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.
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
She had a birthday, became thirty, became morbid and suffering and told her husband she would bear no more children, that inherent in birth is the sentence of death, that all childbearing is selfish, an illusion of immorally and how well she knew that she would die soon (what is thirty, forty more years compared to eternity?), that she was powerless, that her only life was moving along a path she could not remember freely choosing and she would not know all experience, live all the lives, reach all the corners that she might, but if nothing else, she said, she wished better for her unborn offspring than this anguish, this knowledge of nothingness-after-life.
Take an aspirin, he said. Not unkindly.
Sue Powers has an array of publishing credits, among them Saturday Evening Post. She’s the recipient of a fellowship & grant from the Illinois Arts Council in Prose and two of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has 21 fiction publications.
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Things I Tell My Children
Always carry a dark stone, a mute bluebird, a sharp arrow, homing devices nobody questions. Trust animals — human directions are deceitful, their bones lie (love them anyway). Share your poems whenever possible, only sacrifice survives, map the consequences with metaphor; the poem is always truth. A dewdrop cannot be saved, let it dry so the stars have a trail to follow, feed the deer fermented apples, they may stumble, steady; the skies’ reflection in their eyes is a prayer — say it. Look a loved one dead in the face, blame your defiance on your mother, her damp hands feeding earth soft men, when briars grab your legs as you run, bloody scratches become new words (the stinging eventually subsides): write them. Listen to the fish dreaming at lake’s bottom, swallow the weight of the stone in your pocket, be silent, the birch branches all sway in the right direction, look up. Be grateful — your arrow points to verses the startled bluebird sings once you give her voice.
Lisa Caloro teaches at a small community college in the Catskills and bartends on weeknights to diversify her audience and gather more material. Her poems have appeared in Evening Street Review, Jelly Bucket, and Santa Ana River Review among other publications.
Photo by Margaret Weir on Unsplash