The Passion Grove
There is still dirt under my fingernails
from the burying of passions in groves
made of ashes. Scorched earth is meant
to grow better fruit trees after.
No one expected the weeds.
but bounded bones,
soft soiled sinews
Nikita Gill is a cat mama and a chocolate lover. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, Literary Orphans, Agave Magazine, Gravel Magazine and elsewhere.
It Stays with You
My mouth houses too many tenants—
overcrowded incisors and molars
yielding no space for canines.
The pediatric dentist recommends
a second surgery. I inhale grape-scented
gas from a rubber mask, am transported
to a twilight state. Nitrous oxide leaves me
limp and mute, swallowing dread.
I know from the time before
I will still feel the needle stab
in the roof of my mouth,
the curve where my jaws connect.
Hours are minutes, seconds are hours.
I regain use of my limbs. My cheeks packed
with bloody gauze, I carry a triple offering
for the Tooth Fairy in a plastic vial.
Today in the dentist chair, I grow clammy
and wan, trembling—struck by sudden flu.
He guides a syringe toward my mouth.
No gas to subdue me now. My hand strikes,
snake-fast, connects with his arm. He pauses,
says, “It stays with you, doesn’t it?”
I nod, reply between shallow breaths:
“Let’s try it without, this time.”
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes fiction and poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.
It’s finally here! We are so happy to present the Summer 2017 edition of Dying Dahlia Review! We are featuring some amazing flash fiction and poetry by some awesome women writers! And check out that beautiful cover art by Ashley Parker Owens! Make sure to snag yourself a copy today! Follow the links below to purchase the ebook at your retailer of choice.
Apple iBooks (Search for “Dying Dahlia Review”)
This Shit is Ripe
Ready to play tag with poems in the night?
Open up I’ve got something nice
Some part of me lay dormant
it might have been my smile
it took a while to find it’s teeth, lost in the back of that van
where we met over seafood and smack and weed
you laid me down on a dirty sheet
I hid that away for so many days wasn’t gonna let it play out –
Just propped on a shelf, fine wine or a puppet.
I’m Bonnie you’re Clyde – made out like a bandit.
Cixous, what she do – only got me confused.
But damn, she was right on a hot summer night –
there’s steam coming out my ears
No pants can hold me –
I’ma bad fire.
Go ahead, take a sip – what I be brewing is good for your bones –
what I be needing, I left alone.
Watch out for me, Medusa’s back, I guess she gets the last laugh.
Ain’t no knockoff, Baby. This shit is ripe.
And I’m just started yelling.
Elisabeth Horan is a stay at home mom in Vermont, caring for her two young boys, feeding the animals and writing her heart out. Her poetry has appeared in The Feminist Wire, The Fox Poetry Box and Walking is Still Honest Press. She was recently featured at Anti-Heroin Chic and Swimming With Elephants. Meet her at http://ejfhoran.weebly.com/ and @ehoranpoet on twitter
The Edge of Middle Age
In the cul-de-sac culture
snippets of vulnerability
mar the illusion of harmony
I’ve always preferred to leave
the snags in my sweaters
I’m not letting invisibility
lock me into listlessness
Someone has to tell the stories
Kathryn Knudson’s short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured in a 2017 podcast of Pushcart nominations. She works at a utility, writing poetry and fiction on her lunch hour, and lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their sheep dog.
well, isn’t this grotesque
and your mouth all wet
a woman, broken
if not stronger
Deborah Chava Singer is a product of San Diego, California, the Mesa College Theatre Company, Queer Players, and other “stuff.” She currently resides in Washington state. Recently her writing has appeared in The Human Touch, MUSE, Jonathan, Cirque, Chaffin, Heart & Mind Zine, Snapdragon, and Twisted Vine. Her website is www.latenightawake.com.
For Unwanted Truths
Just to let you know, my brother says, “tattoo”
in Samoan means open wound,
life is a regression to the mean, the clear pocket of air
in an ice cube that heat releases
Just to let you know, my lover says, when fire ripples
so violently wood splits from itself,
experts call it “alligatoring”
Just to let you know, I say, I like to mirror fire
Just to let you know, my mother says, car, star,
stonepit—we are all made of carbon,
we end the way we came
Just to let you know, my grandmother says, it’s time
to travel to that foreign country,
to be carried by Saint Menas across the flooded river
Just to let you know, I say, “have a nice journey”
doesn’t mean “may you walk in beauty”
& “may you rest in peace” really means “may your ghost
not haunt the living
Kara Dorris earned a PhD in literature and poetry at the University of North Texas where she teaches writing. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Tusculum Review, Harpur Palate, Cutbank, Tinderbox, The Tulane Review, and Crazyhorse, among others literary journals, as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Her stories have appeared in Wordgathering and the anthology The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016). She has published two chapbooks: Elective Affinities (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) and Night Ride Home (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She is also the editor of Lingerpost, an online poetry journal.
I didn’t cook a lot with mother
Just not how I was raised
Cooked meant other things
Alex Ewing is a graduate of Howard University. Her work has appeared in Juked and The Laughing Dog.
A Love Poem from London
I ask about your work,
the house, the flowers
and I miss your feet.
Margot DeSalvo has been teaching college composition in NYC for over a decade. Drawn to poetry from the very beginning, Margot’s poetry aims to illustrate the artifacts of intimacy, the complexities of depression, the nuances of introspection, and highlight the beauty in the mundane. Margot’s poetry has been published in the academic journal TETYC, Writing Raw, and she is currently the poetry editor and co-editor of Flatbush Review.