person Mandy Brown, five poems

Mandy Brown (she/her) is a queer Central Texas poet, a 2019 Poetry Half-Marathon winner, and the 2013 ARHOF’s Tillie Olsen Fellow. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Writers Resist, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, and more. Mandy currently teaches at an alternative school and loves it! Read more at mandyalyssbrown.weebly.com.

~~

Thirst

His world
bristled at the rim
of a cup
he refused
to drink.

originally published in Right Hand Pointing, April 2015

~~

Seventy-five Bobby Pins

You stood by the table and
removed them
from my hair before
walking with me to our
wedding bed.

They sit by my bedside now,
And I count them,
again and again.

originally published in
Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue 6, April 2013
Circa Review, July 2013
The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2013, December 2013
Eunoia Review, April 2015

~~

Upon Reentry

Upon reentry I will be kind. I will not compare myself to
moving targets, but I will watch their light wrap around me.

I will allow myself rest, to move slowly, or quickly, or not at all.
When I come home, which is not always when I arrive there,

I will speak or sing or dance. I will reflect the spark of her smile,
remember the wrinkles in his hands.I will promise our stories faith

that it was never the place that held the magic.

~~

Birthright

We asked her how to find home,
and she lifted her hands,
exploring her palms—sure
among the calluses,
the dirt, and
the blisters,
a map had always been there.

originally published in Right Hand Pointing, April 2015

~~

Release

We drove all evening to be in the shadows of the pier in folding chairs with poles thrown back into the ocean. It’s really a gulf, but you said it counts because it’s all connected anyway. We hang raw shrimp from our hooks and catch fish smaller than the bait, their bellies bulging from the free meal. You unhook yours and smile as you throw him back in. I watch the small body fall into the water and hope he doesn’t bruise. I feel like him having to swallow Mom’s gravity. She doesn’t know we left, but we’ll be back before she wakes, holding pills out to her in offerings. How I wish she’d unhook us and throw us back. Together we would find the ocean.

originally published in Circa Review, July 2013

~~

person Robert Beveridge, one poem

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Virginia Normal, Credo Espoir, and Chiron Review, among others.

~

WABI-SABI

In Sunday school we were taught
that the bodies of some saints
were incorruptible. After death,
their bodies lay for days,
weeks, months, with no change;
they only slept, so the story
went, until God called them home.

At eleven, I dreamed of tombs
around the world, sleeping bodies
in repose, waiting for a chance
to rise again. I woke each time
drenched, screaming. I knew,
inside, that saints were hungry.

Now, I cut through graveyards,
tombstones weathered to smooth.
On one grave, a ring of pebbles.
I nudge one back into place, moved
by wind, or curious bird; wonder
who is under this stone, who left
a memory. Then turn and walk away.

~

person Chariklia Martalas, one poem

Chariklia Martalas is a young writer studying Philosophy, Politics, English and History and the University of the Witswaterstrand in Johannesburg South Africa. She has been published in Odd Magazine, The Raw Art Review and the undergraduate literary journal The Foundationalist, among others.

)  (

She Wore A Lost Horizon

She wore another face
Like cloth on the body
Hand on hip
As if wiping
Pieces of dirt
From the eye

Adam and Eve were an image

(It’s necessary,
Convenient,
Understandable)

Before the great drop
From the edge
Of the horizon
Or God

(Or both)

Humans were two pictures
Matched in symmetry

(A madhouse ecstasy)

A wish for
An emulation
A Prayer
For a Golden Hour

)  (

person Shruthi Shivkumar, one poem

Shruthi Shivkumar, 18, is a lover of poetry, teaching herself to step outside of her comfort zone. She is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh where she is a double-major studying English Writing and Biology. Her work is forthcoming in Nine Muses Poetry and Impossible Archetype.

/\

superstitious

good things
come in
threes:

wise men,
bones in the human ear,
little pigs,
musketeers,

books in a trilogy,
feet in a yard,
strikes to be out,
your face and your heart-

sorry, did i say

face?

my apologies-
i meant the plural.

\/

person Frances Holland, one poem

Frances Holland is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her work has been previously featured in Mslexia and Horla Horror.

~*~

Lavender

I knew them by their scent,
those proud specimens
ring-fenced by terracotta,
buried in the earth.

French demanded blood and glory,
its lovely alien heads eager to be paired
with flesh, spit-roasted,
usurping rosemary.

Hidcote took and took;
it drained the life of the other,
stood tall and purple,
regal, sickly-sweet and brazen.

Rosea wilted, stems broken and grey,
And yet her pale flowers bloomed.
Her scent the sharpest,
Lemon-sweet,
It clung to fingertips,
drew insects in.

The honey that year would taste of it.
It would seep into us through bread
and out of us into the night-air,
To mix with pollen and starlight.

We would find our dreams perfumed by it,
Cleanse our bodies in its water,
and watch and wait for next year
When its blooms would claw back,
Claw back through the deep dark earth.

~*~