Who does what in New York behind a whitewashed facade doesn’t concern me. Your graffiti style beckons, but I can’t respond in tonalities rich enough to deter you. The two rivers draw you equally. You would if I would first, but I can’t. You claim I did, but I didn’t. The stink behind the façade proves me right. If I opened that latch someone uglier than a demolished building would emerge, dripping flavors. You wouldn’t recognize me behind that mask. Too many bristling retorts, too thick a film on the smile. You’d still claim that I did what you would do, but the gaping hole in your favorite building would cough up bats and ghosts. None would praise or even thank you.
the sun sets on another wicked summer,
a thousand dead things jump
from buildings or branches & birth a mosaic
of color on the lonely earth below.
like this the mouth speaks everything into goodbyes.
like this the space we speak of is just that.
the face of something lost in the distant wind,
the difference between weather & climate,
the home you once made in repetition.
i think that existence is something like this:
Lucas Peel is a big mouth moonlighting as an adult. His work has appeared in a handful of shelves on his mother’s dresser. Lucas currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. We do not know what he is yelling about. Tweets @lookchrlz
Do not mistake my silence
for absence: every day I think
of you and every day I say
nothing – no message sent,
no phone call made, no
letter mailed. With you it had
to be – has to be – all or none.
I loved you once, I think
you kept part of my heart
tucked into a pocket,
held close to the warmth
of your body. Even though
we no longer speak, look
between the silences, find
the quiet meaning in the spaces
between the words, small enough
to swallow whole. Language
is a kind of hunger and I am
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press), and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her publications on her blog: www.wordperv.com. Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.
Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving his native country. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among nearly 1,600 others across 43 countries.
Lee Patterson’s poetry has recently appeared in Hobart, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Airgonaut, and Unbroken, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, will be published by Ethel Zine in late 2019.
This tall glass
from river’s edge,
makes memory my magic
looses locked logic
into gilded dust.
down to a writhing rag
wrung & wrung which remains wet.
I’m a knee-knocked
goddamned drunk juggernaut of
bunched nerve endings,
French braided fingers on neck napes,
a deep-sleep susurration at darkness
billowed into dawn that
jostles the willow’s whips, gathers
glacial eyes closed like
Let me be your lilted line,
a zephyrous sigh –
I’ll make it wine.
Michal ‘MJ’ Jones is a Black queer, and non-binary poet and activist living in Oakland, CA. MJ’s work has been featured at Foglifter Press, Terrible Orange Review, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, The Body Is Not An Apology, and Wear Your Voice Magazine. They are currently the Community Engagement Graduate Fellow in the MFA program at Mills College.
Happiness eludes me like a
Sometimes it’s a sharp crackle
and sometimes it’s a wall
painted like a dark window.
There is warm skin
on my cold skin
like baskets of guilt
through the trapdoors
of my eyes.
Jared A. Carnie’s debut novel, Waves, was released in 2016. His first poetry release, LYME, will be available soon from Paper Swans Press. He can be found at www.jaredacarnie.com.