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.
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
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.
We are super excited to announce our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize! They are…
Congratulations to Joan and Carrie! Be sure to read their work by clicking on the links above!
bloodied voices across
the clear phone
invoking aeonian histories
context as a flightless bird
carry sympathy in armfuls
jutting under elbows and
you offer infection to your
of a sister
and roll your eyes at the dusty evening
when fevers curve under shut
eyelids wind between cilia
hide in the cusp
of my hand, brother
spin these silks until they’re invisible
and pass its smoothness
let the fibers sap what
they need and you don’t
those that love you
will wring you thoroughly
and every drop will
Sara Matson’s writing can be found or is forthcoming in Rabid Oak, Mannequin Haus, Anti-Heroin Chic, FIVE:2:ONE, Burning House Press, A) Glimpse) Of), Poached Hare, OCCULUM Journal, Dream Pop Press, Waxing and Waning, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her rad husband + cats, and tweets as @skeletorwrites