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
All my girls
I keep losing babies
Each one of them I name Hope;
I braid their souls into my own
then tie it round my throat.
Whenever I try to forget
Put down and walk away
The noose cinches tight
And gives me pause to stay.
They keep saying, “Try again!
We don’t know why this breaks.”
So I keep losing babies
That are turning into snakes.
They slither through my bones.
They eat my blood and eyes.
All I can see is death
Crawling from my thighs.
My son keeps Mimics
in his room.
He doesn’t feel them
eat his heart.
He can’t even see
their pointy teeth.
“My dad gave this to me.”
He has let them endear themselves.
He protects his perceived treasures.
He cannot see through the deceit.
My son keeps lies
in his heart.
He doesn’t let them
bring him down.
He tries to pretend
they are not bribes.
It is the only thing his dad gives him.
Ellie Hudson has a bachelor’s in psychology from Meredith College. She lives in Kentucky with her best friend/husband and two wonderful sons. She likes strumming her ukuleles, cross-stitching, coffee, cows, and playing table-top games with friends. She has been previously published in The Rising Phoenix Review.
Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash
of the little boy – on the Orange line, Boston
of the supermarket – Black Lives Matter Protest, Oakland 2013
of the old dude – at the lake, Oakland
of the boy – at the lake, Oakland
of the skateboarders – Oakland
Daniella Ciccone is a traveling photographer and writer. Catch her on Instagram at daniella.fay.
my love wound
a black scarab,
Here’s how history is handed on:
the people we check our facts by
aren’t there anymore
Our very sharing
is an act to create
a trembling world.
So long as no one hears us.
The words of one,
so softly pressed against
my inner coloured life,
are the tender start
of a velvet deep
in which I drown,
Kathy Gardiner studied English Lit for the reading lists, but has since escaped to the world of language teaching. From Galway, she now lives in Roscommon where she teaches literacy to adults from Syria. Her work has appeared in Crossways and Hidden Channel zine.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
And I find it again:
The only thing that helps
Like the difference between drowning
Or salt water.
But one is easier to swallow
on the way Down
It stings less in the eyes
Of those around you
Being hit in the face
With your wild, desperate
For One Last Truth
at the bottom
of an ancient
Danielle de Corcho teaches English as a Second Language and writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her poems have appeared in HEArt Journal Online, Scintilla Magazine, and the Submittable Blog. She lives just outside of New Orleans with her family.
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash