petersburg, virginia / 1964 by Cantrice Janelle Penn

Capture_fem4.PNG Continue reading “petersburg, virginia / 1964 by Cantrice Janelle Penn”

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2 Poems by Shakeema Smalls

rape kit

“(The hung juror) said no one was hurt and that it would be different if the victim were found in the river with her throat slit,” (Morgan Myers, Sun Gazette, November 6th, 2013)

FIND:

hysterectomy, or
annulment
camel toe. menthols.
kool moe dee sweatshirt
lap scarf
cover charge for The Scars He Left On Your Uterus.
1 nite. lost lighter.
the, ”Guide to Negro Phonetics for Public Defenders.” Continue reading “2 Poems by Shakeema Smalls”

2 Poems by Emily Corwin

tantrum

at first, this terrible mirror, gutted. it is thinking of taking me.
at midnight, screaming illness, I fill a particular dark. I rustle, I
thrash—a girl loose in the bramble, getting wretched, smashing
up a glass syringe. how to return this rage, how it circles endless
—like bruise, like stone too black. I get hurt in you, becoming
skeleton. my ruffles everywhere, wilting. Continue reading “2 Poems by Emily Corwin”

2 Poems by Bailey Pittenger

Garlic Powder

Before the apocalypse, every man will passive aggressively talk to every woman who wouldn’t date him about Madame Bovary.

And every man will lose control of his bowels and slide in his own shit like a slug. Every man will wiggle and bend in either pain or constipation.

Before the apocalypse, every man will pray for a heaven. Every man will call to his dead mother for forgiveness.

And every man will lose his sight. Every man will evolve an acute sense of smell. Every man will look for his mother by following the scent of garlic powder. Continue reading “2 Poems by Bailey Pittenger”

loving her everywhere by Claire McCulley

loving her everywhere

i. Here, there is sand in your mouths when you kiss. Sweat and long hair. A shared water bottle glinting in her hands. She finds a succulent plant and slices it open, drawing her finger through the clear gelatinous discharge it bleeds. She touches that finger to her cheek and glistens heavenly. You are dry heat desire and she is your oasis. You drink her with stinging eyes.

ii. In this place of neat grass and gridlocked streets, there is not much to do except make chains of wildflowers for her neck and yours. There’s no one around to hear you tell each other how you feel. You feel like a sparkler, so you say so. Like a lit match. Condensed brilliance. She holds your hand in the middle of paved suburban wasteland, squeezes it three times. You know what she’s saying. You say it back. Continue reading “loving her everywhere by Claire McCulley”

2 Pieces | Mia S. Willis

Bombshell

God showed me how I was made last night.
She came to me in a dream, all barefoot and African regal,
And She told me that I am a bomb.
I am the nuclear explosion that will drive out the dark.
I have Napalm on my tongue and a fuse in my mind;
God told me that I was designed to speak fire into the air of Her Earth.
She said that on the sixth morning, She used a yam tree to pick out Her afro, Continue reading “2 Pieces | Mia S. Willis”

2 Poems | Sarah M. Bess

Injection #9

Piercing muscle makes a dull sound
like ripping wet paper into thin strips
that dry in slowly coiling spirals
fragile monuments to this resistance

like a needle on a record
an inch deep in my thigh
whispering questions and condemnations
demanding citations
even as I bleed

It builds until it screams in me
insisting on a reality that denies my existence
an ontology of my nonbeing
the science of my erasure Continue reading “2 Poems | Sarah M. Bess”

2 Poems | Genelle Chaconas

The X-Ray

Your mind in reverse under blacklight under chemical radium is not so broken but indestructible like the awestruck thunder trees that splay but are never uprooted like the insatiable spring weeds that force themselves up through the cracks in the concrete or cripple the sidewalk itself that climb over the bones of ancestors immune to pesticides and pestilences the fevered poisons flush through each root systems more broken more intact than last season the symptoms a system of voracious survival your mind broken indestructible as the roots that savage the city just beneath that ripple the surface with their might. Continue reading “2 Poems | Genelle Chaconas”