by Carl Boon on May 1, 2017
Already in August the bees
had gone to ground,
burrowing for rain.
Already we knew
many things of winter,
the frozen doorsteps,
the slush on Third Street.
The mower’s blade,
unsharpened since my father’s death,
startled two who rose and stung—
the light of pain, the annoying
thought that I was wrong—
being there, a blaze
of flesh, a man.
We have our flannel
and our heated rooms,
hot water and the hour of sleep
before we leap
into the day, things to fracture
and collect, things to heed.
The bees are still, memorial,
the winds of Illinois
only they can hear.
Already they knew
in August the squalls of snow
off Lake Erie, the dents
as they perfect the land.
god is a 12 year old girl
by Angie Sijun Lou on April 26, 2017
It’s night one of Aquarius season
& the road is bleached with moon
& spit. I’m looking at my bangs
crusted like a helmet to my face.
I’m looking to kill the president
of the USA—if not the tower, the
hallway, if not his ghost, his hands.
A boy told me once he thought all
girltears were black cause he only
saw his sister cry with mascara on,
that same eye leaking & leaking.
I told him god is a 12 year old girl
leaking all her hidden bitter tears
on a kitchen table.
When I was 12 a nice white lady
mistook me for her adopted
daughter every day after school.
She thought I looked just like her
from the back but I know what
I look like: a lotus flower with a
sideways cunt, lying facedown on
my bedroom floor remembering
how bright animal eyes shine when
they are reflected in car eyes. My
mom doesn’t believe in abortions
so she mailed me to Shanghai with
a suitcase filled with breastmilk
as soon as I was born. There are no
stars in the womb but the stars in
Amerika glimmer like cruel babies
in the rain.
Last night I dreamt of a wet block
of tofu falling down an escalator,
step by step, into a shallow eternity.
I know it meant nothing but it went
on all night long. At the end of this
escalator I witnessed god sitting
at a kitchen table. She wants to know
if Amerika is as holy as the textbooks
say & I tell her: Amerika is
a swimming pool filled with spit,
a pile of puke on the nativity scene,
a limp dick on Snapchat,
an artificial plant dying under
a depression lamp & I
have been instructed to build
a synthetic ontology in all
the holy spaces left behind.
what i wrote down after the marian vision, unedited.
by Ezekiel Trinidad on April 24, 2017
she did not care if he was Christ, for in her arms he was her son, and she loved him, and it was all that mattered or would ever matter, she looked at the babe still smudged in viscera, her blood, and he was of her blood, and she loved him, and in her love he was of God, so was she, Mary was of God, and she felt God in the heat that flowed from this child, she felt God in the pain she bore and her emergence victorious, no one dead, not her, not her son, and for this miracle she would call him Jesus, and she pressed her lips next to his ear and whispered you’ve saved me from death, you’ve saved me in your love, i will love you more devoutly than anyone now and forever, i am your Mother, i love you, i love you, my son, i will always love you
by Merridawn Duckler on April 19, 2017
some of the river
She looks into the flat silver river surface, millennia ago,
to see if she is beautiful. Forgive the outmoded feminine
attribution, the suggestion of hypersexualized vanity
the tired notion of female vacuity
but also fuck off, voice in my head,
polluting the surface of her flat silver memory
looking in the glass
to confirm she is beautiful
that everything that touches us leaves a mark
even the moving hand over moving water
even my mind with its judgements
a bird that flies over and over without landing
I could not wash the sweater vest I used to scream at him
for lying on, since it is all that remains of the dog.
I tried to toss it in with the non-delicate but stopped
when I brought it up to my nose and breathed again
his tangy urine, fragrant air from an innocent tail still in motion.
What memory will shake me if I clean it? My only memo
came from the masterful poet who said if we write
about our dead dog he’ll ban us from the anthology.
I would have screamed at him but I let his wife do it,
as he listened humbly in a scrubbed sweater vest,
to the high pitch of her voice, in the stink of the past
and who can blame him? Not the dog. Not me.