Category Archives: Pisces

You’re Never Gonna Believe This by Alyssa Froehling

asymmetrical symphony by Carrie Hilgert | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

You’re Never Gonna Believe This

listening to flatsound in my apartment, you fall
asleep on my floor. i am still wearing your

sweatshirt, holding it against my body like a
lifejacket. i want to say something

that will affect your breathing. to your

right, the window is open, and the sidewalk is

flooding in like a swimming pool. we are the

finger paint of april, laughing as it smears us

along the street with light— unfairly stolen
from man made machines and higher things floating

and cool to the touch. i want to play you the piano

underwater. i want you to hear me stutter as major

flutter kicks to minor. buoyant is the way you
sleep: a slow give to pressure, suspension on

the surface. you are glass breaking into me,
the water inside. you are a color i don’t mind bleeding.

i’ll make sure you’re awake before joking

about how i don’t exist but if i really don’t, i want

you to know i’m content like this, sleeping like a sand flea
curled into the shell sheet we hung up called the sky:

our wrists touching the carpet to the ground, touching

thirsty roots to pebbles on an unpaved pathway

running into water. some days these things come
easily. our shins don’t break. i want to sleep as deep

as the air in between the tiny-time-bomb heartbeats of
gnats as they sail on the soggy bread brink of the lake

in my bird feeder memory. the day the earth was knee
deep in its dream of a swamp, and you sounded like

you were drunk alligator green, seeping not like a sentence

but a sentiment. we both know what we already both know—

Alyssa Froehling

Alyssa Froehling is a writer from Palatine, Illinois. She graduated from Augustana College with majors in English and Creative Writing, and a minor in Women & Gender Studies. Former editor-in-chief of Augustana College’s art & literary magazine, SAGA, she is also an editorial staff member at Floodmark Poetry, a website designed to inspire and motivate new writers. Her interests include running in place, pugs, winged eyeliner, dressing like a 36-year-old lumberjack, folk-punk bands, and eating too much fruit.

Exploring Mother and The Quran as the Sea by Orooj-e-Zafar

Art by Michelle Lanter | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

Exploring Mother and The Quran as the Sea

before we breathed, we swam. it is believed no memory
made in the sea stays. me, I remember the scratch
of turning pages well before I ever held a book. 

I was birthed with the warm date under my tongue, 
the azan whispered into my witness, 
a cry mistaken for help and a name holding
the weight of expectation on my barely boned shoulders.

I was born here, in the half-open eyes of my mother’s hope. 
sometimes, all her lips rolled at tahajjud was my name. 
I came from prayer, dream alike. quiet like independence day
never is. independent like children never are. 
concrete like the summer I breathed before. 

sometimes, memory snaps sharp: my mother turning 
the Quran page – her belly scratching against paper. 


Orooj-e-Zafar is a storyteller/spoken word poet whose work has been widely published online in places such as Quail Bell Magazine, Off the Coast, Rufous City Review and Melancholy Hyperbole. Offline, Orooj performs at local and national events like TEDx PIEAS and Islamabad Literature Festival 2017. She was also the recipient of the second annual Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize and the winner of Where Are You Press Manuscript Contest 2016. Her debut chapbook HOME AND OTHER DEBRIS is scheduled for release in July 2017. :

May by Christen Dimalanta

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


We are in my bed.
The lights are off. We are not tired.
You are flying out tomorrow morning
for who knows how long. We don’t know.
We forget what time is when we are not together.
We only remember how skin feels like.
When it is under our fingers. When it is pressed against us.
I am quoting lines from one of our favorite books:
How love misses, how love hurts, how love longs.
To remind you what comes with what we’ve made.
Your shoulders start shaking. I don’t ask anything of you.
I only whisper, I will never leave you.
The softest parts of your skin are under my fingers now.
They are pressed against me.
Not ever.

Christen Dimalanta

Christen Dimalanta is a 20-year-old poet from Guam. She is majoring in Literature because she is in love with words. When she is not writing about wolves, she is running with them. They inspire her poetry, found on:

Not Hovering by Martina Reisz Newberry

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

Not Hovering

On fire with myself
racing, not hovering,
passing the void
and the word
and the barely spinning
listless earth.
I was here before
and before that too
and I contacted the savage sun
saying, I wish for you
to eat my heart because
I have nothing else to lose.
My wishes are all
gluttonous that way:
the feast not the snack
the dark not the dusk
the full apparition
not the suggestion of spirit.
If it has been too much
to ask then I’ve asked it.
Request that I leave the room
and I’m gone forever.
Just like that.

Martina Reisz Newberry

Newberry’s books are NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (Deerbrook Editions), TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (due out in late 2017 from Unsolicited Press), WHERE IT GOES (Deerbrook Editions), LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions), RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE (Red Hen Press), LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH (E.P. Dutton &Co) Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative.

Real Talk by Abby Kloppenburg

Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

Real Talk

I’m grabbing a handful of your skin, telling you to dig deeper,
but just behind your back—I’m the one with the shovel.
I’m starving for your body, I keep drooling, but what I mean by that is
the truth. Show me your bloody, shivering
honesty punched there underneath your sternum.
Show me your fury as it beats
in-out, in-out: yes, even while I’m serving us breakfast.
Slip a handful of tears into my hand—not plastic-wrapped
or candy-covered, just salty dollops pumped
from places that might hurt me to look at—
and I’ll cup them throughout
the whole damn party.
Even by the liquor cabinet buried deep in the
stranger’s bedroom: I won’t let go.
Tell me fuck you or it’s because this one time while
you catch her face in the window,
and later, as a reward, I’ll show you the difference between
a fair and a carnival.
Show me just one glimpse inside your throat,
let me wrap my fingers around its
wet pink
and I promise you this:
I’ll never ask for anything else.

Abby Kloppenburg

Abby is a writer from Philly currently surviving in DC. Her work has been featured on Human Parts and Bodega Fiction, among others. You can find more of her work on

24 by Abby Kloppenburg

Pine Teeth by Kelly Louise Judd
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Someday, we’ll laugh through our teeth. We’ll arrange dinner on the table in different colored bowls, and always remember to pick up the bread. We’ll wear heels without blisters, and head home after the second glass. Cheek kisses. We’ll talk about our gardens as if they were children, and never be late for work – even when there’s traffic. We’ll time the metro exactly right. We’ll make the bed before company and own three different pearl necklaces. We’ll invest, and vote and coupon. Always remember to call our mothers. Someday.

Today, though, we’ll laugh ugly. We’ll pound the table until tears are streaming down our cheeks, and spill the water everywhere. We’ll eat Ramen three days a week, and call a salad vegetables. We’ll be late. We’ll finish the bottle and order another, even though it’s Tuesday. We’ll be proud when we remember our purses and cry in hundred more bar bathrooms. We’ll feel lonely and aimless and terrified for the future. We’ll feel unbreakable and alive. Today, the future is only tomorrow, and we’re just doing our best to get there.


Abby Kloppenburg

Abby does boring work things by day, and writes to survive at night. She lives in DC and likes funny people and egg sandwiches. See more of her work on