Current Poetry

“bird bodies” by Alicia Bessette

so frail when they faded down that corridor.
no use crying out—the mask
swallowed my mouth. besides,
only the metal bed had ears.

dreamed of brother guzzling air from buckets.
sister swinging high, shoes flying.

woke with wormy scars, pecked, not knowing
forge or forget

*

they watched me binge
and didn’t say stop

or okay or someday
you’ll miss blood

because it’s bright and
if nothing else, yours.

after, i lay on mealy
ground, one eye closed

making my fingers feathers
that floated over chimney

beyond sky. how else to
escape a belly so like

mouth, emptiest when full?
choice and demon both,

the eating. maybe. but my own
fingers blamed me. still do

*

wings trace loops;
sculpture shows me.
its streamers, frozen
above grass, tip and
slide me through.

if only arms spiraled into wings.
how i flapped at pretend edge
aching to belong.

now at real edge
i cup my hands
and whisper mending
mending

 

 

Alicia Bessette’s poems have appeared in Anima, Atlanta Review and The Main Street Rag. Her debut novel Simply From Scratch (Dutton/Plume) was an international bestseller. Visit her website at www.aliciabessette.com

 

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“space bodies” by Alicia Bessette


Photo Credit: TL Sherwood

half my atoms: the violently
vented innards of ancient stars.

half of hurtling: hurt.

sometimes it strikes eons after impact.
like one random night—old slap still
singing, old gorge still gouging—i go
outside, gaze up, mistake bright chaos
for home.

*

inside my head: labyrinths.

inside labyrinths: crystals.

should trauma jolt them loose:
kitchen tilts. plates supernova
from shelves.

*

neptune sounds like breath
pulsing from ocean depth,
yet—

if nothing is never not hurtling,
then nothing is never not hurt.

no wonder i shout myself awake.

no wonder i rise and stand
before the window.

all those lights to swallow

 

 

Alicia Bessette’s poems have appeared in Anima, Atlanta Review and The Main Street Rag. Her debut novel Simply From Scratch (Dutton/Plume) was an international bestseller. Visit her website at www.aliciabessette.com

 

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“I am Trying to be More Rock Less” by Emily Ellison


Photo Credit: TL Sherwood

wreckage
less crumble
gathered in my
crumbled
hands
less back of a back
hunched in longing
for the sandstone
skin      less
steam
of my fissures
less atmosphere less
black less feather
less mouth
less

floating my ache as a sigh

less ache and ache and

sigh
like the wind
of two
bodies
eroding

less

return
less grain when returning
myself to myself
less conversion less

myself
as dust
swept by
my own eyelashes weeping

less along the scuffled
grounds less
oh god
am I
this mess of
ravens

 

 

Emily Ellison is a second year MFA poet at Texas State University, where she also works as an Teaching Assistant for their English faculty. Her work has appeared in Southword, After the Pause, and Haiku Journal, and is upcoming in several places. Emily lives in San Marcos, Texas with two cats and an abundance of plants (withering at the moment).

 

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“Impediment” by Stacey Park


Photo Credit: TL Sherwood

I talk too mulch. Too mulch. I mean,
too much. Steeped in cheek blush,
synapses fire quick, in front of this
lovely listener. Message received,
on the way to delivered, altered
not by malfunction
devoid of me but sabotaged
by shadow-me. Tiny, troll,
shadow-me hanging on epiglottis,
throwing sticks between u’s and c’s.
So long I thought these impediments
were outsourced punishments
but these impediments are me
happening to me—can’t be cool
in front of this patient one,
this listening one, this precious one
I want to kiss. I will want to mess it up,
to make mulch of a too good thing.

 

 

Stacey Park is currently an MFA poetry student. Previously, she has worked as an adjunct instructor and holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Her previous writing can be read in RipRap and Foothill.  

 

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