Moon

By Jack Cooper

I want the sun to spit at me like hot oil              but there she sits      clot              of cream   bleached orange                          full and sweet and selfish. She won’t wane   […]

Deaf

By Hannah Hodgson

              She turns away, her lips untranslatable.   arga et         ay      effan       i         reg nan       a  arr  t         ts     a      oi Margaret    says     Bethany    is      pregnant  […]

An Acre of Grief

By Amy McGinn

after Elizabeth Garrett oh how good i am at leaving     the lights on             at watching the flies buzz around a dead thing                how quiet i must be       to let him stay hidden in the garden like this      […]

Magdalene Mothers

By Jamie Smith

this is where           the fallen women           sleep. concrete floor            for the too fair too                  pregnant               too violated. be          fruitful but not with them          and not yet. in the image of         god, girls, says the priest        with the wandering gaze to nuns       who nod like sheep to the children        who were only half here anyway. who  […]

appointment

By Ellora Sutton

  this is not a séance  my hands aren’t touching any hard surface I sleep in a closed red flower  same as my mother                   she   planted a rose a few weeks  before             this whole thing is like what they say about plastic bottles  you know   each time […]

Autumn, 2019

By Tom Rowe

                                               A girl becomes     a boy    becomes                       Tiresias blind               to it all,   […]

ill fate

By Elinor Clark

the seven suffocated  one by one             i saw it in the paper  their faces washed in black and white             we sat around the well-scrubbed table  thanking gods             you were in bed that day illness synchronised with       fate             as if you’d read the future in  coal dust gloved hands             found prophesy in Yorkshire […]

The Poem in the Locket

By Natalie Perman

After ‘The Photo in the Locket (For Louise)’ by Jackie Kay i There are things I don’t tell her private things, words eaten in sleeping bookshelves, a waitress watering plastic flowers. My new friends speak fast write less often; they come over and strip the sheets, leave the house bare. We smile and eat alone […]

Predatory

By Jewel Cao

Don’t mistake this for seduction. When I make bedroom eyes at the mirror, I am only trying to see what the hare’s pupil looks like, widening like the handspan of the universe, only one arterial spray away from the wolf’s blushing jaws. I intend to prepare myself for violence. Originally, I wanted to discover a […]

When the writer visited

By James Baty

Again a memorial hour is near – Anna Akhmatova When the writer visited, blown through my door like a newspaper we drank champagne until white night slipped into morning while the Fontanka watched us like a fisheye, dead and gleaming, and the tree leaned in and tapped at the window. He left, leaving a glove […]

I fall in love about seven times a day

By Dale Booton

if falling in love means wanting to leave a part of yourself inside another    like a memento for them to look back on once we have moved on to the next    for them to cherish the way I have cherished them    in that small moment of my life    now a distant memory at the forefront […]

The Unofficial Financial Topography of Columbia, South Carolina

By Charlotte Hughes

after Clare Pollard From the steps of the granite-plated State House, Columbia stretches its arms for miles, lazy & languid: to the midcentury sanatorium with windows pockmarked from stray baseballs, to the downtown strip advertising very quick cash!! breakfast sandwiches served all day!! to the three rivers at the heart of Columbia with better deals […]

Etcetera

By Anna Westwig

Whenever you started a list, you always ended it with etcetera, the full word each time, between your teeth. I fell, hard, wanting to know the end of the list. I wanted to swarm with description. Who was I but the port to your starboard? I wanted to eat each strawberry whole. I wanted to […]

Wedding The Hand That Harms Me

By Amy McGinn

after Selima Hill Ciara tells me I have to be selfish. So I say, the blood isn’t mine but I want it to be. So I say, he licked the butter from my fingers but I wanted something worse. Alanis Morissette sings to me in my dream. I tell her I cut the tongue from […]

(newborn)

By Ellora Sutton

after Clare Pollard She rises out of me like the sun, my daughter, casting everything raw. I sip cochineal soup, chew the New York Times bestseller bought by a friend who doesn’t know I’ve read it twice. A papercut c-sections my thumb. The Guardian thrums with a new Atlantis. She brays, my calf, her pink […]

In The Mix

By Georgia McMillan

A sky with no sun A whale as light as a ton A book with no words A tree with no birds A dog with no bone I can hear them moan A knife with no fork A house took a walk A plate with no napkin I see that happen A rubbish bin with […]

The Zumbiog

By Monica Yell

Once I met a Zumbiog, Right here, next to this tree, He pombled over with brog-brog-brog, And sat right next to me. I told him his nose was awfully long, But he said that it needed to be, In order to luffle the snats from a fong He needed his nose to see. I asked […]

Smug as a Bug

By Jack Cooper

What a scrumbumbling bother, my day’s in disarray; that grumbugging Humbug just won’t go away! I went to post a letter, but he was buzzing in the box. I wanted watermelon, but he’d scared them from the shops. He even bumped my bum, boy was I surprised to find that little Humbug so greatly jeopardized. […]

Moving Out

By Aliyah Begum

He dusted the horizon with a flock of birds, Dragged a steam train across the hills and reef. He opened the stratosphere to let some fresh air in, The asthmatic sheep bleated sighs of relief. He switched off the sun and twisted it loose; It slipped out of his hand and leapt into the sea. […]

Ode to a Soup Dragon

By Beatrix Livesey-Stephens

What is the soup dragon thinking? This poem will show you the truth. His silver-spoon eyes stare unblinking, In a dream of regaining his youth. His scales are like glistening croutons in glittering oceans of silky green broth; On the surface are sizzling droplets that bubble and sputter, to flame into froth. When he breathes, […]

When the Jambler Heard a Sound

By Amelie Coyle

On the murkiest of nights by the boricow lagoon The Jambler wandered in the light of the moon. An ice-cold wind steadily blew And the booming thunder came crashing through. The water glistened as the moon shone down And reflected shimmering patterns all around. A spangly jangly norjay plant was floating in the air As […]

Socks on my Ears

By Evie Tempest

My socks are on my ears to keep them from the cold. My feet wear cosy bobbly hats that I think look rather bold. My scarf sits neatly around my waist to keep my trousers down. I know I look a dandy when I strut into town. Heads turn and eyes alight upon my dashing […]

We Couldn’t Help Melting The Snow

By Pieta Mackle Bayley

There once was a Sunheaded carnival Lay, got tired of carnivals and ran away – couldn’t figure if it was the night or the day, or the balls missing targets in a blonging-sort way, but she simply decided she just couldn’t stay and the Ferris wheel saw her go. The Sunheaded Lay met a quizzical […]

Make Abstinence Great Again

By Alara Egi

Seventeen magazine – tell me; is he flirty or friendly? you must not condemn me; male decency is so alien. is it the chick-flicks? we’ve been pumped since kindergarten; if he pulls my hair – interested (rape culture is coded within our moms’ advice). is it the fan fiction consumption? or about the way we […]

Grief Counselling

By Ellora Sutton

After Caroline Bird Have you changed the way you write your soft letters, like m and c and s? Made them harsher, perhaps, to offer no hiding spaces? When you wake up, do you have to weed your eyelashes? At dinner do you see a thatch of hands writhing in the vomit of your lamb […]

Hound

By Tallulah Howarth

WHAT IS YOUR NAME? My name was spat out of a laughing river. It is lips of salt, it is soaked in sunlight, it is without god. HOW OLD ARE YOU? I am old enough. You can count the tree-rings on my torso if you cut me in half. HOW IS YOUR HEART? I wish […]

allegiance

By Maggie Wang

Based on questions from the civics portion of the naturalization test for United States citizenship. What is the supreme law of the land? ask me where I’m from // go on / ask me // don’t / be afraid // I’m harmless What does the Constitution do? ask me where I’m really from // go […]