The crushed lily, cradled in my daughter’s hands,
proves there’s beauty in the folds of our faults.
She spreads back petals and examines the inside;
Focus, flip then fold as if a paper fortune teller
or as pre-teen girls call them coochie catchers.
Ask me a question, I tell her, pick a number, lift the flap.
– Rebecca Schumejda
||Rebecca Schumejda is the author of Falling Forward, a full-length collection of poems (sunnyoutside, 2009); The Map of Our Garden (verve bath, 2009); Dream Big Work Harder (sunnyoutside press 2006); The Tear Duct of the Storm (Green Bean Press, 2001); and the poem “Logic” on a postcard (sunnyoutside). She received her MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and her BA in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley and online at rebeccaschumejda.com. Her book, Cadillac Men, is forthcoming from NYQ Books.
The Many Reams of Perfect
the night pours over us like starshine
that ankle wrapped dance
like a crude
revival, our hearts stitched together
a giant balloon
with a hot wet naked
to the air and a stringed flower
in the lush
little toes across the creek
and the flutes ring
and the silver
wears a feast
clinking to smile
the ridges lined
and you in white the red curling
and me in black the curl ready
our little ship floating in the bay
the lapping waves bouncing
us the starry night rinsing
– Jason Neese
||jason feels like they should play the national anthem directly following every episode of jersey shore before cutting to white snow. he lives in los angeles and works in tv. he has written four unpublished novels. snooki has written one. published.
photo by Susannah ConwayReflection
I look in the mirror and see a woman there.
I recognise the sour smell of my
mother’s armpit as she reached over
to put dinner on the table,
her hot summer skin,
olive oil on her Sophia Loren legs
while my skin blistered
red and angry.
I look in the mirror and
hold handfuls of the flesh
that cushions my bones,
rubbery and pliant,
the shape not compliant
with my expectations,
the mind and body disconnected –
how can a belly so empty look so full?
I look in the mirror and remember
learning the language of widening hips
and dark hair between the legs,
not yet knowing that the
body will be reined in when
all it wants to do is grow wild,
to colour outside the strict
demarcated lines of adulthood.
– Susannah Conway
a small question
was answered with
a big, exuberant YEAH
my heart danced
with the energy that flew
from your mouth
the glint in our eyes
lit up a path
for hope to ask
could cut in
– Amanda Oaks
(Click here for the story behind small stones & click here for the back story to this poem.)
Love and Insects
The ride home
like a Sunday sermon.
His words were butterflies.
Eyes on my bare legs,
he barely filled
the space of a minute
of hesitant conversation.
My lashes worked
thumping subliminal messages,
fireflies in a coffee can.
– Jessica Dawson
||Jessica Dawson is the editor at Gunpowder Mouth Press, mouth full of gunpowder, belly full of twigs, you can connect with her on Facebook here.
*poem first appeared in Words Dance #9
Four Ballerinas Resting Between Scenes
This is the part of the song
where he sings it’s a little
unclear and I can’t focus
on anything except to push
the headphones deeper
until I find myself staring
at a calendar painting of Degas’
ballerinas, time caught in strokes of blue
yellow fighting for attention
a naked shoulder, a shadow brushing
across an open back, concentrate
on the phases of the moon wrapped
in her hair, a girl’s secrets do not
disturb, it’s the music that makes her
vulnerable beneath her costume
a guitar climbing up her thigh
she can’t make it loud enough
but remember this isn’t art just
a calendar tacked to a cubicle wall
where everything fits neatly inside
black and white boxes of days
spent waiting between scenes.
– Tammy Foster Brewer
||Tammy F. Brewer is married to the poet, Robert Lee Brewer, and is mom to 2 sons, 2 stepsons & a daughter. She received her BA in English from Georgia State University in 1997. She was born, raised, and still resides in Atlanta, GA where she works as a paralegal.
*poem first appeared in Words Dance #11