Category Archives: Scorpio

My Mother’s Ashes by Sarah Kate Osborn


Goodbye Baby by Alex Garant
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

my mother’s ashes

i buried my mother a long time ago
in a bedroom instead of a coffin but
just as dark inside
we stay quiet in the halls because
even the dog knows the word ​depression

when i say no one has seen my mother in three days
i don’t mean she’s been abducted or run away
i mean the lights have not come on in a while
i mean it’s been three days since something moved
i mean she is less tenderheart and more tombstone

in my house
we spin sadness into gold
and call it monday
we shake orange plastic bottles like maracas
because the doctor’s signature
gave us permission to forget
we string christmas lights on caskets
and warm our fingers by the fire
that burned our home




sarah kate osborn

sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she has previously been published in “the rising phoenix review” and can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com.



Northern Boys by Olivia Mandile


Tangles by Bella Harris
Website | Etsy Shop | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook

Northern Boys

In summer when bonfires are lit fast
the air smells like cedar trees
and it is cold in Northern states where
we congregate around silent lakes.

This boy looks at me from across the lawn,
his familiar mouth all midnight turned down
at the corners. He is unwavering
but I am falling, an early Autumn,
a backwards turning clock
when he looks at me.

In my mind, I am already undressed.
I am already chest deep
in lakewater. Connecticut lakes are
too cold. I am gooseflesh and shivers.

Later he speaks to me softly
next to a dying fire.
He tells me he loves a girl who dances
and writes poetry in French
and all I hear is
not you, not you, not you

The bonfire dies and I fall asleep
on summer grass.




Olivia Mandile

Olivia Mandile was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and studies Biology and Society at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Currently, she is a poetry reviewer for Lux, the Undergraduate Creative Review at ASU. She enjoys petting cats and cooking vegetarian food.



Johnny by Karese Burrows


Hand prints and good grips by Mercedes Hazard | Shop | Tumblr | Instagram

JOHNNY

has hands bigger than the world
and I’ve let them roam in places
where a girl shouldn’t.

There’s a difference between men
who love you and men who only take
you home to have you kiss them in
places other women have been.

There’s no love in being taken on a
couch. Nothing sweet about a man
when he’s done with you. But the heart
can’t tell the difference. And the heart
just needs to be thrown a bone.

My body is a city where all the streetlights
come on. Sensors that go off at the
slightest hint of something that could be
love.

Johnny touches me. Just his mouth leaving
catastrophe. Just his fingers in a home with
walls that mark easily.




Karese Burrows

Karese Burrows is a poet from Bahamas. She’s been published twice, both times by Words Dance Publishing. You can read more of her poetry here: fluerishing.tumblr.com



The Six Word Memoirs of Love by Elizabeth DeBunce


IRL by Mercedes Hazard | Shop | Tumblr | Instagram

The Six Word Memoirs of Love

1.
When you walked in the room,
my whole body became a heartbeat.
Shirts fell like shades from windows.
Your red color poured over me.
Love was serif font, entwined tongues.
The way the seasons filed by,
strung on twine like Chinese lanterns;
my mind like an ocean rising,
filling hollows in your glacier flesh
my salt diluted with your water.
Afraid I would never love right.
How many – how many times had
I said it: I love you.

2.
For you, love was an autoclave:
sterile, mechanical, falling asleep during sex.
It was spaghetti sauce from jars,
a painful tuxedo, a should-would clause.
You left lists under the pillow,
poems about someone else’s sculptured palms,
lust you had already given away.
Shopping list of people not me.

3.
Love became goodwill’s doorstep; it was
chasing you doorstep to doorstep, begging.
Me, hanging from the yew tree:
clinging to a love that would
rather murder, rather snap, rather not
have grown at all. How I
forgave you. How I groveled like
a woman. And you thought brothel
was the Finnish word for love.



Elizabeth DeBunce

Elizabeth DeBunce is a writer from Southern Oregon who is currently majoring in English and Classical Studies at Lewis & Clark College. She spends most of her free time knitting hats, listening to The Mountain Goats, and writing about eggs, whether metaphorically or not. Her work has previously appeared in (parenthetical): the zine, and the Gold Man Review. More of her work can be found at theproperverb.tumblr.com



blood honey by Jess Rizkallah


Scorpion by Natalie Voelker

blood honey

a something. a whirring in the flesh. multiplication of the mass under my collarbone
so instead of web md i go to bed & i dream of growths & arsonists living in my organs
setting fire to the kicking out of tune. even as i sleep, they try protruding through my skin.
by my bedside and inside the night all at once, i find him here. he points to the pain. tells me
“it’s okay / it’s because / you’ve got honey instead of blood.” & i spend the rest of the day
unsure of who said it first in the daylight months before he died. me or him. me & him. there
was a coffeetable. cold clove tea. sun everywhere.                  i like that i can’t remember.
i don’t want to remember. i want to be made of the molasses that held his body
together until it couldn’t. when my blood makes my heart squirm in its bracket,
i tell myself that bees are relocating to my chest. they think me ideal conditions.
less harsh than the outside. less decay & apocalypse.
a sweetness grief mistakes for a cavity.



Jess Rizkallah

Jess Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American writer and illustrator living in Boston. She edits Maps For Teeth and publishes zines at Pizza Pi Press. Her work has recently been published by Word Riot, Electric Cereal, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Nailed Magazine, and her mother’s fridge. Find her on facebook.com/jessrizholla.



Trying To Make My Mother Say the Word “Depression” in a Game of Catch Phrase by Kirsten Uhde

Return To Flight by Joel Robison
Connect w/ Joel :: Website :: Facebook :: Etsy Shop :: Instagram :: Twitter :: Flickr ::


Trying To Make My Mother Say the Word “Depression” in a Game of Catch Phrase

This word is a little like sadness,
and a little like sickness, only emptier.

Once, you told me that this thing
runs in the family, and then
you said nothing else.

It sounds like a dropped plate
at a wedding, and the hush
we pretend not to notice afterward.

It is a conspiracy theorist, still waiting
for the end of the world. It’s seen all the signs;
most of them have your name on them.

It looks like every side effect on the pill bottle
and tastes like a dish you’d never try;
your tongue is afraid of these syllables,
afraid of the gunshot’s aftermath.

You know this word well. It sounds
like your dead brother’s name.
It sounds like me, leaving.
 


Kirsten Uhde

Kirsten Uhde is a queer bigender poet from Maine. She was a representative of the 2014 Port Veritas team at the National Poetry Slam, and has been writing poetry enthusiastically since 2011. She believes in unisex bathrooms, the creation of safe spaces, and the healing power of connections established with the help of poetry. You can learn more about her personal, political, and poetic views by following her at chartreusepoetry.tumblr.com.



To My Astrologist Friend by William Taylor Jr.

The mirror in the mirror by Pierre Schmidt aka Dromsjel
Connect w/ Pierre :: Website :: Facebook :: Shop :: Tumblr ::



To My Astrologist Friend

You’ll probably say it’s just my
Scorpio ascending in the third house
of something or other,

but I don’t think the stars
have much to say

about our lives
and what we’ve made of them,

far away as they are, and consumed
with their own burning.

But if you want to chart the course
of your sad little boat
by the light of their lonely ghosts,

dreaming it will guide you to some
imagined shore,

it’s your own business;

I suspect they will not know or care,
caught and falling
in the same night as you.

 


William Taylor Jr.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, was published by Epic Rites Press in 2011. The Blood of a Tourist (Sunnyoutside, 2014) is his latest collection of poetry. His work has appeared in The Chiron Review, The New York Quarterly, and many other journals worldwide. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award.



For Her by Kirsten Uhde

Sirens Singing by Pierre Schmidt aka Dromsjel
Connect w/ Pierre :: Website :: Facebook :: Shop :: Tumblr ::



For Her

for her, the stars.
the moon has always been
too singular for our tastes
and I’ve never been fond
of the way she washes out
the night

for us, this night,
granny-smith-apple tart between my teeth
until her fingertips begin to sample
the skin underneath my shirt.
she asks me if this is okay
and ‘yes’ tastes like cinnamon.

for us, each other.
we spill through our fingers
in our haste to give ourselves away.
our laughter tumbles into bed
before we do.

for us, this bed.
for me, her peach-bruise collarbone
for her, my fruit fly fingertips
for her, my ice cold toes
against her bare skin.
she says to me, “I’ve
never been the warm one”
and I tell her “you
are a billion suns.”

for her, everything I have to give,
even the drafty windows
and broken shingles;
the cold can’t reach us in here.


Kirsten Uhde

Kirsten Uhde is a queer bigender poet from Maine. She was a representative of the 2014 Port Veritas team at the National Poetry Slam, and has been writing poetry enthusiastically since 2011. She believes in unisex bathrooms, the creation of safe spaces, and the healing power of connections established with the help of poetry. You can learn more about her personal, political, and poetic views by following her at chartreusepoetry.tumblr.com.



In Honor of the New Year by William Taylor Jr.

Asleep by Clare Elsaesser
Connect w/ Clare :: Website :: Facebook :: Etsy :: Instagram ::



In Honor of the New Year

January again,
and outside it’s just
the same sad ghosts,
the same tenuous dreams
drifting about the crumpled streets,
caught and torn
on ringwire fences
and the branches of trees,
forgotten on sidewalks
with the garbage and umbrellas,
the endless gray of the pavement and the sky
as pretty and as terrifying
as it was yesterday.
In honor of the new year,
I feel I should have something more
to say about it all,
but I don’t.
I turn from it
and you are there
with a bottle of something.
We pour two glasses,
we drink and laugh,
our bodies find each other
and celebrate the fact of that
and nothing else in particular.
There is renewal enough in this.
We lie together
beneath the window,
listening
to the sirens
and the lonely
sing.

 


William Taylor Jr.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, was published by Epic Rites Press in 2011. The Blood of a Tourist (Sunnyoutside, 2014) is his latest collection of poetry. His work has appeared in The Chiron Review, The New York Quarterly, and many other journals worldwide. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award.



Brake Lights by Kirsten Uhde

Unfixed by Clare Elsaesser
Connect w/ Clare :: Website :: Facebook :: Etsy :: Instagram ::



Brake Lights

Today.
I am driving down Maine Route 133.
The car ahead of me slows
at the blinking yellow light.
I look to my left and I see a blue
Toyota RAV4 with a US Mail sign
on its roof, and I know this car.
It’s my mother’s car, the first car
I ever drove, the first car
I ever crashed, and when I see it
my foot hits the brake like a body
hits the ground when thrown from
six stories up, like
twisted metal.

March 2012.
My mother hands me the car keys,
says with a chuckle, “Don’t get into an
accident!” and I leave, taking a deep breath
the moment I’m free. She thinks
I’m going to see friends.
She doesn’t know that I’m paying someone
by the hour to try and get her out of my head,
she doesn’t know that I never saw
that Subaru’s brake lights.
When I call her to tell her what happened,
she just sighs. She doesn’t know
that by the time she picks up the phone
I have already braced for impact.
She doesn’t know that my cell phone
felt an awful lot like that steering wheel
underneath my fingers.

September 2009.
After I come out to my mother,
I walk to my friend’s house and cry
in her arms, tell her, “I was sick
of waiting at this stop sign,
but acceleration feels like suicide.”
That night, my mother sends me
a Facebook message, calmly assuring me
that there is evil in this world, she tells me
that God loves me, but never says that she does
and I never knew a car crash could be
so
quiet.
Like rolling up the windows.
My mother always taught me that silence
was my best defense, but this seatbelt
is prone to malfunction, and I never see
her brake lights until it’s too late to stop.

October 2013.
When I try to defend myself, my mother tells me
that I am full of shit, tells me that the only ones
hurting when someone commits suicide-
like her brother did, like I almost did-
are the ones left behind. This time,
I see the collision coming but I do not stop.
This time, I combust, run her off the road
and drive on by, this time, my bumper
is stronger than my terror.

November 15, 2013.
One month later, on the morning
of my twenty-first birthday, I get home from work
to find a bouquet of flowers parked on my doorstep,
all pink and white, delicate, like the woman
my mother refuses to admit I will never become.
Nestled among the carnations and baby’s breath
there is a note that reads,
“Happy Birthday,
Love, Mom.”
I didn’t really expect an apology.
Screeching tires, maybe, or
some new kind of noise. What I didn’t expect
was for my mother to try and bandage
a lifetime of abuse with one
empty
platitude

I throw away the note
and watch the flowers wilt.

Today.
I am driving down Maine Route 133.
I see a blue Toyota RAV4
with a US Mail sign on the roof
and I do not stop.
I flinch, keep my eyes
on the road ahead,
and I keep moving.

 


Kirsten Uhde

Kirsten Uhde is a queer bigender poet from Maine. She was a representative of the 2014 Port Veritas team at the National Poetry Slam, and has been writing poetry enthusiastically since 2011. She believes in unisex bathrooms, the creation of safe spaces, and the healing power of connections established with the help of poetry. You can learn more about her personal, political, and poetic views by following her at chartreusepoetry.tumblr.com.