Genesis By Susan H. Evans

Genesis

      It is June 6th, and the snow won’t stop falling;

                     And the old ordered world,

       Its season long past,

                     Reeks of decay

                     Like corrupted fruit

       Or rotting meat.

       And the old earth,

                   Blinded with rage,

       Howls for love,

                    Smolders with hate,

       And reels drunken on its axis.

       And snow falls like a silent summons,

                    As ashes from a long-banked fire;

                              Burning,

        Until the last suffering soul

                    Trudging across the desert floor

        Reaches the Promised Land.

                    And broken spirits,

        Desperate and maligned,

                    Sick, hunted, and poor,

       Get their reckoning.

         And Ararat,

                     That mighty snowcapped mountain,

          Erupts in fire, torching the sky,

                      Visible to the whole earth;

            Illuminating four dark warriors,

                       Armored in iron and bronze,

                       Mocking the ones below.

            That roar as breakers on mighty waters;

             And the suffering sea

                       Rises ever closer to those dark knights

              In black armor on pale horses,

                        Proud and arrogant on their mighty mountain.

               And as the people rise,

                         A new vision sluices through the smoky darkness

                Revealing broken images:

                         Decomposed bodies

                Juxtaposed astride pale stallions,

                         Whose nightmare hooves

                Beat as death rattles on jagged rocks.

          And the long-touted Revelation story

                         Preached to frighten children

           Of Armageddon horsemen and bloody doomsday —

                           Like all bad dreams —

                                     Ends

                           In Genesis.

         And the fire and darkness pass away,

                         Spinning a new world on its axis,

         Suffusing the earth in newfound light, and

                         Saturating the level playing field of another kind of god.

         And a giant wind takes hold the Plague banner,

                       Hurls it down the cliffs to churning sea,

         And a nascent sun

                      Ascends on red ribbon banners

         Exposing hatred, fear, and cruelty.

        And the dark crumbling Adams fall like brittle clay,

                      As monuments made of sand.

        And the four winds whip

                      And a wave of sound like voices,

         No longer still,

                      Scatters ashes from ancient saddles,

        And casts that almighty mountain into the sea.

        And the snow falling in June

                                 Stops

                       Its descent at last;

        And a cooling breeze, clean and free,

                      Sweeps over the land,

        And hope spreads as eagle wings over the Promised Land.

By Susan H. Evans

Biography

Susan H. Evans is a writer and English professor in east Tennessee, and grew up poor, and as isolated as the mountain valley she lives in. She is published in The Christian Science Monitor, Metapsychosis: Journal of Consciousness, Literature, and Art, Deep South Magazine, and Bright Flash Literary Review

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.

 

Astronomic Feelings By Valentina Thompson

Astronomic Feelings

This blue speckled home, this
eggshell globe beneath my feet will
rotate 1,040 miles in the next

59 minutes and all I could tell
you that’s moved me would be her
smile.  All I could tell you about
change would be atmospheric

pressure in this ribcage when that
girl walks in a room, I forget
how to speak even though my mouth

has built a bed for her name,
shelter, a roof over
even the thought of her.

But this paper mache planet, this
soaked soil of our roots will complete
a full turn on its axis in 23.93 hours,

and we could compare it to the
background stars, see when it measures
up at the precise alignment and call it
the same, but it is not the same,

it is another rotation in its history
it is not the same because we are always
changing, people are always leaving
and attraction is the marrow of gravity

and the only thing I know about
love is that everything always moves
towards coalescence or collapse.

By Valentina Thompson

Biography:

Valentina is a 20-year-old queer writer out of Long Beach, CA with a habit of writing to people who don’t love her back and always smiling at strangers. She is currently majoring in English, Creative Writing with a minor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and if lost, can often be found in any small coffee shop on a rainy day. http://theseoverusedwords.tumblr.com/

When Survival Does Not Suffice By Darshana Suresh

When Survival Does Not Suffice

This is what healing looks like:
blooming / reaching towards the light /
falling into the sunset / ripping wings off
and watching as they regrow / holding
a paintbrush between teeth and painting
the trees a glowing, hazy pink.

And this is what healing looks like:
nails painted with the ocean’s foam /
laughter like chocolate / a baby opening
its eyes for the first time / the little hiccup
when someone crying really hard stops /
the watery smile after the last tear.

And this is what healing looks like:
purple / twined vines & stitched hearts /
hands clutching / a plane landing / sky
scrapers / paper cuts healing / the
smell of hospitals / reaching out to
touch the stars /

leaving the stars alone because there is
enough wonder down here anyway /
because there is enough wonder in just
you alone anyway.

By Darshana Suresh

Biography:

Darshana Suresh is an 18 year old self-proclaimed poet residing in New Zealand, where she is currently studying psychology and English at the University of Auckland. You can most often find her falling over her own past or wistfully dreaming about all the places she has seen and all the places she has not. Poems that wrench her heart out and leave her tender and trembling are her favourite kind. More of her work can be found on afterthelonely.tumblr.com

Back to Basics By Ramna Safeer

Back to Basics

Washing my mouth of you.
Brushing until my gums bleed.
Sink is a cloud of pink
and my tongue is metal in my mouth.
Brushing until you become
the open wound, not the salt.

I bit my nails to the tender today.
I took 53 pictures of my lips and
wished I had a stranger to send them to,
a stranger who would recognize them
as ones he once wanted to kiss.

I wonder if anyone has ever wanted to climb
the hill my eyes make when they close.
I wonder if falling in love is bullshit.
If it’s just another store with only one size
or chocolates that go on sale the day after Valentine’s.

I wonder if falling out of love
is not just another way of saying,
‘I’m going to pretend I didn’t think
this was a wonderful idea when he looked at me
like I was first snowfall and I answered with
hands to his cheeks like church bells.’

I forgive myself for you.
This heart is underground parking lot
where all the cars start at once,
a hundred engines rumbling softly like belly laughs.

That is where the laugh is born.
Underground. Between the lungs.
Inside the inside.
That is where I learn to snap my neck to the sky
and be the kind of happy that made you
weak in the first place.

By Ramna Safeer

Biography:

Ramna Safeer is a pre-Law English Lit student. She is a writer, blogger, researcher, activist and perpetual coffee-spiller. Her poetry has been previously published in The ASUS Undergraduate Review, Atwood Mag and Words-on-Pages Magazine. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, New Canadian Media and The Queen’s Journal, where she works as the Editorials Editor. She is the founder and blogger at CherishChai.com, an online space that maps her journey to recapture her Pakistani, Muslim heritage.