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Showing posts from November, 2020

morning hands (a.k.a. living with hashimoto’s disease) by Lisa Reily

i’m awake  but my eyes do not open; so dry they’re glued together. i reach blind for my drops, splatter my sticky eyeballs, stumble to the kitchen. i said i’d walk today, but i know  i can’t promise you anything. it’s morning, but the day is over.  i’m hungry, but cannot eat; half an hour till food, then pills with food, plus an hour before i can have coffee; i’m supposed to quit, but decaf has become the thrill in my day. you make breakfast; you’ve given up  on my morning hands, their drops and spills. i lift the blanket on our bed when suddenly you appear in our bedroom;  we both know my back is already aching.  i don’t argue these days. you set an alarm, count time before i can eat; i document yesterday. what did i have for lunch? i ask. we both can’t remember. you move my glass of water away from me as I type: a good day. no gluten, no dairy, no egg, no sesame, garlic, or onion; like a recipe, i document my day, my food, my pills, my body,  reducing medications, making changes; so

Bones knit by DS Maolalai

my feelings lately are so tender  all the time – like holding a broken  arm against my body.  I cradle them, wrapped  in their improvised bandage, torn from the cotton  of shirts. and how can anyone grow used to this  dull aching? I suppose bones do knit, if you leave them alone, but after work and every afternoon I am like someone  who's gone down a staircase to quickly, standing in a daze  and checking my unsteady body. and you are on the sofa  in the sitting room, with a thumb holding open  a paperback, your legs  cuddled up  underneath you. and you look at me, looking, and say "are you ok?" and I'm ok. --- DS Maolalai has been nominated seven times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019)

The Cutting (#1 and #2) by R.M. Francis

Rusted hummock of rusted sands, torrid tanned cobbles, ovalled,  watch numb graves watching back at wagging boys scaling stacks of morainic concretions left from slow floes. Roots tentacle lamina grounds, rope swing noosed over boss’ frown initiates these ephebes, taking turns through covet, making brave leaps as grinning clan stand with stones, marksman each oscillating rite. In quarries boys bioturbate to burtite. The Cutting #2 Sephardim boys shadow BMXs behind businesspark rails, search Hayes Cutting in dayra drifts for edge-base away from mom’s gaze. Corrugated iron, tipped tyres chipped  bricks form dens on basal beds. Nearly teen Safina etched into dusty anticline  with the sharp end of rusted fails.  Wargames of pebble shots at tramps’ tinnies punctuate trials with dad’s superkings then top trumps, then bush porn. This dipping  sequence holds placoderm, polypterid, actinopteri and youthful peregrinations, grinding against ghost lineage.  --- R. M. Francis is a lecturer in Creat

Things I Hear In My Sleep by Robert Beveridge

The low, rhythmic thrum in the apartment behind the bathroom wall is a beacon for alien space- craft. Whether we will ever see any positive results is anyone’s guess, but unless the neighbors throw pizza on the roof every other Thursday, I think pepperoni and olives warrant further investigation. The barflies at the grange hall swear they’ve all seen lights in the sky that have the distinct color of banana peppers, and the unmistakable scent of pineapple hangs over the town at odd hours. When the disembodied voice, they counsel, asks if you would like extra cheese, you smile and nod, reply that the weekend is just over the horizon. --- Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Blood and Thunder, Feral, and Grand Little Things, among others.