Taken from the Eye By Cindy Xin

Taken from the Eye

Part of the passion: wading waist-deep into the sky,
now liquid and sullen over your wrists. Your dress
looks different now, louder, yet subdued. Stop it—

you’re holding on too tight to something you’re
not willing to keep. Ice mends, unmends, himself
upon your back. You ask him for help, to be

consumed or to be released, but again, this is part
of the passion— you may only float as high as
permitted. Let the leeches do what they will— the

body, when lank, is the most faithful. Let the sky
undulate over and into you, leaving you nonetheless
nameless. In the back, your mother contemplates

the folds of an onion. Your mother is contemplating
a prayer. How purple is so difficult to remember.
How the years should unpeel, how she should’ve

found you by now. You give yourself nothing because
you are looking for everything: the dull the petals hide,
the death behind the mouth. This isn’t it, and you know

it—but the stars. You’d die to see them. There are
better things— but the stars. You’d re-read this
whole nightmare. Tear yourself apart for them.

Hope for a salve of their silence.

By Cindy Xin

Biography:

Cindy Xin is a junior in Albany High School in California who enjoys writing poetry, listening to music, and staring at the sky. Her work is forthcoming in Earth Island Journal, Half Mystic, After The Pause, and Glass.

We Are Back

Rising Phoenix Review

Letter From the Editor

I know these are difficult times the likes of which many of us have never experienced. I feel the weight of this suffering. The sickness, shattered plans, upended dreams. If I’m honest, I am fucking scared.  As we self quarantined, I felt so isolated. I knew I wanted to help remedy that feeling for as many people as I could.

What I know is we need as many things that add light to the world as possible. As many things as we can make to help bring comfort, affirm our shared humanity, and amplify the voices of those who need to be heard. Connecting with all of you through this publication was always a light in the dark for me. More importantly, this was a space we built together, a place where we could connect people across the world. What I know is we can be brave together.

With these things in mind, Rising Phoenix Review is officially back. I have assembled a new issue full of poets who give me courage. I think they will uplift you too. Our  first new issue will debut on April 1st, 2020. I will publish a new feature poet each night at 9pm Eastern Daylight time on RPR.

My plan is for this to be the start of Rising Phoenix Review being a monthly magazine again. Additionally, I also plan to recruit new section editors (including a photography and art editor), and poetry readers. I hope you will stay tuned for updates about those things, as well as a few other surprise projects I am planning.

Until then, I hope these words find you safe and healthy.

Peace be with you always,

-Christian Sammartino

lethargy By Amanda Huang

lethargy

nowadays, edith is static
a shell in the absence

of craving. she used
to adore each sweet

fixation and learned
to unravel her thirst

like spools of thread but now confesses
that orchard pears bring the taste

of brine, their veins an estuary
of tangled webs pulsing, awaiting

expulsion from the tumid womb. edith
squeezes each naked ugly spine and

spits out each sightless eye like
fish flung back to sea, envies

their perfect breathlessness.
in her palm their bodies wither,

bare husks of dreams now
thought inglorious

By Amanda Huang

Biography:

Amanda Huang is a junior at Millburn High School, where she is a senior editor of her school’s literary magazine. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and JustPoetry, and has been published in TeenInk and in the Word magazine.

IN LAGOS, BODIES SWITCH MUSIC IN A TANKER FIRE By Mesioye Johnson

IN LAGOS, BODIES SWITCH MUSIC IN A TANKER FIRE

and the cloud opens hurriedly for
a prophecy of smoke. It opens like daybreak
and it’s so funny how bodies collate fire easily.
Everyone carried race all over their bodies,
black. black. black.
No one remained the same
no one knew how explosion borrow bodies to make embers
no one knew how fire opens a body
layer by layer until DNA becomes an
identification messiah.
Imagine seeing a boy dying outside a car
where you’re locked inside
while fire approaches you with the anger of light,
imagine a man in a praying position
on the steering before metals pleats his faith.
Bodies switch music and dirge is a solo
that sings a boy into silence. Water is a tenor of things too weak
to stay in a body full of darkness. A motor’s wiper
mimes death, and its full light dies into seconds.
Noises drown this city of brown bodies.
do not call this road a mortuary
do not say this body doesn’t resemble your father,
do not seep this broken news into your veins
like the desperate tweaking of injections into a body
veined with deaths,
do not switch on the T.V
for they won’t still be sure
the death toll till the cloud closes like memories.

By Mesioye Johnson

Biography:

Mesioye Johnson is a bird of many colors who writes to heal his darkness and the world around his waist. His works are featured or forthcoming in African Writer, Eunoia review, Sub-Saharan magazine and somewhere else. He is @mesioyejohnson on Twitter