Ambivalent my throat shouts your name, mama
to see you breathing and breathing more
and the circle of killings and abusing entices again.
I heard my dad straddling and maintaining whisky
Burned Pale Chipped
You had it all mama, you had the walnut voluble mouth
speaking iterative hollows of time and its bent motion
You had the emporium of statues and movements.
Life existed in your eyes, and I saw it sincerely
with a callow foot, you walked and created squares
I cursed the moment, life played you
I cursed the moment father abused you
Unruffled Oblique Esurient
Mother, I faded myself to colour your skin
burying myself each day to provide you faint candlelight
Behind the shadows of blasphemous engine sounds
I knitted pillows and dreams
This moment is insane now I might lose myself
mama, hold on… I will knit my skin once again
to catch your life and slumber of peace.
Hold on, mama.
Devika Mathur, an emerging poetess from the country of love India is a published poet and her work has been published in Visual Verse, Thistle mag, Indian Periodicals, and is upcoming in Kitaab.org among others.
Feature Image by Claudia Soraya
Go to yourself fully and never inquire again.
Put a little bit of skin into the painting, step away, and cock your head.
Check it off the to-do list and move on.
Stop lingering baby girl.
Start moving from top to bottom without thinking too much.
Start moving like a woman.
Take a back bend over the to-do list, check off new perspectives.
Upside-down, blood rushing to your head, hair dusting the tile,
belly-facing-up…check off reorganize. This is how to move like a woman.
You have a cute belly button, believe it.
Your waist is private terrain and you were given muscles to hike;
place your own hands there, feel how woman it is to be a mountain.
Place your hands there, check off intimacy.
This is a please seat yourself life.
On Saturday morning I met my father for breakfast.
The sign read please seat yourself.
Every booth was taken.
As a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College, Kelly Burke is studying English: Literature and Secondary Education. She hopes to be a high school English teacher one day. The writings of Sarah Kay and Courtney Kampa initially sparked Kelly’s love for poetry.
a note from Alaire…
Although never physically assaulted beyond a pinch, I’m still nervous about personal safety because of living at college when a serial rapist was on the loose. My roommate and I slept with the windows closed, no air conditioning, one Virginia summer because we were so afraid. The rapist did strike next door, not more than 15 feet from my window. I went off to a job interview in another city that day, not knowing that the news had been announcing “Virginia Avenue coed raped” all day. My friends were in a panic because I wasn’t there to answer calls.
I never told my parents of the danger for fear they’d pull me out of school. I was in the first coed class. I didn’t want anything to block my success.
Switching on the Light
I wake in the dark.
A man stands silhouetted
in the doorway. I try to scream,
find my voice sleep-paralyzed
like my legs.
Shhh, it’s only a dream,
whispers my husband, pulling
me close. My moan fades.
My adrenalin soars.
I wake in the dark.
A man stands silhouetted
in the doorway. Repeat,
repeat. Over twenty years
I blame the serial rapist
who haunted college nights.
The one time my roommate
was gone, he climbed
through the window next door.
How can that other woman
ever sleep again?
At work one day, I explain
to a friend why I’m dragging.
This man in the dream
never speaks or comes
toward you? she asks.
Maybe he’s not an intruder.
When you were little,
didn’t your daddy stand
at the door like that to check
Alarie Tennille graduated from The University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri. Alarie’s latest poetry collection is Waking on the Moon. Please visit her at alariepoet.com and check out her new blog there.
Smart blonde in Bebe Rexha style texts her Albanian-Serbian boyfriend and promises the holy land to their overrated love. I have never been to Albania before. All Tirana witches will make me so hilarious just smiling while all chains are breaking.
Klaudia Rogowicz. Born in 1987 in Zabrze, Poland. Polish poet, drama, screen and playwriter, novelist. She had published many e-books and paperback books. She writes her poems both in English and Polish.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
the women in my family have never been regular.
blood comes out in heavy blankets or not at all.
whenever i sleep with men, whenever i am fucked,
my blood comes seeping through the blankets as
if my femininity has been cracked open
and it’s begging to nurture someone.
the women in my family have a habit of disappearing
when they take names that don’t belong to them,
they become wives.
i close my eyes and imagine a future in which
i am alone in the woods, on my knees praying.
i have eaten dirt for men.
i have become like the women in my family, almost
disappearing through a hole in the system.
the blood comes gushing out of me, heavy
and it smells like death. down my thighs it
slides, landing in the grass, i will leave this
world as i came into it—silent.
Rumors Hint at Winter
Your spine curved inward like wind howling through the house. Watch how his limbs move, how my lips never quite say the words I want to scream. Doors I never want to shut will slam against me causing me to spiral. I eat your words like gold confetti falling from a ceiling. I crave a light that can be eaten and that weighs down the stomach like stones in the pocket of a river. I brand myself with fingers that open up my mouth and reach in to catch my tongue. I’m so silent I scare people. I scare lovers with my silence. I scared my mother when I was born with my silence. Nurses reassuring her that I was just looking around. Decay is the moth I watch fly closer to the light because I want to see it die. I read an article about women who date emotionally unavailable men. You subconsciously don’t want to be involved with anyone. I diagnosed myself this morning. I can remember how you pulled me up from the couch, gentle as the spider web wraps around me, sheets of white casting you as the savior. I remember that I am never the savior.
Stevie Lynn has previously been published on the Feminist Wire, “When you Renounced the Catholic Church (or sex with you)” and on the Fem Lit Mag, “Devil’s Tower.” She has also published poetry in the University of Vermont’s literary journal: Vantage Point. She is currently working at Tennessee State University.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash