My therapist told me I need to be more kind
to take care of myself first,
asked me to pick up a laser-cut wooden heart
from what used to be a comfort candy bowl.
Imagine ‘compassion’ written on it, she said.
ran my fingers along the burnt albeit smooth
curves of its brown body,
sat it on the insides of my palm-
to let me know if she needs help making more of these hearts.
You don’t have to order them from China, I said.
I have access to laser-cutters
over at the Department of Art.
Hemalatha Venkataraman is a poet and artist from Madras, India. Her poetry nests in the tangible to make sense of the intangible, with a focus on personal growth and immigration. Her latest publication can be found in the book of curated poems, I’ll Be Here When You Get There.
You can also find her on Instagram at @Hemuvenkat.
Feed me the stars—
if I am born of stardust,
what I crave is the taste
of my own making.
“Peaches and cream
warm as toast
soft as silk”
in this love, she woke me
before i’d guess the color
of her bra
Dear self: like a copper spoon pulled
from fire, you melt then scoop me up
Anastasia K. Gates is an emerging poet, memoirist, and artist from Pennsylvania. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu and Zambia and is a current student at Columbia University. Her work unearths the voice of global womanhood that wanders the natural landscape. She takes solace in the quietude of the forest, the fire of the sun, and the infinite universe within.
Follow her on Instagram @anastasiakgates.
The long-tortured years
are flung away
in one fell swoop
and you’re my young
calling me “rippe”
German for rib
because I’m such
a skinny girl
as you were once
a skinny girl
before the great assault
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s poems have been widely published, most recently in Serving House Journal, Ginosko and Stickman. Her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” won first prize in the Obama Millennium Contest. She has also won the Blue Light Poetry Chapbook Contest. Lowinsky’s fourth poetry collection is The Faust Woman Poems.
When I wear a color other than black, brown, tan or grey,
it is my mother’s love of all things bright and beautiful
that influences those choices.
When I dance and sway to some Latin beat,
it is my mother’s love of all things music
that stirs the same in me.
When I love my children more than I can express,
it is my mother’s unconditional love
that she taught me to give.
When I long for a place to call home
it is because my mother gave up
and left me with none.
Lourdes A. Gautier resides in Bergen County, NJ. Her short story, 1952, was published in Acentos Review. Her poems have appeared in Calliope and in the Silver Birch Press. She is also a contributor to the award-winning anthology, “These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project.”
& the truth is, I could have
done it. Could have ripped
the animal from my jaw,
could have bruised the bone
of this body until it gave way.
But some things don’t spark
right & I know my name now.
Twelve sinners poured over
for the saint we all knew couldn’t
be, but we’re still here. The whole
time we choked quiet like a learned
thing & thought how when the body
folds out what it cannot open,
we too can shape a crease.
Mary Sims is a 19-year-old poet and writer published in The Poetry Annals, Kingdoms of the Wild, Mooky Chick, Anatolios Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, and more. She is currently working on her BA in English, and spends her days reading, collecting books, and exploring antique shops.
Find her on Twitter: @rhymesofblue
Feature Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash