The house was full of guests. Step by step, I followed the bumblebee across the living room until I reached the sliding door. It was open. I was about to walk out when the nanny swept me off my feet. She caught me from behind, her arms under my arms.
TAKE YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY REPORT
__ Maya Beck is a lapsed Muslim, recovering otaku, socially awkward blipster, and genre-confused writer. She is also a 2014 Givens Foundation alum, 2017 VONA Regional Workshop participant, and Paper Darts staff member whose work has been published by Redlands Review, Errata, Revolver, Mizna, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, NewHive, and Pollen.
THE KEY, THE LOCK
The key, the lock, just kidding, the key. The skeleton, the house, the master. The car, the card, the control, the do not duplicate. Have you ever owned a key? That’s a thoughtless question. Of course you haven’t. I once kept a key forged from the dark fire of lifting lanterns. True story.
I DREAM OF JEANNIE
I dream of Jeannie and she is there. The tinkle of the coins tasseled about her waist wakes me. The skin of her is ivory and perfect, white as my dreams. When I awake, Jeannie’s blue eyes stare at me. “Good morning, Master.
They wanted to repossess my dog. I’d defaulted on my student loans and the creditors sent a letter that they were coming to take her. That was finally the thing that sent me away from your society. Very carefully I did not answer the phone.
Because I need to release pain, I cut a hole between my ribs and let my heartbeat pump blood outside my body. Because I’m a perfectionist, I like to make the hole a perfect circle. Because sometimes I like to give my skin a deeper hue like I don’t recognize the color of bruised skin.
HE DEVELOPED THE HABIT OF PLAYING AIRS, MOST CORRECTLY, UPON HIS CHIN^1 : MARCH 3RD 1994, ROME
__ Annie Christain is an assistant professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill and the author of _Tall As You Are Tall Between Them_ (C&R Press, ’16) with poems appearing in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others.
AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE WOMEN
because you know without them none of you would even be here, you’re not supposed to bite the hand that feeds, but if you do (you always do), don’t be surprised by sus patas negras— male lovers—in the cupboard or on the night stand, see, the thing about Patagonian women is they can taste the
When a fellow teacher, colleague and white woman, says to me that a mother, parent to one of our students, looks like Spanish trash and I say nothing. Rather, I walk from the room silent as a grave.
__ Nicole Caruso Garcia’s poems appear in Mezzo Cammin, The Rotary Dial, Measure, The Orchards, The Raintown Review, Antiphon, The HyperTexts and more, as well as the anthology Mother is a Verb. She is a past winner of the Willow Review Award. Residing in Connecticut, she teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at Trumbull High School. She is Assistant Poetry Editor of Able Muse.
as in what a blk grl might put in her hair to make it go from kinky and coiled to straight as in something you take to make you calm down as in my kinky coiled hair needs to calm down as in my kinky coiled hair is aggressive as in it needs to relax
YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN WHEN SOMEONE IS LOOKING
Some of the women in town thought Mary ought to be punished. Her belly grew to a hearse. She prayed for a sailboat to carry her uterus on a milk sea. Dragonflies swarmed her flamingo-pink plumage. She watched boys shred guitars. May the distortion mince all the tired women inside her.
MARY MAGDALENE, DAUGHTER, BOAT PERSON
this poem is about my father. this poem is about egg wash, my mother, and my hair held up by the crest of the moon. my first communion i held the virgin mother’s body on my tongue. my first communion i held mary magdalene’s body on my tongue. her body sang while i slept.
Eva Braun, in Wheel Pose At the beach, she mimics an American pin-up: pale legs stretched to the left; blond hair dormant even in the wind. Jumpy, fragmented footage: in a dirndl, she picks purple Bachelor Buttons, pouts at the camera. When Adolf is gone, she eats with a picture of him by her side.
__ Christos Kalli, born in Larnaca, Cyprus, is currently studying for his undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His most recent poems can be found / are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, The Adroit Journal, Poetry City, USA, minnesota review, [PANK], The Maine Review, among others.
REQUESTS FOR THE CREATORS OF FUTURE ROBOT ME
__ William Lessard has writing that has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, The Brooklyn Rail, FANZINE, NPR, Prelude, FUNHOUSE, Wired, Hyperallergic, People Holding. His work has also been featured at MoMA PS1. His chapbook Rembrandt with Cell Phone has been published by Reality Beach.
Kittens It started with the kittens. Sassy birthed a litter of eight, all mewling and puckered, their eyes gummed shut. They nursed my fingertips, batted my dangling hair. The baby kept his distance, refusing to touch the moleish things. Their curled claws and razor teeth marked my arms.
THE VIRGIN MARY, LIKE MY SISTER
__ Tony Alioto is a writer living in San Francisco. He holds a BA in English literature from Sonoma State University, and works in digital content marketing. His writing can be found in Zaum.
Parts of this poem are derived from USCIS forms I-130: Petition for Alien Relative and I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence.
ALISON AND I, CLEANING THE HOUSE
For example. Alison and I, cleaning the house. Neither of us lives here. Alison used to live here, and when I was dating James I made the place my home. But. We begin seated opposite each other on the grey carpet. Alison has a little patterned box, wooden, in which she keeps her drugs.
GIRL ON THE CORNER STREET OF MY MIND,
Opened the big box / found the leftover human there / it’s a proud flesh, mama, it’s ugly life / mama found a new life / mother found a new tot / new toy / it shits in the yard / it doesn’t say sorry / it wasn’t told so / it’s a master plan