Some places where I’ve cried this year

︎︎︎ Kathleen Michele

︎ JUNE 30, 2022

The USPS off Gates Avenue
The Taco Bell Cantina also off Gates Avenue
The frozen meats section in Foodtown
New Jersey (???)
McGolrick Park
McCarren Park
Herbert Von King Park
Maria Hernandez Park
The Duane Reade on Broadway after
I bought a pregnancy test with nothing but my wallet
and they had no bags that day

Kathleen Michele
is a prose writer cosplaying as a poet in iPhone notes. She lives in Brooklyn with a rude cat named Mose.

In Praise of Buried Light

︎︎︎ Michael Conner

︎ JUNE 28, 2022

For Evelyn

An opaline dewdrop falls
from the canopy to the dirt below because
the buried seed needs you
to breathe, to bloom.

Corn sugar and soy isolate
in the baby formula. We do
what we have to do because
your mother has to go back to work.

Some nights, roaches
crawl out of the shower drain.
You’ve started smiling when you see
our faces float into the room.

Elbow-deep, down
in the dirt, we dug up a buried light
I’ve been waiting to be blinded by
for my entire life.

Michael Conner
is a writer from South Florida. His work is predominantly concerned with contemplative spirituality, climate collapse, and trying to navigate the two as a father, husband, and community member. His non-fiction work can be seen in Tenderly Magazine, poetry in Shambles Literary and Poet's Choice anthology on cancer.

After the Abortion

︎︎︎ Susan Coronel

︎ JUNE 27, 2022

The sonographer
is shirtless
and holds
a blunt instrument—
I open my eyes
and it all disappears
one watery image
of a flushed face
and roses
turned to ash
in an empty room
filled with sand.

I welcome whatever
soothes me,
my nest feathered
with a dove’s long lashes,
pickpocketed secrets
gumming branches,
and sodden streets.

The riddle of my life
will never be solved
and I won’t cast myself
off the mountainside—
instead, I ring bells,
gather flowers, wear
yoga pants
as I do downward
facing dog
and pigeon pose
to tame
and embrace
my animal core.

No stones
were thrown at me
but it felt like stones
surrounded me,
diamond disks
my spine
on a vacant planet.

Once the caul
I was shame buoyed
by imagined homelessness,
my breasts lacerated
by red ribbons
teeming from walls—
I am no monster, no Sphinx
of Thebes, but what
I wouldn’t give to have
a lion’s body, serpent’s tail,
eagle wings. I preyed
not on the youth
of the city, but on my own
unformed child.

Susan Michele Coronel
is an NYC-based poet whose poems have appeared in publications including Spillway 29, TAB Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, Prometheus Dreaming, Redivider, and One Art. In 2021, one of her poems was runner-up for the Beacon Street Poetry Prize, and another was a finalist in the Millennium Writing Awards. In the same year, she received a Pushcart nomination and was longlisted for the Sappho Prize.

(cartoon network)

︎︎︎ Natalie Mariko

︎ JUNE 25, 2022

from this, ambrosial, heaps
such chocolate-sense Saturdays,
bells a criss-cross giggle,

beam-sot, drives imperial
chalk lines & stained denim,
old crackles from bark wood,

cherry-climes in snow-scent,
haloes huddled sweaty-
ski-wool watching dances,

twinkle-dangle of street-lamp
an unbiting angler
or Wellington green in silt,

castabout big swooping bumble
rares on crumbled lavender,
                                                    what Hallelujah)
stink in churchy summer

called w/out foundation, cracks
& small things that crawl out,
stumps now & the fungus spreading,

Natalie Mariko
is a poet from New Jersey. Her works have appeared in TINGE Magazine, Cixous 72, trains zine, feelings journal, bridge poetry, Lazy Susan/blue arrangements, and have been featured on various programs on Cashmere Radio and rebootFM. She is currently based in Athens, Greece.

Also by Natalie: on america, dates/dates/dates, been, a river

Bunny Rabbit

︎︎︎ Samantha Carroll

︎ JUNE 23, 2022

There are millions of us
pulling at chiffon strings
sharpening our braids

Take a flash pic
I’m wearing meme tights

bunny underscore rabbit aren’t you ashamed?
I guess that’s why you pray

Didn’t you hear He is coming to your city?

Samantha Carroll
is an actress and filmmaker from Long Island, New York. You can find her @samantha____forever on IG.