Girl by featured artist Lora Mathis

      Lungs We Share

      He’s not on our bed
      or pressed against me
      on the countertop. My legs

      dangle naked like threads
      from a needle searching for cloth.

      He is nowhere I am heavy-
      breathing. On pavement,
      on sheets in the dark. I wear his absence

      like a diamond. It glitters and cuts

      glass. Thick panes, fog
      effacing like vows
      unwriting themselves. Inside

      I’m pacing, the soft thud
      of bare soles. Asleep,

      awake, I speak in lyrics. He hums
      along, though he forgets
      the words.

Amelie Florence Neese

I live in Los Angeles, California where I’m studying creative writing and comparative literature at California State University Long Beach. The most beautiful stories and poems are like bales of hay hiding needles, like knees buckling under a gasp, like pulling a stitch from a blindfold and feeling it unravel. When I write, I hope I’m making things like that. Today I’m into kettle corn, succulents and hot cups of tea—tomorrow, who knows.