Still Mine By Desiree Nestor

Still Mine

Settled under your arm, summer’s
glittering eye, and her songs— sirens,
laughter, shrieks, and silence.

I found myself a home.

No, not like what Amber finds
in Brown, or the Sun in the Sea—
I did not lose myself in you, or
to the City’s spells.

More like when a wrinkle finds a smile,
makes a valley,
and calls it home.

Don’t ask me when.
Which is to say time
is always a rope, ledge, or arrow
of which I am at the end of.

Just brace with me
in this gargoyles shadow.

As the lamppost strikes
unforgiving glows
against The golden
green leaves tucked
into the nighting blue.

what’s sin for me,
isn’t sin for you.

By Desiree Nestor


Desiree Nestor currently lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and currently works as a literacy/writing tutor with middle school and high school students. She loves soccer, listening to music, and learning French.

THE MIST By Rachel Vinciguerra


‘What’s this place called Willow
Mist everyone keeps talking about?’

This place called home you
Built with two hands

Designs on a drafting table
Filled with wood and brick and

Stone like a body becoming. This
Place where your Caralouisa

Waits for you, wonders when you’re
Coming to sit by the fireplace

Again. This place that holds
Years, laughter, spilled red wine,

Scarves and sauces, love and bitter
Words–the things of la famiglia.

Maybe you still feel somewhere
In your chest that it’s a beautiful

Place when you close your eyes, maybe
You still hear the piano and

Smell and taste home. Perhaps
The heart can remember what the mind doesn’t.

You point to the library in
The photo, remembering, ‘This is

Worth a million dollars to me,’
You tell me from the hospital chair.

By Rachel Vinciguerra


Rachel Vinciguerra (she/her) is a poet and writer from Pittsburgh. Her poetry can be found in The OWL Literary Review, Door is a Jar, and Eunoia Review. Website:

Homecoming By Daisy Solace


He climbs off of the plane
and feels the cold air
he hasn’t felt in twelve years.

It’s always cold here.
It’s never cold in Eleria.

It’s a bit of a surprise
to see a sign holding up his name
outside at the gate.

He had forgotten he was traveling to somewhere.
He was far too used to traveling away from somewhere.

The car is smaller than he’s used to,
the music is too slow, too quiet, too calm,
leaving too much space for conversation.

He’s forgotten what conversation is like.
It’s obvious that they’ve noticed.

It seems almost backwards that twelve years have passed,
and yet the conversations have remained the same.
He is reminded all too well about why he left in the first place.

They try to engage him in their conversation,
try to ask him questions, but he remains silent.

They don’t want his answers.
Not his honest ones, at least.
Not the ones that don’t match theirs.

He is here for one purpose.
One purpose, and then he’s gone.

The sight of the house makes him want to reel and run,
it’s exactly the same as he remembers it,
except perhaps aged, and with less occupants.

The night will pass quickly.
One night, and that’s all.

The night passes quickly,
as does the morning,
as does the afternoon procession.

He doesn’t cry, and he almost feels guilty for it.
But he does not owe his tears to anyone.

He doesn’t stay afterwards.
They try to convince him to, he doesn’t.
He doesn’t have a purpose to anymore.

Not that it would have been enough.
Not that it had ever been enough.

As he departs, he leaves his coat,
his winter coat, which he’s had for thirteen years.
He doesn’t need it anymore.

It’s never cold in Eleria.

By Daisy Solace


Daisy is a queer woman of color. She is 20 years old and recently graduated from a robotics program. She has been writing poetry for years but never submitted poetry to literary magazines until rather recently. She loves the sun, cats, and all things bright and beautiful.

Talking Around The Problem By Jim Landwehr

Talking Around The Problem 

When geometry takes a backseat
to active shooting drills
and lock down exercises
We could have us a gun problem.

Or, when the student body
means one lying in the classroom
instead of the corporate whole.
We may have a gun problem.

Maybe when the suggested solution
to stopping the next school assassin
is to arm the English teacher.
We might just have us a gun problem.

If people speak about knives and bricks
as potential weapons of mass murder
“So are we going to ban those too?”
We certainly appear to have a gun problem.

When students become survivors
and stand up to NRA politicians
but still laws don’t change.
It’s safe to say we have a gun problem.

By Jim Landwehr

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Jim Landwehr has published two poetry collections Written Life and Reciting From Memory and a forthcoming chapbook, On A Road. He also has two books, The Portland House: A 70’s Memoir and Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir. He has non-fiction stories published in Boundary Waters Journal, Main Street Rag, MidWest Outdoors Magazine and others. His poetry has been featured in Torrid Literature Journal, Blue Heron Review, Off the Coast Poetry Journal, and many others. Jim lives and works in Waukesha, Wisconsin with his wife Donna, and their two children Sarah and Ben.

While Everything Falls Apart, Imagine How You’ll Teach Your Son About Guns By Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

While Everything Falls Apart, Imagine How You’ll Teach Your Son About Guns

bang, bang, he asks every night, bang, bang,
and you’re dead, wants you to sing in his ear
bang, all the ways we know how to take

each other’s lives and all the tools we’ve made
to help us do it, he forms tiny fists pretending,
already knows his body is enough, bang, bang

and when you take away his neon water gun,
he cries and throws his head back on the pavement,
bang, all the ways we know how to take

things away from children, to give them
back once they know how to really use them,
bang, bang, he asks every night, bang, bang?

outside your window and on the news,
in the small hands of his friends, their mouths,
bang, all the ways we know how to take

their hands and mouths for granted,
you’re dead, a refrain so familiar it fires
soundlessly, bang, bang, every night, he sings
all the ways we know how to take.

This poem was first published by Poets Reading the News

By Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry about the Holocaust. Julia’s poetry collection, The Many Names for Mother, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Kent State University Press in the Fall of 2019. She is also the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014) and her recent poems appear in Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, and Nashville Review, among others. Julia is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine (www. and when not busy chasing her toddler around the playgrounds of Philadelphia, she writes a blog about motherhood (https:// otherwomendonttellyou.

If Feminism is for Ugly Girls By Kaity Gee

If Feminism is for Ugly Girls

If feminism is for ugly girls,
Let me be ugly.
Let my face be covered in boils and sores.
Let my teeth rot into pieces.

If all you desire is
a pretty face,
A woman who sits silent and
Nods to coarse words,

Make me screaming and savage–
Make me the woman
Louder than a freight train.

If all a woman is,
is but an object,
Let me be the Medusa whose
Head of snakes will turn you to stone.

Let me be righteously terrible,
Let me be scar-faced­,
For I will bear my trauma
Where it is plain to see.

Let me be untouchable, undesirable,
Let other women laugh
At my Crooked nose and
Jagged teeth.

Tell me man,
With my hair of snakes
And rotted smile–
Do I petrify?

By Kaity Gee

Previously published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine


Kaity Gee is writer from Bay Area, California, currently studying at New York University. Only eighteen, she has already been making a splash in the creative writing world, winning twenty-three regional and two national Scholastic Writing Awards in addition to other regional and national awards in only the past two years. Kaity’s work has previously been published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Avalon Review, Sweet Literary Magazine, Five:2:One Magazine, and in American Library of Poetry’s anthology, Eloquence. Writing has been an integral part of her life: words have changed Kaity’s life, whether it be on the pages of a classic or her own sprawled onto the parallel veins of an open notebook. She hopes her words breathe life in you. She hopes her words leave you breathless.

Funeral in Summer By Emma Bleker

Funeral in Summer

Back where the peach skin looked new,
inside the mouth of old teeth,
we buried the old bird’s bones.
We made her decorated.
We flew her back home to sleep.
Out where the sing of morning
has no voice to wake us with,
she rests in beds of missing,
her throat gone to empty sky.
We made her loud, un-thought of.
We flew her into the ground.
Buried in sugar, smooth skin,
wrapped around what we made her
into: wings and only wings.
She, shelter for the sorrow.
She, muse of wicked sunshine.
We take her to sleep, this time.
We run our sorrow into
un-hollow sparrow ground, this
time. We want for the stripped sound.
The old bird’s beak stays open.
We still try to fit inside.

By Emma Bleker


Emma Bleker is a 21 year old writer currently working for her English degree in Virginia. She has previously been published, or is forthcoming in Electric Cereal, Persephone’s Daughters, Skylark Review, Rising Phoenix Press, and Cahoodaloodaling, among others. She probably wants to be your friend.

What Were You Doing? By Noriko Nakada

What Were You Doing?

I remember watching Eyes on the Prize
with my mother in our living room and asking her
“Were you there, Mom? What were you doing?”
And Mom told me, “I was at home raising kids.
I was being a mom.”

It was 1968
the year my oldest brother was born
the year they killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
the year they killed Robert Kennedy.

Then it was 1970
the year my sister was born
the year they killed four students at Kent State.
the year they killed two more at Jackson State.

So by the time I was born
in 1974 it had been
a year since they killed 11-year-old Clifford Glover.
a year since they killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez.

In 2012
the year my oldest was born was
the year they killed Trayvon Martin.
the year they killed Rekia Boyd.

and 2015
the year my youngest was born was
the year after they killed Eric Garner and Tamir Rice
the year they killed Walter Scott and Freddie Gray

and in 2016
the year they kill Alton Sterling
the year they kill Philando Castille
I can no longer stay at home.

I march in the streets
because some day my children
will ask me what I was doing
and I don’t want to say, “I was at home raising kids.”

Some year when they ask
“Were you there, Mom?
What were you doing?”
I will tell them, “I was saying their names.
I was being your mom.”

By Noriko Nakada


Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles where she grinds out creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. She has two book length memoirs available and has been published in Specter Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.