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Showing posts from February, 2020

Nymph by Laura Brinson

sensitive to a subtle change the nymph slips from birth water to dry earth feels the icy rush of air against her body
pushed on by irresistible instinct driven higher to a place of changing elongated leaves spiral in the breeze
anchored to bark twisting in a drying skin wings folded stickily to her body thorax muscles ripple
trapped in the hardening carapace a labour obstructed six x-rays exist in hospital files cephalopelvic meat on a photographic plate
breech baby and me wings now a leaden cape a well of foreboding opens instruments clatter on a tray
pumping fluid into a tracery of veins with the energy of desperation slipping from me like a dark spill the icy rush of air on a fragile new form
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Laura Brinson is Melbourne based. She reads, writes, recites at open mikes, gardens, and sews. Her sewing room, in which she makes wedding dresses and costumes, catches the morning sun. Her poetry is reflective.

Mine by Holly Magill

Fifteen tubes of pastel, tooth-rot happiness tumbled from pink palms to the counter in Spar. The older girl smirked, counted my 10p pieces like a slow handclap.
Home, I’d unpeel each packet, scoff and crunch, mouth all fizzy. But hoard the pale purples – the sweetest, the prettiest –  in a sandwich bag, back of the wardrobe. I could be a mean girl too, didn’t want to share.
He never knew about them, nor did she, or the people they worked with, or the neighbours, or teachers, or the dinner ladies, or the girls who weren’t my best friends, or the girls I wished were.
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Now I am taller, a bit, and remain a mean girl – not the sweetest, not the prettiest –  and no one can make me, no one can force.
Some never stop trying, tell me how much they want this sharing. I know
how hungry they are – jaws spasm to bite down on any shred screeing off flimsy partition walls, mouths wet for pavement-scrapings. Half-chewed half-truths – not the sweetest, not the prettiest –

Ohio Gothic by Corinne Engber

A fox lives under your house
in the burbs where he isn’t welcome. He finds a way into the crawlspace Behind your closet because he used to live there too. Your town sits between interstates 71 and 675, a tapestry of burgs speckled with gas stations, Episcopalian churches, dirty public pools. You know every single person in this Walmart, and everyone pretends to be somewhere else, like France or their girlfriend’s couch in New York. You fist fight your third grade bully next to the dumpsters outside the mall. You haven’t seen him in eight years. Everyone’s lawn is covered in straw but their grass still grows in yellow, and the corn is a foot deeper than the lake. Summer in Ohio feels like summer on Mars, dusty and thick, the sun a watery marble in the clouds. It always threatens to rain a day or two before it does. Your beer cans pile up. Your books are limp, everyone is moving through honey. You sleep on the hood of your car or in a cocoon of sweat— caught in this brick of a season, this pastoral foundatio…

City of Swifts by Penny Blackburn

The city of swifts, where we walked crook-footed over cobbled mosaics, eyed flickering geckos on sun-flecked walls; lay silent under the crisp cotton sheet side by side in the heat, untouching; swam in shallow water as the sun made tortoise-backed patterns on the shifting sea bed.
We were so thoroughly unprepared for what came next.
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Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England and writes poetry and short fiction. Her publications include pieces online in Bangor Literary Journal, Atrium and Ink, Sweat & Tears and in print with Paper Swans Press, Reader’s Digest and Maytree Press. She is on Twitter and Facebook as @penbee8 and on Instagram as penny.blackburn.5.