the call, and it’s always a call,
not a flyover drone or a Mitsubishi A6m Zero
(where you could see the pilots goggles)
in that battle of the eastern Solomon’s in 42.
Or a glistening sign on the side of a goat
announcing your passing.

Or any  Greek goat, naked but unharmed,
walking thru that order of peonies
then turning to suckle the baby Zeus
as Amaltheia did, nursing him with milk
in a cave on Mount Ida. And like all
the nurses I’ve known, forever

placed among the stars.

By Dana Rushin

Biography:

Dana Rushin
African American Poet,
living in Detroit.
Wayne State University student….current.
unmarried. still looking.

pocket dialing through air raids By Thira Mohamad

pocket dialing through air raids

slow evening / carpet bombing / dust
mite colonies scatter / mud bodies below

head on tails / on tales of aladdin
thief of fate / no djinns & magic lamp

one flying carpet overturned / soil shake
kosher salt / peppering souks / special soup

seasoning / orphan blood & jasmine tears
telephone wires / partition & pillage calling

lost lovers / wrong numbers
butt dial / ass cheeks spread

like rye bread / whole wheat
burnt fields / lamb to the slaughter

for dinner later / rib shank & breast
no different from the rest / compiled collateral

pile / unsent messages & power trip / error
screen not loading / image censored

pixel grain / habibi of no name face
by the byline / vanishing without a trace

By Thira Mohamad

Biography:

Thira Mohamad is a writer in perpetual progress based in Toronto, by way of South China Sea. A storyteller of South/East Asian origins, her poetic roots can be traced back through her maternal line. She utilizes art and its boundless dimensions to navigate the nuances of her identity. A failed archaeologist, she is currently crawling through university to finish her undergraduate degree. Thira regularly participates in poetry readings within Toronto’s diasporic community. Some of her writings can be found on her personal blog bayuandbooks.wordpress.com

No Man’s Land By Anthea Yang

No Man’s Land

You have found yourself in mud waters, stuck
half way between who you are
and who you want to be.
This is no man’s land,
an almost burnt bridge,
a dead zone of ugly things,
and you do whatever it takes to survive.
Even if that means revealing
the monster for all to see.
Here, you lose yourself. You have harboured
a hatred for the world for making you
feel this way. Your skin is foreign,
fear has your voice by the chokehold.
Here, you forget about redemption.
You have been betrayed by all that you are.
There are no mirrors
for you to reflect on.
What they don’t tell you
about no man’s land is that
it is not the destination. The end
is far from here; it’s past the meadows of dead soils
and straight through to the horizon.
What they don’t tell you
is that you can grow even in the
muddiest of waters; you are allowed
forgiveness for the betrayal
inflicted on yourself.
What they don’t tell you
is that the mask you wear to survive
does not have to be who you are.
You do not have to be
the person you were yesterday.
You are already
so much closer to
becoming.

By Anthea Yang

Biography:

Anthea Yang is an aspiring poet from Western Australia where she is currently studying Creative Writing and Literary & Cultural Studies at university. She is a silver-lining optimist and a lover of open fields. Apart from collecting stories, she also enjoys driving with the windows down and conversations about outer space. You can find her online at 2wentysixletters.tumblr.com

Mary had a Little Lamb By Kailey Tedesco

Mary had a Little Lamb

Humpty Dumpty promised
the pull-out method was fool-
proof that day they rode the
waves of a rolling field.

He jumped when she told him.
Shell and yoke rotting over
the sidewalk beneath their
studio apartment window.

She refused to look down
for nine months, wore a too-
tight blouse to the pawn shop
where she sold her mother’s ring.

Miss Muffet heard Mary
pleading through the walls –
Take a bottle. I need
to go to school.

What a shame, says Miss Muffet
eating her curds and wey, little
lamb doesn’t stand a chance
with a mother like that.

By Kailey Tedesco

Biography:

Kailey Tedesco is currently earning her MFA in poetry at Arcadia University. She is a former resident poet and current poetry editor for Lehigh Valley Vanguard. She also edits for Marathon Literary Review. Her work focuses on perceptions of femininity, often in a surrealistic manner. Many of her poems are inspired by confessional or Gurlesque poetics paired with her own experiences in cemeteries and abandoned amusement parks. You can find her poems featured in such publications as FLAPPERHOUSE and Jersey Devil Press. For more about Kailey Tedesco, please follow her on Twitter: @kaileytedesco.