jessica mullen CC
One day, on a weekend drive, a little girl’s father crashes their car and goes through the window. The little girl stumbles out onto the road where her father lays and kicks him to wake him up. Her tiny soul and mind shatter. She comes undone. To lose one’s mind at 8 years old. We know some have never found their way back. But that there is sometimes someone who reaches down into our dark with a bucket of words on a rope. Such healing, if ever it does come, must be like a flash of light in a long dark night.
A kindly therapist sits a while with a little girl’s unreachable states until one day she makes a move, kicks a wall. “You love your Father very much, and you’re furious at him for being so reckless, for not waking up. You want to give him a good kick and make sure he’s ok.” A therapist's words make impact. That it might be permissible to hate and to love, to rage-mourn. That no love (or loss?) is finally so real without it.
Someone turns on a light switch inside of someone else. To feel understood in something so heavy for the very first time, what a difference it can sometimes make. Not always, we know. Not always. But for this little girl it seemed to be the words she was waiting for. She finds her mind again. She returns to the land of the living.
Can such creative moments reach us before it’s too late? What help, a poem, when one’s mind and body are caught in the dark stuff of untold shattered-dreams? Emmylou Harris says we stumble into our grace. It seems a total accident when anything reaches at just the right moment, in just the right way. People are not what we would want them to be. The world is not made long for softness. There are teeth in dreams, there are shadows upon shadows. Stories get told even when they aren’t written down.
It’s pretty miraculous that any of us are still standing. I would count even the luckiest among that miracle. For who has ever really been so lucky? I imagine we each have our trail of dark and scar, each of us coming up short, coming up empty. But that we also come up for air. Help each other come up for air, swim for shore, start a small fire, take stock of where we are. It’s good to not be alone, and not just when you’re drowning.
Do we ever find words that fit precisely the size of the pain in our lives? A perfect fit, a pain-lingo? More likely we are always stumbling into it, an act of grace or a not-so-lucky accident. It hurts to know. To be known. It hurts to be. Our light can sometimes blind us, but our darkness can sometimes light the way.
We show what we cannot tell, don’t we? What a miracle to be able to find words that little by little allow us to tell more than show. To sing our dark. Dark must be given its due. Hate to love and back again. For some it’s hell to be angry, for some it’s hell not to be. But no life is quite so real without it. Take of this anger–hate-love-healing just a small gesture towards the imperfect-whole we are all working our way towards. Stumbling, along the way, into some sort of grace.
Mostly, it’s good to not be as alone in it as we thought. To know there is a circle out there, somewhere, if one needs the medicine it has to offer. Words, I’m talkin, words. Thank you, friends, for lending us some of your medicine. Your long dark-song.
Jacob Norlund CC
where this place begins and ends, i am that
this town is like a flannel shirt with a hole in it
hanging on the line to dry. this town only whispers
when it’s twilight, it could be 150 years ago or next week.
this town has blisters on its feet and its hair is overdue
for a cut. i ran into this town at the grocery store, it was
buying hamburger and a loaf of bread. i know this town
from way back, my father knew its father, they were
volunteer firefighters and members of the eagles lodge.
this town is like a candle burning in the window, no one
watching, and a baseball game crackles on the radio.
i have seen this town clean up after a storm, picking
up broken branches and sweeping muddy water onto
flattened grass. where this place begins and ends,
i am that, a compilation of all its joy and misery,
foundation stones and green copper civil war statues,
its grinding teeth, residue of stars, and sad inertia.
when a place becomes you, there is no escape from layers
of memory; history. Today workers replace worn red bricks
in the street, by the town square, and no one has any idea who
they know or where they came from other than here.
old ford truck
the man who lives on the corner
stands in the gravel driveway
with the hood of his old ford truck
he scratches his gray hair,
holds a wrench in the other hand.
sprays starter fluid into the carburetor,
holds down the metal flap with his
yells, crank it again!
the engine grinds and grinds, but
does not turn over.
inaudible words, grabs a greasy rag
mindlessly wipes off a screwdriver.
this happens every few weeks or so.
the truck has seen better days, but he
keeps it together with wire and duct tape
wringing one more month out of it.
in the drivers’ seat his wife sits,
wears a checkered jacket, leans her head
against her hand, elbow resting on
the open window as the breeze blows in
crank it again! he yells, and she turns
the key, but it sounds like the battery
is wearing down now,
the starter galloping
slower and slower.
he wipes his nose with the sleeve of his shirt,
stares under the hood, hoping a solution
will rise out of pipes and metal,
hidden in gasoline vapor like a ghost
son in trouble
we sit in my kitchen with bottles of beer
you tell me your son is up against it,
the first heroin overdose was bad enough,
the second thank god for the narcan,
swishing the beer around in the bottle
you ask where you went wrong.
i want your opinion, where did i go wrong
he played on all of the sports teams, was
the quarterback in football, pitcher in
i consider this as you talk on.
was it the car you bought him when he
was sixteen, maybe it was too fast. the
girls he brought home, all of them pretty
his grades, which were good enough to get
by, not good enough to get into the best
you confide that you asked your
boss to put him on one of the crews for
the summer and he never went back
to college, learning to drive trucks,
taking the second shift for extra cash
when that was available.
you ask me
did i try to do too much? his mother
was never a very good parent. his sister
always did everything right.
i finish my
beer, ask him if he wants another one,
he says he does, drawing circular designs
on the kitchen table with his finger, his
left eye twitching, shadows descend
do not ascend
mark s kuhar is a cleveland, ohio-based writer, poet, editor, publisher and songwriter. His work has appeared, among other places, in the anthologies “An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11” (Regent Press); America Zen (Bottom Dog Press); “Action Poetry” (a LitKicks publication); “Cleveland in Prose & Poetry,” (League Press); ArtCrimes #21; Trim: A Mannequin Envy Anthology; Infinite Tide (Studio Eight Books); as well as in “The Long March of Cleveland,” “Ornamental Iron,” “Mac’s turns a New Trick” and “Anthologese the Next,” among others published by Green Panda Press; and forthcoming in “I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices.” He has published five chapbooks: “acrobats in catapult twist” (2003); “laughing in the ruins of chippewa lake park” (2004); “e40th & pain: poems from deep cleveland” (2006); “mercury in retrograde” (2016) and “seymour’s poems.” (2017). He holds a BA in English, with a specialization in Creative Writing (1980) from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
i don’t know the name
of this plant but sun turns it
purple its hands are purple i don’t know
my name leaves
drink through glass blood resists
when drawn dark cells
open in the sun give me two
names one for pleasure another
for science don’t tell me
either let me live
with this violence however
i want the truth
is no one saw him
lay a finger
on me my shadow
behind a locked door is still
a truth made of hands
i tell myself
a desert / an ocean
the blood / on the floor / is not mine
the cuts / nothing
inside / the stench of this man / belongs to me
i won’t crash / i won’t
in a pile of leaves / in the story / i am sand
i mean blood / i mean i am choking
on his fist / there’s shit
in my bed / and that changes
nothing / the note from my mother / eye
love ewe / thrown
from its summit / my dresser
worn panties / gutted
flesh / on the ground
slung together / wet
rope / my body unmaking
itself / when it ends / there are leaves
i mean snow / i mean my mother’s
chest / nothing
rots / no girl no
landscape / endless
breath / the sun / somehow finds me
even in death
Josephine Blair Cipriano (she/her) is a 2019 Brooklyn Poets Fellow whose work has been published or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Copper Nickel, Epiphany Magazine, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2021 Brooklyn Poets Poem of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Frontier Magazine Emerging Poet's Prize. She lives in Tucson, AZ.
Erik Drost CC
The Lucky Ones (This One’s For You, Lucy)
I live for the feeling of being in a room full
of people that have been destroyed but still
have hope in their eyes
That gather in small, sweaty rooms,
to feel the energy of others who
don’t belong anywhere else
Slice, stitch, slice
A woman is destroyed but filled with hope
the ones that don’t make it, may have lost,
lost connection to some necessities of
human existence - respect & honesty -
like saying hello to the man with hurt
in his eyes, asking do you have some spare change?
some spare change some spare change
Slice, stitch, slice
I don’t believe there is a lonelier place than here
At the local bar on a Tuesday afternoon
\the neon signs look out of place in daylight/
& where all the lonely men sit
and all I can think about
All I can think about is
the feeling I get when a man
When a man with a beard & dark hair
who stands tall with confidence & promises
Steven with the business textbooks in Vancouver’s downtown scene
Tom who has a gig every Friday in a Toronto neighborhood pub
Michael who goes to art school in Upstate New York
Ryan with the neck tattoo playing pool at a Montréal bar
walks into the room & I dissolve
Dissolving into someone I cannot recognize
Suddenly I have forgotten who I am
What I like
What I need
I was sleeping with Nathan, back when I fucking never thought I deserved very good, and he was
texting me to come over and I said, I have my period tonight so we can just hang out and he never replied &
I thought I deserved that
How to breathe
These are the men that help me hate myself
Slice, stitch, slice
I used to let these kind of men
so, my best, best friend since we were little,
she asked me to her family’s lake house during the summer,
we were young, like 11 or 12, & we hung out with some
older kids - there was one boy who was the cool kid
I remember wanting to get his attention & feeling like
feeling like I wanted to ditch my friend
my friend when she wanted us to go back home
I remember wanting to get treated like shit by a boy
over the love of a friend.
Where did that come from?
Where the fuck did that come from?
Slice, stitch, slice
The passenger of this miserable existence
that tastes like honeysuckle & weed
that feels like making it through
And because I believe in love at the end of it all //
Slice, stitch, slice
Not the kind of love you read in novels
or see in your favorite Netflix shows
or hear on the radio the morning after //
And I run for miles just to get a taste
Must be love on the brain
// I believe in the love I feel when I look at
When I look into the face of
an honest lover
a quirky friend
my niece / who runs into my arms / laughing with a silly cackle /
after riding the carousel three times in a row
/ always smiling & reminding me that /
love has no expectations //
// love that feels better than it looks
Slice, stitch, slice
I will always be this person
but things have become easier to
Easier to carry
Why do I have to be lucky to love?
Now when reminders // triggers //
happen I am not as afraid
Not as afraid
smelling that cologne
which takes me back to That night
We will forever live in a world that triggers us
living is just making it through the day
the best way we can
I am not as afraid
Afraid of the unknown
Of the self-hate that I am so
Self-sabotage my weapon of choice
like swallowing that pill
he promises will make me
cause’ all I wish is to be happy
Slice, stitch, slice
the only cure being
to spill my guts
I read my poetry at the coffeehouse and then
I drove home just smilin’, so happy, you know?
Slice, stitch, slice
And have someone say,
Luke with his anti-hero skateboard deck
tucked under his left arm
pushes the hair from my hopeful eyes
on a sunny April evening
parts are not shameful
they are beautiful
Slice, stitch, slice
So I say to you (and also to myself)
Be proud of how far you’ve come
because your past will always
come to remind you
of that lonely night
on the streets of Vancouver
Slice, stitch, slice
The only thing worse than forgetting
Slice, stitch, slice
Forgive me if I sound angry
But fuck you for making me
Slice, stitch, slice
Let me ease your worries
let me crack your ribs open
let me see every beautiful, broken, part of you
Let me love the most honest / darkest / parts of you
Leanne Hill (she/her) is a lover of art, music, and expression of the written language. Originally from Saskatoon, SK, Leanne now lives and grows on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples in Victoria, BC. What this means to her, is she is an uninvited community member to these beautiful lands, and she gives back by striving to live a violence-free life. She works as a support worker for self-identified women fleeing abusive relationships.
Her work focuses on the themes of social justice, womanhood, and violence. Her writing can best be described as finding one’s own identity in the midst of society that routinely defines how a woman should be.
Leanne is an ensemble member of the 2020-2021 Fireworks Mentorship Program for spoken-word artists. She won 2nd place for her poem If I can adapt then I will not die in the 2021 University of Victoria on the Verge contest. She continues to find her voice through creativity and passion.
David Prasad CC
not long ago, your bare arms browned in crowning circlets of weightless
sun. there was air & room in you, but it couldn’t be called emptiness. you had
yet to learn that grieving only happens in barren spaces. overnight, you became a fury
dripping black slick oil like pungent algae trailing behind you. you became separate
from the girl’s face you don for daily interactions and evening entanglements.
overnight, a chthonic spirit tired of what it means to work your fingers
to the bone, wear through skin like honey dissolves into tea, to flex and clench
hands with five protruding branches like unrobed vertebrae, a glossy grinning white,
to sleep with the dread of waking. you meant to go subterranean, disgusted by god
and his swans trying to convince you to beware the soil and the grave and
the quiet. they saw you lose yourself to passing storms, watched the lightning
score your face like mindless meteors clawing the surface of a distant planet.
you are scarred now. you look like a place fear visits when it needs the comfort
of a sure thing, has you on speed dial and shows up with enough riesling to
ply you loose and limber. you drove past a grove of trees today and wondered
how quickly you could plow into them, but you know god--he milks each orgasm
from you. you feel dirty after the spasms die down, but he distracts you with
the raising welts of being actively unloved, the rosewater scent that rolls off
your slack limbs like steam waves after receiving sex like a rightful punishment,
the reaffirmation of how easy to leave you are. god revels and reviles, wants
to get you wasted and too honest, a time when you can’t excuse yourself to the
bathroom to sink onto stinking wet tile to pull composure back over your
shaking panic like a blanket. he wanted you to buy a gun and store it in
your closet like a sleeping lion, like a gatekeeper, and then to chain you to
the mangy moth-eaten mattress of living. it wasn’t enough for him to see you
prostrate and feverous in his antler room. he wanted to hear
you crack into granules, was willing to coax your admission
through pleasure or pain until they became synonymous, until
you began to pray he would let you stop feeling anything if you just
gave him your testimony like a lost chapter from his pristine book,
until you choke out:
i did, i slid from lap to lap, i tangled my fingers into the writhing
hair of gorgons and withstood bite after bite for the brief
beauty of attentive fangs, i packed my heart in mud and
let it char in the blistering hell of a ground oven, i walked
over glass until my blood bleached the earth of purity,
i treated my throat like a river to ferry shame,
convinced a constant change in location
might lighten the load. i lived, god, i shouted
and laughed until the world needed the clamor
of my uproarious fervor to spin, but
it hurts to have nothing to show for all this
noise, god, like a pathetic crushing farce,
a pitiful instrument fumbling to play itself.
bury me at death valley
the important mission for birthday cake. september babies
in the office, thick frosted edges and sprinkles baton-and-star
shaped. i drove from store to store, whoever had the right size.
a half sheet, lsu colors. who doesn't love football pride in
a male-dominated workplace and their smirks and their brown
belts. i make their coffee, nothing has changed though i tell
you i'm a small light rising up in a dark world. how dark it
must be for those stupid fucking words like courage and triumph;
they don't get me up in the morning--my dog does. at night
dream-men rape whatever body i'm in. little dark haired boy.
tiny blonde girl. a young mother. sometimes, just me. then i
wake up and pick up dog shit with a bag over my hand like
a glove. i try and i try to keep my head down and resent
no one. how's that working out for me--it's not. everyday
i get more too-ripe, a peach you should cut the bruises off but
no one will pick up a knife anymore. i try to explain what
the sound of a revving car-engine does to me, then stop talking.
who talks nowadays, they want to hear about all the baking
i do so i get puffy and hollow-eyed. the more there is of my
body, the less i want to be there. eating chicken tetrazzini
on a couch in a house where no one cares about my bloody
head or the time i dug my lungs out of my chest like fossils
from rock. archeological, archaic, shove it as far back in
time as you can. but the wind still wears it into view, like
when the vacuum stops working and you have to take it all
apart and he sodomized me, once. i kept asking please please
at least lube. at least something. please, a useless word.
who listens to women--no one. i bought happy birthday
candles and a lighter. i think about coughing violently
through a cigarette at my desk and letting someone else
put it out on me. letting someone else
Hannah Hamilton is an Iranian-American poet who works in records management and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Their work has appeared in Persephone's Daughters.
Dan Keck CC
When you’re thirteen and the big kids are doing speed at your local library,
you’re not going to hold any weight if you speak like a child.
You have to look at your friend, who wants to go smoke with them, and roll
your eyes. Tell her, they’re in high school, they’re going to cut it with plaster.
You’ll remember it when you go back home to visit your parents and wonder-
driving past the old brick building—what ever happened to those kids who were
homeless by seventeen. If anyone else remembers their slouched shoulders.
Think of your friend who is now a mother, and be glad it didn’t turn out worse.
Sixteen and just starting to drink while everyone else is graduating to pills.
Late bloomer, making up the difference with indifference.
You laugh when your buddy tells you about the oxy he stole. You’re so cool
you don’t ask how much he has on him while you drive to the bowling alley.
Act put out when you’re grounded from a party where everyone will be rolling.
Know it would have been boring if you couldn’t drink quite enough to catch up.
Call an ambulance when someone OD’s. Laugh right along when they end
up fine. Say, you scared us good. Hope that you won’t be at another funeral
when you’re eighteen. Move away and lose touch instead.
Last you checked, everybody was still above ground and making it work.
Working now at the place the town’s homeless adults come to warm up for a
while, sometimes high at nine in the morning and talking to invisible buddies.
Tell your coworkers not to roll their eyes or stare if someone starts yelling or
kicking or speaking to themselves, because no one will trust you if you can’t
front indifference. You learned the best way to love another person is let them
exist without expectations. The party doesn’t end just because you walk away.
Twenty-something and wondering if it’s too late to think
different. Keep telling yourself that the worst thing you can do is seem afraid.
Jade Braden is an author and artist based in Columbus, Ohio. Her previous works appear in Sledgehammer Lit, Complete Sentence, and Warning Lines, among others. Find her on Twitter @jadewcb, online at jadebraden.com, or meandering through the Appalachian foothills.
Christian Collins CC
My Ex-Girlfriend, Oklahoma
By the time you read this I’ll be gone six months
and you’ll just be getting out of lock up
for your second DUI.
Listen, I’m sorry, but
you are a bad girlfriend
you keep breaking my heart
and embarrassing me in public.
I won’t be sending any checks
but I’ll write you poems
about the way you make me sweat
the way you sing like locusts
devouring a field
the way you flash your thunderheads
and promise me a tornado.
I love your big oily heart
the way it fracks
the way it wails
on Saturday night at the Blue Door
when you call yourself Freedom
say you’re from Bartlesville
when you’re really from Sayre.
I love the way you wrap your legs
around the closest girl to your barstool
and lick her up the back of her neck.
Sunday morning you roll into church
a little bit late and a lot hung over
and never say nothing
about loving the sinner.
Everyone knows the best way to end things
is to get her name tattooed on your body
but I never got that scissortail flycatcher
to fly across my shoulders.
My new lover
(who’s never even been to a Walmart)
Do you miss your home?
I don’t know what to say so I point up
and say I miss the sky.
Maybe it’s the sky
I need marked across my body
the emptiness I love
in a shape I can touch.
Maybe I don’t need wings anymore.
Maybe I need an anchor.
Maybe I need a whole flock of birds
perched on a telephone wire against the setting sun.
Maybe a pump jack, a dust bowl,
the deed to some mineral rights,
Oral Robert’s praying hands.
Maybe I need wind, hail, flash floods and ice
a whole cycle of storms rotating across my body
to get over my grief about walking away from you
your crimes and your prayers
your crumbling textbooks.
I thought I could be a stranger.
I thought I could fill my pockets
fistfight with the dust
every glancing blow a farewell.
Oklahoma, you’re trash.
I’m trash, too, for leaving.
I’ve gone broke
trying to bail you out.
I can’t fix you
but this won’t ever be over.
No one needs me like you.
When I drive west on I-40
through the ochre oceans
of plains just past Amarillo
I want to stop the car and walk
no destination but alone
in the big empty
the tall grass brushing
against my legs
wind filling my ears
sun hot on my neck
to go at least as far
as the next boundary
between earth and sky.
I watch mockingbirds swoop
and dive white stripes flashing
and wonder if they feel fear
while flying. I try to place myself
inside their tiny bodies
my heart pumps faster
wind rushing under wings
soaring through the empty sky
held aloft in nothing.
I want to drive
out to nowhere and lie down
in the bed of a truck as the stars
unroll their holy blanket
surrender myself to the terror
of this vast space of nothing
so full of something.
Julia McConnell is a poet and librarian. Her chapbook, Against the Blue, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Her publications include Right Hand Pointing, Plainsongs, Screen Door Review, SWWIM, Lavender Review, MockingHeart Review, and other journals. Originally from Oklahoma, Julia lives in Seattle with her Jack Russell Terrier.
Christian Collins CC
En Route to a Family Christmas
Every year we pass the same schoolhouse,
the one that never had indoor plumbing,
never felt the quake of fluid rushing
behind its walls, or under its parquet tiles.
I confess to him, it’s the one I’d park behind,
under moons because no one could see me
from the road, and there’s something romantic
about hiding, and about a moonlit schoolhouse.
He wasn’t one of them, in the passenger seat
of my ’95 Mustang, so I’m careful to leave out
the memorable details—a calloused palm stained
with motor oil, a mustache sweet with nicotine.
He has some stories too: a covered bridge off 56
that can’t bear the weight of anything anymore.
We pass it two miles from the schoolhouse.
He inhales and holds it. I try not to wonder
what she smelled like, how his hands warmed
inside her thighs, how their lips emulsified, or
if that mustache still smells of menthol.
And just like every year before, as we pass
the covered bridge I take his hand,
bring it to my lips as we both exhale.
Below the Surface
Sometimes the river looks this way,
rushes west as though there’s still gold
to discover, as if teenagers who skinny dip
inside her are blood-thirsty like bats,
soak their claws in her mouth, then
pull them out before the leeches take hold.
Sometimes it slows enough to reflect
their faces like my grandfather’s Buick
as it coasts to full stop in his garage.
He takes a peppermint from his suit,
twists away the plastic and
convinces his mouth it is not candy.
Sometimes it stops completely,
forced frozen by a February breeze,
my sisters driven mad by living underwater
scratch the surface and learn
to breath with closed mouths,
learn to swim with fists,
the river looks like this.
Solstice Steals their Bones,
Turns them to Snow
First it was Mammaw, piano chained
to her back so she’d carry it with her
to Heaven. She said she would play it
to whichever God met her at the gate
ready to kiss the arthritis from her
fingers, put the pain back into her spine
where it belonged. The doctors offered
her a halo when she was thirteen
and she wore it with her everywhere,
never mind the screws in her temple,
she sang hymns and fancied herself Jesus.
Then went John with wind that shifted
the hips of blue grass and whistled
through our ears, taught us the taste of twang
and the ache that comes with being off-
key even after all the music had stopped.
Fans flooded the paper with memories,
a river of ink spilled to scrawl every way his sound
still moved through masses, tickled ears
of his widows, curled the tongues
of all of us, mouthing every word he ever sang.
Now Dave wheezes ballads of Yukon,
the time the temperature fell
to 80 below. As locals stepped outside,
their breath hissed as it froze, turned to dust
midair before falling to the ground.
When he says he’d like to travel North
to die, he really means he wants his breath
to turn to music again, force it from his lungs
make it shout in the air so that when
the neighbors jump from their skins,
he can say it was his voice
that moved them.
Stephanie is the author of Places We Feel Warm (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2021), editor of “Periodical Poetry.”, and co-host of Athens County’s Thursday Night Open Mic. Her poems have appeared in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Lunch Bucket Brigade, Northern Appalachia Review, Poets Reading the News, Still: The Journal and elsewhere. Visit her website to check out more of her work, and upcoming events at stephthepoet.org.
David Prasad CC
trees scream ultrasonic when thirsty
If you are the eight minutes before we know
the sun has exploded
I am the last scent of a daydream
winter, want, water, seeds
world's largest organism – 4 mile fungus
it all begins underground
down there the sun is a rumor
I sit next to carved stone
whisper to my grandmother how it is up here
hotter now, burns blister quickly
miles away out my window
mountains on fire
sometimes bruised purple
is how songs are written
how we let ourselves sing
let ourselves believe
since she died
I've been waiting to be buried
I've been listening for the sound of trees
vibration starts in roots
works its way up
I thought I heard them once
they said they would drink the bones
if they could
A. Rabaduex is a veteran, having translated Russian and worked as a paralegal for the Air Force for 7 (mostly fun) years. She now works as an adjunct professor teaching ethnographic writing and basic writing. Her poems are inspired by pantheism and etymology. Her most recent writing successes include winning contests in Causeway Lit, American Writers Review, and Sand Hills Lit, as well as being nominated for the first time for a Pushcart Prize by Gyroscope Review.
Tristan Loper CC
Sat in Silence, Grew to Love It.
A block away,
a black tarp
over a rooftop bar
is caught in the wind.
I love it this way.
The cannon is convulsing.
My dog looks up occasionally
to the nauseous billow,
before curling back into
the black and gray shawl
I’ve wrapped around him, his
along my hip,
on our little porch bench.
Night will be here soon
and morning will follow.
I don’t know you, but
I’ve met the world,
and she knows you.
I sometimes still believe.
Mira Cameron is a Chicago-based transgender poet who aims to coat the mundane in her preferred shade of dream. She studies Sustainability and English at Roosevelt University, where she also tutors writing. Her previous work has been published in Slippage Lit and The Corvus Review. She can be found on twitter @nonsensetheimp or instagram @theyippinhorsefly.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.