Category Archives: Sagittarius

Gravedigger by Katrina Gray


photography by Amadeus Long | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Gravedigger

I buried your jaw in my backyard.
People think the trees are talking.
When they ask, I say nothing,
or, Just the wind.
I do not flinch or laugh nervously,
though nothing grows here,
and the neighborhood kids
think I’m a witch.
I’ve heard their stories:
under the full moon with a mason jar,
my hands turning soft the soil
like spades.
They’re not far off.
The moon was full
– yes –
and I used my hands,
but I carried your jaw in the hammock
of my nightgown;
tenderly;
like a lover who still loved your memory
because that is what I was –
what I will always be.
The children are too young to know
what it’s like to want to forgive,
but to not be able to.
The girls come back though,
one by one, when they’re older;
peering over my fence, holding this
or that; tenderly;
and suddenly they’re no longer afraid of me.
I am the one who shows them how to bury their dead.



Katrina Gray

Katrina Gray is a twenty-eight year-old Canadian who is fulfilling the prophecy, as foretold by her sixth grade teacher, to write. She’s never one to back down from a feminist argument, or a long binge of TV. She suffers from existential angst, always losing her pen lids, and thinking of the perfect line just before she falls asleep. She has been published once before on Words Dance, and twice on Persephone’s Daughters.



Pareidolia by Eve Boyle


Collector by Katherine Renee | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram

Pareidolia

I look for gods and monsters in the clouds,
while on the ground
and when I fly through them.
I spend the descent to New Orleans
in the company of Hercules, whose
thorned crown grows to cover his
eyes when we pass by,
blind to Venus inching closer, parting her thighs.

            When I arrive, I scan the lobby
            like I always do. I look for you,
            my god, my monster.

In St. Louis, wispy nebulas wrapped around the Arch,
sticky vapor palms hesitated
at the hotel window.
I begged you to press me into the glass,
to graze my scalp with your teeth.
One by one, you lifted
your fingers from
my hips, then asked me to leave.
Bacchus—bloated, satisfied—laughs when the door slams behind me.

            You don’t come on Wednesday.
            You’re not here on Thursday.

I tried to be more careful in Chicago,
but somehow agree to dinner.
On the way to the restaurant,
Diana broke into the skyline, rabbit limp between her teeth.
We talked about your wife. You let me try your wine.
Later, I replayed it all, under cold, scratchy sheets.
The hunting dogs come for me. I don’t bother to scream.

            You never make it to Louisiana.
            I find no clues in the clouds.
            You’re not here. Where do I look now?




Eve Boyle

Eve Boyle is a PhD student studying evolutionary anthropology at George Washington University. She minored in English at Boston University, and sometimes writes poems when she should be working on her dissertation. Twitter – @evekboyle



not / knot by Jacqueline He


Art by Rita Keri | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

not / knot

i. topology

When untying a grief knot, one must
take care to twist both working ends

so as to create an architecture of psyche
different from its conflicted form.

After you left, the cradle sheets began to
edge together, pillowed loosely in sweat.


ii. aveum

Suppose a forest between us. Suppose
the elfin crickets crowning the night firs,

a carousel of squirrels carousing under
the drunken wolves. I dream of small

rodent hands, how one pinched my
kneecap and left a heady numbness.


iii. playground

The slide unpeeled its citrus epidermis
as I sift woodchips for bodies as small

as lemons. Wax rinds snap in halves,
sour juice pooling from a fruitless birth.

Inside the red polymer turrets, I find
curlicues of zest shaped to balls of flesh.


iv. jacquard

Of Mary Magdalene, serene in a cool
blue cashmere top, little buttercups sewn

at the collar. I wore it carefully to preserve
her cleanliness, knotted the baby Jesus

in blankets of tissue paper. Until breath
exited his lungs as fog / water / snow.



Jacqueline He

Jacqueline He is a writer from the Harker School and the Editor in Chief of the Icarus Anthology, an international artistic & literary magazine. She was a prose mentee under Oriana Tang in the Glass Kite Anthology Online Writers’ Studio, and a prose mentee under Lisa Zou in the Quartz Online Writers’ Workshop. She currently serves as a poetry reader for the Glass Kite Anthology and the web developer for Parallel Ink. In February 2017, Jacqueline was featured as a Moledro Magazine Teen Poet.



Dimensional by Jacqueline He


Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

Dimensional

Tonight is a facet of dark
red we’ve never seen before,
the decrystallization of moon
song, whirring slow to the tempo
of your bicycle spokes.
I must admit: in this city the
hours shift into seconds, our
breathing fluid & countless,
complicated to threads
of honey. This cannot last,
I am sure. What my father
taught me about highway
accidents: how metal bodies
lacerate & bunch inwards,
how distorted shapes sling
forward, crackling gold glass.
Somewhere there is a dying
chandelier scattering the
road light, tendons hoisted up
with clothes, pins carded in
steel. Of course there is blood.
It films over the cartilage like
a lover, slips blush-faced under
asphalt sheets. The impact
of mouth upon gravity is softer
than what you may expect.
Just the length of a second,
collapsing into the infinite.
Pain concentrates itself
into the spaces between teeth
& erodes against the bloodtide.
Snapped limbs form shadow
animals against a crested
backdrop: punctured cranes,
skinned canines glistening white,
a city & its pulsing symmetry.




Jacqueline He

Jacqueline He is a writer from the Harker School and the Editor in Chief of the Icarus Anthology, an international artistic & literary magazine. She was a prose mentee under Oriana Tang in the Glass Kite Anthology Online Writers’ Studio, and a prose mentee under Lisa Zou in the Quartz Online Writers’ Workshop. She currently serves as a poetry reader for the Glass Kite Anthology and the web developer for Parallel Ink. In February 2017, Jacqueline was featured as a Moledro Magazine Teen Poet.



Reunion by Claire Brnjac


Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

Reunion

I want to meet the ocean’s mother,
let her know how big and beautiful
her daughter is.

How scared I am to touch her.

Does she know how many boats she’s sunk?
Does she know she’s a mother to a murderer?
Or a grandmother to millions?
                                              Is she proud?

People cluster in groups just to watch her move.
That is one way of loving— hungry,
watching, touching, feeling her love
bury them.

The ocean talks about her at night.
I listen about their family dinners from my window.
Too close to hear. Too far to touch.

Her conversations keep me up at night.

I hear her mother call at dawn.
I feel the thousand broken boats under my feet
and imagine a family gathering.




Claire Brnjac

Claire Brnjac is a first year student of a university in the Toronto suburbs. She likes pining, writing, perfume, Catholic imagery, and eating good food. Follow her on twitter, @msbeakman.



a tributary by Lillian Sickler


Art by VH McKenzie | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

a tributary

my mother brought me to the ocean the year the parking lot was washed away
she left me on the rocks knowing the tide was coming in
beauty does nothing
—nothing to soothe, they look at you and say, “let’s break this”

I was saved by the fever-tree
                                               fever
say it once say it twice say it seven times such small things should never exist
                                                                                                                                alone
one star is a land one star is a universe
“my first love put lace flowers in my mailbox and three fingers up
                                                                                        my skirt”
I was a feast of gold on a bed of flowers
I said put me in Siberia put me in the river and she did

but my darling you weren’t ever hungry

you wove the delicate things together
you were like eve you named the birds you wept at my table you said
                                                                                                             love and it didn’t hurt
you said love and it didn’t mean bury you said love and

I left
the garden growing in your arms
I threw myself out of paradise I threw us both
                                                                            dear rosemary dear sunflowers dear lilies
we all try to love what we cannot understand you loved me and I
loved you and the breath of air underneath
a hornet’s wings

rivers get their names from origins and ends I dare you to name the river
by its middle by silver minnows by shrinking islands
by the fourth bite of the orange and the color
                                                                            found within its mouth



Lillian Sickler

Lillian Sickler is writer enrolled as a junior at the University of Massachusetts. She is majoring in comparative literature with a concentration in poetry. At the university, Lillian has been incredibly fortunate to have taken classes with Aracelis Girmay, Polina Barskova, and Martin Espada. Her previous poem, “Stars,” was published by Words Dance this past March. Lillian’s great loves, besides poetry, include going grocery shopping, petting frogs, and baking cherry chocolate bomb cake.



Still by Margaret Schnabel


Art by Jade Pilgrom | Website | Etsy Shop | Tumblr | Instagram

Still

you’d think that after all this time
I’d know better.

Yet: a milky shred of dream
clinging to me in the morning.

Yet: your fingers a blur against
the blistering horizon.

I collect the moments like bottlecaps,
cut my fingers on the edges,
tuck them under my tongue

knowing they won’t melt,
wishing they will anyway;

I burn my mouth trying to kiss the sun
and taste red for three days—

oh, love, take me back to the
sugar-spun ghosts of August.

Where I knew, if not myself,
at least some sunburnt
fragment of my body.

Yet: my soul drips from
September’s teeth.

Yet: I will not carve my insides out
to let you rest your head.

After all this time,

maybe we were better off
being wicks than bonfires.



Margaret Schnabel

Margaret Schnabel is a sixteen-year-old Indiana-born musician, artist and writer. Her works have previously been published in the Rising Phoenix Review and Zig Zag Zine. Besides poetry, she is passionate about chai tea, Monet paintings, and record stores. Her work can be found at starrymar.tumblr.com.



Nonentities by Talia Flores


Baroque Perception by Alex Garant
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Nonentities

Strap maintaining slack, we
two-step in time. There’s a
waterfall; there’s a storm,
paper-mache crinkled underfoot.
We clasp scuba masks in lieu
of a muddied tongue; we’re
jumping face-first. We are a
parachute of sticks. Clouds
smell of brittle silence, a
history bound by sutured bark.
We are flaked freckles in the
storm.




Talia Flores

Talia Flores is a senior at Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Texas Book Festival Fiction Contest, she was a mentee in Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship program, and she is the proud founder of her school’s first literary journal. When not writing, she can be found singing in her school’s choir and competing in Taekwondo competitions.



Stars by Lillian Sickler


The Curse by Alex Garant
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Stars

Your face resting against the cold surface
of my hand,
your eyelashes rapping
my bony knuckles.
This is where we’re from.

You’re telling me funny things,

like “Oh, yes, that summer I had sex like water from the tap.”

You’re telling me

to look out the window
at some heavenly body
when my face is pressed into your hair
smelling the piston of your skull.
Reminding me where we’ve been.

You’re telling me 

to look down the barrel of the wine bottle,
your eyes connected to the center of the galaxy
by just one taut string.
No, I don’t drink.

But I do love the word
–lush.
It fills my mouth in a pleasing way.
Sweet love fills my mouth
in a pleasing way.

I am looking out the window,
I didn’t understand until I saw the flames

“That’s it. That’s my heart.”*



_________________________________________
*from Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami



Lillian Sickler

Lillian Sickler is a writer and poet currently enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is majoring in Comparative Literature and Sustainable Food and Farming. She wrote her first chapter book at the age of 13 and made her first apple pie at the age of 4. Lillian works in two kitchens, one at a cooperatively run restaurant at the university as well as one at a local farm. Throughout the day, words tip-toe through her head. Every once in a while she manages to loosely sew them together. Here is her tapestry.



like shadows on glass by john sweet


Comet by Alex Garant
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

like shadows on glass

invented cancer
but not the cure

dreamt of impossibly
tall walls

of falling

little shapes reaching out
w/ jagged claws
hoping to catch me

music

and i would tell you
the truth if i thought it
mattered, but listen

you don’t need to believe
in god in order to die
in his name

the drowning man
has no song

we say this over and over
until we’ve created
the illusion of memory
and then we drink
dirty blood from holes
in the ground

we discuss
the sanctity of life

all pain is beautiful
when it’s pressed tight
against the hearts of
our enemies




john sweet

john sweet, b. 1968, a lot of years spent trying to twist chaos into something more streamlined and powerful. a big believer in writing as catharsis. NO to organized religion, NO to political parties. labels in general suck, but i’ll accept surrealism and post-punk. most recent collection is THE CENTURY OF DREAMING MONSTERS (2014 Lummox Press).