“Why are you rolling down the windows?” he yells from the back. “We were hot boxing!”
Katie nods in the passenger seat, either along to the music or in agreement.
“We are also in front of school and don’t want to get out of the car in a cloud of smoke,” I say.
“Whoa. What, are you on your period right now?” Ryan laughs, ashing his bowl into the center console ashtray, seemingly unaware the clean tray is filled with coins.
“Jesus,” I mutter. If he didn’t have super dank I wouldn’t have let him ride along. Ugh, Katie always sucks the worst dicks. Since her parents got divorced, she’s put a different cock in her mouth every weekend. Her new nickname is “Blow Job Queen,” though I am pretty sure the title is self-proclaimed.
I park, roll up the windows, and check myself in the rearview. I drop Visine into my eyes, comb my hair with my fingers, apply lipstick, spray perfume, and get out of the car. Once the others follow, I lock the doors with the key fob and stride across the sunny parking lot toward the art academy entrance, holding my head high. I hear footsteps behind me and turn. Ugh, they’re following me.
“I’m going in alone,” I shout.
I watch Katie grab Ryan’s hand and hear their feet scuffle on the blacktop as they turn and shuffle toward the shop room side doors. Going in alone is the only way to have a plausible excuse for being off-campus midday. I run through what I’ll say if there’s a dean waiting inside the door. On my period. Bleeding. No time to request a pass. Had to get tampons. Need to get to the bathroom right away.
God, I can’t wait till college.
Jay Vera Summer is a Chicagoan living in Florida. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction, and co-founded weirderary, an online literary magazine, and First Draft, a monthly live literary event in Tampa. Her writing has been published in marieclaire.com, Proximity, LimeHawk, theEEEL, and Chicago Literati.
by Shan Cawley
it’s not delivery, it’s ComraderieTM
i sit in mcdonald’s, i eat my bacon mcgriddle and i cry
i cry happy, i cry good and i cry the best i ever have
home was never a place that required my presence to exist within its means- home was always pots banging dad slamming his car doors and the sound of my mother’s absence
home was never a place until the people whom i loved the most became the muscle surrounding my bones
i never thought i’d know the chest pain of genuinely wanting to go home, to
be home, to feel home.
my friends, they gift to me the most distinct smile lines my friends, they grant to me the okay to be selfish sometimes my friends, they tell me
they love me, and i always
say it back and it’s never just out of obligation i would say that time is a people mover
in an airport and i’ve never flown before-
they say it’s all we have but you don’t have anything if it’s temporary, really except for the things that aren’t-
the cigarettes irene puts out on our front porch and the plate phil broke when he was drunk, the pretzels bran leaves behind when he has to go to work and the rides devin gives me to work,
the voices sean does when he’s high and the cake christian made, the earl sweatshirt watercolor that haley made and someone lost
maybe there’s not a god that i can thank for this life, so i’ll just thank the adherence to all
of the things i know will last for the human forever.
Shan Cawley is a current poet and student attending West Virginia University pursuing an MA in secondary education. Her first collection of poems, depression is a thunderstorm and i am a scared dog, is now available through Maudlin House Press. Her second collection, watermelon at an indian buffet, is forthcoming from Varsity Goth Press (Fall 2017). You can follow Shan on Twitter/Instagram @shancawleywvu.
by Daniel Blokh
Mother, I want to lose the memory of you
picking watermelons from the bin
at the market, holding them softly,
smoothing over the possibility
of each brown bruise,
the possibility of imperfection.
I have no use for the sight
of your face, smooth
as the green bodies spilled
from your hands, each one opening
like a toothless mouth, each one
turning red as a tongue bitten
in hiding laughter.
Father, I taught myself to shave. There was no way
of stopping it. The razor a metal secret against
my cheek, smooth steel appendage in place
of a guiding hand. I should have waited, but you were asleep
and the window caught my eye. Father, I wanted to be clean
as the night sky. I locked the door, looked in the moonlit
window, and held the razor to my skin,
wondering which way the blade should go
and why my cheeks suddenly seemed to sting.
Daniel Blokh is a 16-year-old American writer of Russian-Jewish descent, living in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of the memoir In Migration (BAM! Publishing 2016), the micro-chapbook The Wading Room (Origami Poems Project 2016), and the chapbook Grimmening (forthcoming from Diode Editions). His work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing awards and the Foyle Young Poet awards, and has appeared in DIALOGIST, Permafrost, Blueshift, Cleaver, Gigantic Sequins, Forage Poetry, Avis, Thin Air, Cicada, and more. He's bad at taking naps, which sucks, because he really needs a nap right now.
by Kimberly Ann Southwick
What Can Happen In A Second
today, the opposite—the lights surge not dip.
the pond brims then drains. the video takes minutes
to send. somewhere on Earth, a server registers
each click on each touchscreen—letters imprinting
on its board like the way a typewriter’s keys
press into paper, alter its thickness. the water
fills the roads & I u-turn home, grocery-less.
being below sea level fills my ears with trapped air,
that last breath the toppled tent fails to exhale.
tomorrow, the same, or the opposite again. measure
success in how many inches of rain whatever’s
on the laundry room floor can take before it & the outlets
will never be the same again. reread the voltmeter,
know your amperage, call your brother & bless his heart.
The man Points at the objects On the wall Declares them ‘art’ Declares the space after His applause He thinks I think of him He thinks I think him A funny man I walk behind the walls Show my lace underwear To the mirror Declare it ‘art’ & everyone applauds
The flowers say ‘Fuck it’ Lean back In sun soaked Plastic seats Show skin With dollar coffee Held between their thighs Look at all this They put down On our heads Touch these shoulders This rippling Running down the neck Look how this Tends itself
by Joe Rupprecht
I fill my mouth with actual dandelions and think of you
I do this every morning in the dewy bushes in the dirt patch of my cold dawn I find pieces of what used to be a bird feather of red beak broke in the crack of it and wake up in the mid gloam to sing of you we stitch our thoughts to their time of day
I want to cut the sun in half in my dreams with you what a place to think up and do nothing with it’s like when I look out the window to the dark and see a whole room that I’m in
and there’s a body that I’m in and there are so many ways to forget what feels lost already I was buried in the earth your fingers were like roots of a tree so then why does it feel like I’m lying who told me it was some other way who made the night into a thing we call silence
Joe Rupprecht lives in Syracuse, NY. His work has been published or is forthcoming in New Delta Review, Entropy, Coffin Corner, and Spy Kids Review. His microchapbook, "Faggy Bird Poems," will be a part of Ghost City Press' 2017 summer microchapbook series. He tweets @heterofobe
by Ben Niespodziany
Meet American John Simpson
It's admirably American to introduce yourself with your full name just like John Simpson.
“Hello, I'm John Simpson.”
Retired but a man that could have been found decades past in the desert, in Nevada, New Mexico, depending on the weekday, wife number.
Retired, like I said, John Simpson relaxes on the beach in a different country but he'll still remind you that he's American by wearing a Mississippi Roll Tide shirt, by mining for whiskey handshakes every Thursday night over calypso blues, by requesting Lynyrd Skynyrd songs to a local who doesn't understand the 'Freebird' joke.
You better believe John Simpson's horse, who waits for him down the street, has his same goddamn last name.
Ben Niespodziany is a full-time left-handed librarian at the University of Chicago, where he writes poems about unruly patrons, cold brew coffee, and fingernail moons. Last week, Niespodziany released Dress Code Aquarium, a free collection of 40 prose poems and microfictions.. His music writing has appeared on Bandcamp, Pigeons&Planes, Viper Magazine, and others, but this is the first time having his poetry published online.
by Alex Russell
I Have Spent Three Years And Over £27,000 On Researching The Game ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ And This Is My Dissertation
the best way to win rock, paper, scissors is to hug your opponent
I Know It’s Legal To Put A Baby In A Sweater, But If I Put A Baby In 100 Sweaters, That Would Probably Be Considered Child Endangerment
my question is how many sweatshirts can i put on a baby before it becomes an illegal act
Love Is A Basketball Game And You Are Dunking On Me
i’m ready for your shaq attack
Alex Russell writes sometimes, loves all the time, and occasionally attempts to make himself goofy web 1.0 websites. he'd really appreciate it if you read his chapbook, maybe validated him online, and went to www.alexrussell.info
by Tim Lynch
Giving Someone Your Leash Is Hot Until They Let Go
A heart breaks loudly & for a long time I want to tell you good things. about you As long as you love me—what an ism How many sad white poets does it take to regret everything Grief is so much easier when they're dead I'm glad you're not dead Nothing here is quiet enough Nothing will save me like this
Tim Lynch has poems forthcoming or published with Yes, Poetry, Occulum, Connotation Press, and more. He has directed various workshops for young writers through Rutgers University in Camden, NJ & conducts interviews for Tell Tell Poetry. He would be delighted to meet you on Twitter & Instagram @timlynchthatsit.
by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain
Splayed Garden Tools
There's nothing peachy about this pepper pit. More than half the time, I'm not even sweet.
I'm the farmer between planes chewing it and spitting it out. The sound I make somewhere in the range of mooing and meowing while mowing the lawn.
I imagine the cattle attacking the bakery across the street.
"Let's talk about inventory!", the owner screams while holding up a cattle prod.
Not for violent purposes, mind you. Most of us don't do things because of violent hearts but to get our teeth on the prize: cream filling with moon craters for eyes.
Too close to carnage for frosting.
Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.
j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j, simply, hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.
by Darren C. Demaree
[you are the storm]
i told my daughter you are the storm clapping i can smell your electricity coming to life please tell me which cities to avoid when you decide the real revolution is starting because when i told you our president was trying to hurt the planet you broke a lamp you’re seven so i thought that was a bit extreme but there was no punishment there will be no punishment you are the punishment for everyone that gets in the way of a thriving earth and it's my job to stay out of your way
[the fields move towards you]
i told my children the fields move towards you don’t you realize what sort of gift that is to have fields present themselves to you to show you exactly where there has been crop to show you exactly where the fires have been lit in the past to show that each field like each person is its own world and this whole landscape is firmament how tender how un-tender how deep our simple heaven is
Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8thHouse Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
by Kenneth Pobo
I keep my head just above the water, a floating beach ball.
My astronomer friend Lek says Mars’ north polar ice cap has water--that would be rough swimming. Wait long enough
and blue becomes red, truth wags a new tail. I picture me breaststroking under a sky with two moons, like I’m seeing double
through fogged goggles. Phobos And Deimos, lifeguards, handsome ones at that.
Earth has one moon, a charmer. We fall in love and create lasting
divorces under its shine. Venus craves a moon, even a fluky one like Nix
or Pallene, waits for a night when a moon would be the one consolation,
never judging her for being gassy and melting any garden before a seed can sprout.
In My Day
Aunt Catherine often said “In my day,” wore dresses my grandmother handed down, rarely shopped for her own, wanted to die until death gave a tap
to her heart. She sounded like a woman who after a hard afternoon sat down to watch her favorite show, heard plaster fall from her kitchen ceiling, the phone ringing and ringing.
Kenneth Pobo has a new book out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. This is an ekphrastic collection. Forthcoming from Grey Borders Press in September is Dust And Chrysanthemums, a chapbook. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. He gardens and loves sixties pop music.
by Ruth Crossman
Sofa, baby I didn't mean to treat you that way you were so sexy when I first saw you all that velvet some shade of blue they stopped making years ago looking so slinky when I put you in the living room
Sofa, try and see it from my point of view: they weren't nice people they made me keep my bike in the bedroom they wouldn't let me hang that Klimt painting up just cause it had a nipple-one fucking nipple
Sofa, the only thing they liked about me was you and it wasn't right sitting on you like that, day after day drinking their wine and watching Sex and the City pairing you off with Loveseat, that heartless bitch
you deserved better than that you were an antique, probably
look I know what you're about to say you deserve better than curbside on trash day too at this point you're probably all waterlogged full of bedbugs, or losing half your stuffing
Sofa, listen, here's the thing though: when I left you came with me
Ruth Crossman is a Bay Area native who teaches ESL by day and writes by night. Her work has appeared in Dryland, Full of Crow, and Poets Reading the News.
by Richard O'Brien
I climbed to the top of the world And shouted out to the sleeping horizon:
"Ho, Rosy-Fingered Dawn, Ahoy! Come close and warm your frozen children!"
So forgive me if this seems impersonal But you have so many names now A list of names a mile long A hundred miles long Spelled out in savage calligraphy All the rage and flavor of youth Young still with young scars
The heat of the sun will cook us clean And we'll still be warm as we slip Into that quiet, alien night Our digits frigid like little winter kisses Pinpoints on skin
Richard O'Brien ("Ro") is a graduate of Loyola University with a bachelor's in English. They have previously been published by Soul Stoned and are currently working on their second graphic novel. They enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal movies, Wolverine comics, and misquoting famous philosophers.
by Camille Castro
infatuation is an alchemist frothed in store-bought cologne;
it wades in liquid machinery, knee-level deep
it strives to have a daughter’s sweetness, vowels slurred from ditzy mouths
it replaces the ‘p’ in spoon with an f (you could say it out loud, if you want)
it is in demand of hope existing in the lures of generic medication
but it’s all could-haves, really
Camille Castro, 18, is an incoming sophomore at the University of Guam. Her work has recently appeared on Sprout Magazine.
by Ingrid Calderon
-avoid the mirror dangerous young animal you're a vintage porn collage...
-the smell of the dead, is that of the return to the cosmos-
we were never our parents children, we were born in capsules, a coffin that if you're lucky, you die daily in-
Ingrid is an ex-Mormon Salvadoran refugee residing in Los Angeles, CA. You can stalk her at @BrujaLamatepec
by James Ardis
him and his kid brother probably have a mother too I mean I would assume they do
James Ardis wrote the chapbook Your Arkansas: A Strategy Guide (Gauss PDF, 2016). His creative writing and criticism have appeared recently in The Collagist, Small Portions, The Rumpus, and FreezeRay.
by Matthew DeMarco
And What Good Is It That I Crouch?
I have taken the wired circuity of my brain and wound it into a spool of copper thread that would span the width of an entire prefab neighborhood in the California desert. I have likewise rerouted the electric circuitry of my heart with the likes of multiple catheters: one was inserted through a vein in my neck; one was pushed upward through a vein in my groin. The neck catheter blazed a brand onto an errant wire in my heart to stop it from misbehaving. How much data do I have left this month? The apps are a heat on my thigh as I sit. One app tells me that they wake up when they’re not supposed to! Shush! Can’t I bury the image of my own face somewhere in the current of a quick-moving stream? Can’t I wait in the wild waters of shallow reflection until the melting ice caps raise the tide above the peak of the Sears Tower? Can’t I stitch my thumb to the river and bring it with me every time I stick my sloppy dominant hand into my own bright hair?
Matthew DeMarco is a writer, editor, and educator living in Chicago. He is a recipient of the Eileen Lannan Poetry Prize, for which his work has appeared on Poets.org. His poems can also be found in Opossum and Columbia Poetry Review. With Faizan Syed, his poems will appear in They Said (Black Lawrence Press), an anthology of collaborative writing. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Danie Ibay
i think of summer and i think of you
i look at you like i look at the sky, believing in all-encompassing, star-littered wonders. settled underneath a certain light, a thousand times over – there is something to be said for forgetting, or keeping things where you find them or following wildflower trails to places where yesterday ebbs and flows, tastes of relief and seawater. inconsequence tides us over. i think of summer and i think of you, in bright and soft vignettes oceans trembling in our chests carried across state lines/ wind whistling past bicycles, day to day lapses of a certain sun rising on the horizon.
Danie Ibay is a sixteen year old writer from Quezon City, Philippines. She is a Sagittarius. (twitter: @yellowmp4)
by Emma Rebholz
all day I practiced saying thank you for coming on such short notice to the single lightbulb in the refrigerator. on and off. thank you, thank you. object permanence is my favorite magic trick. blink and you’ll miss me. or not. maybe if you were a rabbit I could’ve pulled you out of the drawer of oranges. I actually tried an incantation but it came out more like please please please please and salt spilling on the kitchen table. from above, I’m a felt silhouette in a shoebox diorama. you’re a trick of the light. there are a lot of ways to leave someone but none quite as exciting as sawing them in half. after all, you can only ever hope for a spectacle, a separation without a wound. hocus pocus. abracadabra. amen.
there are no such things as signs, you say. meanwhile, the bible that appeared on our front porch, which belongs to none of us, has found its way into our front hall. I’m reading up. not on the bible, but on The Great Molasses Flood because that just sounds like the way I’d go. better yet, I’d like to come back to this earth as a molasses flood, to river past the apartment while you’re playing piano. I want to swallow our Subaru in one bite of my gelatinous all-mouth body. I want our street to smell like pancakes for years and I want it to be difficult to explain to new neighbors. my partner, you can tell them. it’s what they always wished for. I guess you’ll be the one to write about it. put ads out in the paper. spread pictures of my face around the block like I was just lost, and not reborn as a small ironic disaster. I guess you’ll spend your whole life wincing at maple syrup bottles in the grocery store, which you’ll have to walk to. you won’t think anything of the cats that hang around the porch. pay no attention to crop circles or local legends. you won’t even remember the bible. I guess sometimes people are just people. wired differently. or maybe you’re just too much of a pisces. still, it’s only my first run through on this planet, so I wrap my arms around your neck, lean my head against your shoulder. of course, I fit perfectly.
Emma William-Margaret Rebholz is an undergraduate Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College. Their poetry has been recently published by or is forthcoming from Blueshift Journal, Vagabond City, and Bad Pony. They probably want to be your friend.
by Zach Blackwood
you knew how to treat me like an envelope: how to fill me up, and seal me up, and send me away.
when you call me again i want to ride escalators into the skin of your arms
i want to chew you up like jelly sandals. i wanna let you waterboard me with vintage seltzer.
i want to grip the handrail til the joints in my knuckles pop and spray confetti.
just keep track of me, ok?
if you have any questions about “recovered produce”, i’m yr girl
i hear the train coming and it is definitely mine and everyone else runs past me i keep walking. even slow down.
especially slow down so people trace around me like i am a stone and it feels nice to be felt if not seen
it feels nice to saunter down to the empty platform and rub rose oil balm on my whole legs and make my tattoos shine. to pull a cluster of grapes from a tote bag and eat them and be late to work
i feel svelte. i feel great. i feel-- grape lol
press me flat and hold me between two of your fingers like a cigarette
this is one of those Victorian calling cards, but instead of my name: it says “I want to HAVE anal sex WITH you, but you want to DO anal sex TO me.”
Zach Blackwood is a black, queer poet and performance curator living in Philadelphia. He has work published or forthcoming in -scapes, Peach Mag, and Metatron. He tweets @blackwhom.
by Mia Valenz
The Phenomenon of Emotional Sleep Paralysis
I always go to bed asking myself if I’ll feel the same in the morning or even by the middle of the night. I wonder if somewhere in between my phases of sleep a subconscious intruder will crawl around my head like a colony of foreign infectious worms. It could rearrange every dendrite of my introspective process, block every receptor in my neurotransmission system and obstruct all the emotion available in my amygdala. Then I’d wake up whenever to an entire rewiring of my instincts. People will tell me, “You’ve changed” and I’ll say “Have I? I hadn’t noticed” Because how could I have realized? And what was there for me to do? I was asleep.
Maybe this misfortune of changing our minds in the dark is why we lie restless with our eyes shut, protectively reviewing the thoughts we hold dearest to us.
In the face of this, there’s a bravery in curling to the left or right, with lamps turned off, eyelids and curtains drawn to a close. Because even when I sit up in moonless black, sweating beneath blankets, I might be rewarded with relief. It’s not until dawn calls Cut! that the actor working my night-shift subconscious realizes there’s a reality beyond this fragmented, tragic scene of going blind, deaf, numb, cold, to all interpersonal stimuli. But my eyes adjust to the lack of lights, and the rate of my heart slows. I thank god that it’s still beating for you.
Mia Valenz is “the embodiment of Disney Princesses Ariel and Belle, a baby goat, & a bowl of buttered radiatore noodles." She is a resident of Santa Ana, southern California. She’s currently a student at Orange County School of the Arts in the Creative Writing conservatory, class of 2019. Her poetry has been published to Inkblot literary magazine. You can get in touch with her and learn more on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr @miagvalenz.
Our main priority is respecting the wishes of the survivor and the needs of the community at this time. Thanks to those who reached out to us, bringing our attention to this.
by C Phillips
why have i kept this memory in my pocket for so long
went to hollywood video after it had rained and the sun was just bursting between the clouds as it set and the tires ran slick through the streets we walked out holding hands the thin blue light in the sky dimmed you rented the expendables
c phillips is a nb poet and zinester from raleigh, nc. they have published much of their own work, and have one licensed cartoon character tattooed on their body. you can follow them on twitter at @angelbyshaggy :)
by Alex Wennerberg
i do the eye thing "why are are are are nevermind" quiet and soft you scratch your nose i do mine way more violent
am i out of bread?
Alex Wennerberg is a writer working in tech in Chicago, IL. His collection of poems, Harm (2016), is available through Bottlecap Press. He is active on twitter @alexwennerberg.
by Colleen Dulle
psalm 30 verse five
"weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
behind-eyebrow burn i should drink more water
blinkblink open grey-blue cloudsun blear windowfog cheekflame held by freckles?
hobble-knee’d fall against metal crashbar door
cloudsun blear cloudsun light
“joy cometh” a.m.
stumble grip-fall-back hinge-door open
oldfolks. grandchildren sundaygiggle full-skirt dropped-r southerntalk choir-tune “if you are lost mis-placed un-wanted in-mourning here is your place.”
openblink cloudsun blearlight heart painfeather
i know face(blink), you knowsmile
temple-place of misplaced grey light cloudsun blear is light
mourning, morning sunbeat voice-memory song knownness knownvoice: this is the day
Colleen Dulle is a reporter who sometimes writes poems. She tweets at @ColleenDulle.
by K Holtz
i’m that little boy in the outfield picking daisies and daydreaming of a body without breasts.
when i hit the ball it cracks and whirs away like a shooting star, its glittering fractal dust showering us like snow.
i’m that little boy in the outfield my body a distant memory behind the chain link fence
kat holtz is a queer writer living in orlando and is planning an escape route to a colder place. they go by jay, sometimes kat, mostly jay. names are weird.
by Erin Marie Hall
I did not flinch when cicadas took the town came over the hills like four thousand horsemen in the cemetery I watched them devourdevour what was already devoured by ivy and smoke you were there too but you were a cicada and I didn’t recognize you in your crappy little shell
in the multiverse I am you are am/are not holding hands hiding hands eating hands together like that llama in a hat who is real somewhere out there in the multiverse a penny is as heavy as a ship and just as wicked as the witch under your/my/someone’s house the sky is made of matzo and the sea is full of nothing and you believe me when I say we’ll get out of this alive
Erin Marie Hall is a poet and visual artist from South Bend, IN. Her work, which explores the body, poetics, mental illness, and the apocalyptic, has appeared or is forthcoming in Unlost Journal, After the Pause, Rust + Moth, and your nightmares.
by Emily Wood
i saw lena dunham wearing cowboy boots and now i want some too even though i’m not supposed to want anything
if you say “i am i am i am” three times in the mirror you will look like an idiot who says stuff to her own reflection in her parents’ bathroom
try to not look at the palm trees on vacation and think to youself this reminds me of LA. you’re in mexico and you’re kind of being a dick about it because there’s culture here too, read a brochure for once
the hollywood sign is just a tattoo the city got at 17 and now kind of regrets, but it’s become part of their identity, so, like whatever
might as well see it or photograph it, I guess, whatever
Emily Wood is currently based in London, Ontario, but spends most of her time on the internet anyway. You can find her tweeting at @emilyinternets.
by Julia Travers
I’ve been dancing. I’ve had several dresses and flowers on my arm, I used to keep the flowers in a tray in my old room at my mom’s house. I thought, one day when I’m older, I might parade them around (dust corsages on loose wrists, silk bodices unzipped) or lean over a precipice, high up, a bridge railing, a boulder, and thrown them out once and for all, thinking of my first dance partner, cocking my head to slow them as they drift down.
Julia Travers is a writer and journalist in Virginia. Her work appears with OnBeing, Whurk Magazine and other publications. You can visit her at jtravers.journoportfolio.com and on Twitter at @traversjul.