Ornithology By Athena Dixon

Ornithology

for Sandra Bland

They say in the mugshot
you are dead. That you are lying
on the floor, your hair spread down-
ward. Your collarbone swollen.

Your eyes vacant.

That the curve of your body is arching
from the utilitarian grey. That you
are another cause for war.

We tell the world to speak your name.

But there are others who see your wings.
A black beating, building beneath the distance
in your eyes. A moment from breaking the shocking
orange swallowing your sallow skin.

And for the tiredness of death we don’t want
to believe in the stiffness of your body being moved
to position. Because the truth can never be that cruel.
And even at the far edges of life there has to be some
fairness. Because even nightmares are dreams and believing
this cruelty is nothing short of madness.
Is nothing short of normal.

So we believe in the power of flight and in the shifting
of your body to bird.

A starling iridescent.

By Athena Dixon

Biography:

Athena Dixon is Founder and Editor in Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in Compose, Pluck!, This!, Blackberry: A Magazine, and For Harriet among others.

She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.

 

Almighty By Meggie Royer

Almighty

All day the men speak of the best way
to put a horse out of its misery.
Where to place the bullet,
how to fold the legs beneath the belly
& carry it to the river.
It was a tearing of the mare’s insides
as they stretched to let the colt through,
everything hole & wound,
open & red, so thick it stilled the tide pools.
The whole time
they come up with new ways to end it
I cannot help but think
of my mother.

By Meggie Royer

Biography:

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance MagazineThe Harpoon ReviewMelancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.

Lora Bishop Was Once a Girl By Kailey Tedesco

Lora Bishop Was Once a Girl

Before vines bound the windows,
intrigued voyeurs saw, every
night, Ms. Bishop, sagged and grey
as a Havisham cake, watching
television in the bathtub.

Must have been a hundred years ago-
Lora Bishop: Miss Wichita
Queen at sixteen. She could conjure

a man twice her age
with a flip of blond hair,
but found she couldn’t
speak, and plunged into

her claw-foot sea. Now
she reads the twelve-inch
screen like some read tea,
sipping away the cream
of nine-o-clock

news and swirling the
static in her cup. The
neighborhood boys swore
she knew

death would come, when,
one cold night, she disrobed
to take her bath, and with
a final wink before the window,

sunk beneath the water.

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 asFLAPPERHOUSE and Jersey Devil Press. For more about Kailey Tedesco, please follow her on Twitter: @kaileytedesco.

L.I By Dana Rushin

L.I

during lethal injection you begin to snore loudly.
Then the snores become progressively quiet.
Through the witness window a survivor of the fallen
tries to catch a final glimpse of you lip-syncing words
of forgiveness but pride won’t allow the satisfaction

you could easily be describing what the Gulls do
in August over Lake Michigan. Catching insects
in the air. Nesting in the Hawthorns on the banks
during mating season

because being put to death is like writing your
name in Pepsi or Epson salt where each
indelible syllable rests, then wanders off. Each
sandy beach for the condemned, another dark
pillar of eternal faith.

Last evening, in my armada of joy,
I rode the wind like a warm prostitute
rides the passenger seat of the 02 Grand Caravan.
Shuffling the sliding doors then kicking off
a heel on a clean floor mat. Assuming
that restful, heavenly position.

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

Paleontology By Meggie Royer

Paleontology

Imagine my husband resurrected as a mammoth,
his tusks fierce with the milk of marrow,
how the floorboards bow beneath him.
And I, like Saint Catherine of Siena,
trying to make up for all he has given us.
Each day I lessen.
Moon hanged over the field in a quiet panic,
one night my hipbones rise,
the next my shoulder blades.
Everything about me salt.
Catherine starved to death on communion wafers.
One day there will only be bones
for him to feed on,
myself
the new extinct.

By Meggie Royer 

Biography:

Meggie Royer
 is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance MagazineThe Harpoon ReviewMelancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.