******* & crush

*******

i lay my heart in the barbecue pit

so u can eat it on a stick
or if u like it raw bby,
know that it’s just meat.
have it.

 

crush

i lost my ability to sing and there discovered vulnerability
coasting at 4am: u conducted, on me, a test of satiability
it didnt take long before u could strongly attest to my muteness
and so detesting it, therein u found ur weakness

for girls with lungs of canary, goldfinch, and nightingale
singing hail mary hymns, born of wedding veils –
these are god’s creatures, handmade, then kissed –
me, i am a lecher, hell-stoked, then dismissed

i was so stupid – i should have known
u placed choir girls on a throne, now i trace our old haunts alone:
our swings at night, newfound in the half-light,
on ascending, the wind-chimes, our secret sad sign

but this silence, this fault line – yes, it’s all mine.

~~~

Erika Loh was born in Singapore in 1999. She is an undergraduate at Yale-NUS College and spends her time visiting art shows and skipping classes. Thanks to the Internet you can read her diary here.

We trade weather reports like love

letters – you send a picture of the aquamarine

sky behind the verdant mountains that rise

up from the ocean, your smile in the middle

of the frame. I can almost smell the salt

water breeze as it tangles your hair. I respond

with a photo, my smile as bright as my umbrella

against the concrete sky.

It’s been raining for ten days – I crave sunshine

and your hands. You send a photo of a rainbow.

I recognize the street you live on, remember

each time I parked, walked into your house,

crawled into your bed.

There’s a thunderstorm tonight, loud

and bright. I sleep with the blinds open, watch

the lightning flash through the window. I tell

you I’m naked in bed, the room illuminated

with each crack. I can’t photograph the flash,

the lightning moving too quick to capture.

I send you a photo of my body instead, my skin

pale against the dark sheets. I wish

you were here, I say, knowing we’d fuck

hard and fast, the percussion of the storm

our soundtrack.

The next morning dawns clear and bright,

the storm pulling the clouds with it as it moves

up the coast, the azure sky a welcome

sight. The emerald grass sodden, the seeds

of desire pushing through the earth

of my heart, growing wild.

~~~

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, Haunted Waters Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on twitter: @wordperv, or find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/poetry.CourtneyLeBlanc.

Weather / Love

We trade weather reports like love

letters – you send a picture of the aquamarine

sky behind the verdant mountains that rise

up from the ocean, your smile in the middle

of the frame. I can almost smell the salt

water breeze as it tangles your hair. I respond

with a photo, my smile as bright as my umbrella

against the concrete sky.

It’s been raining for ten days – I crave sunshine

and your hands. You send a photo of a rainbow.

I recognize the street you live on, remember

each time I parked, walked into your house,

crawled into your bed.

There’s a thunderstorm tonight, loud

and bright. I sleep with the blinds open, watch

the lightning flash through the window. I tell

you I’m naked in bed, the room illuminated

with each crack. I can’t photograph the flash,

the lightning moving too quick to capture.

I send you a photo of my body instead, my skin

pale against the dark sheets. I wish

you were here, I say, knowing we’d fuck

hard and fast, the percussion of the storm

our soundtrack.

The next morning dawns clear and bright,

the storm pulling the clouds with it as it moves

up the coast, the azure sky a welcome

sight. The emerald grass sodden, the seeds

of desire pushing through the earth

of my heart, growing wild.

~~~

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, Haunted Waters Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on twitter: @wordperv, or find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/poetry.CourtneyLeBlanc.

Ideas for Wet Dreams

Sleep: clicked escape of then and gone, backed up to spring up in the slight twinge. Lush, bottom-of-the-well moss creeping over stony steps as the sun falls under the hill; it keeps growing in the shade. But in the dark of dream there’s the wedding day cousin’s chest poke running knuckle deep through the sternum, happening in pause between cricket legs’ chattery emissions flexed out at the heart. Quiver death in the assassin breeze shoving a pillow over a meadow tree, those branches still chirping.

Dreams live there, under that tree. And the warblings don’t communicate, they echo. Inside a hollowed pocket, a family of mice hides and hopes for winter to pass soon. One of them has a tingle of a Spanish accent on a Samoan face with a dress—topped off by this tight stretch of the boxers in fabric friction and, soon, it’s not a mousy tree but a fifth-grade classroom. You’re approached by your reflection naked in the locker room mirror. The shower sprays the chalkboard washing off the digits. It all feels so real as the squeaking M. Butterfly from Pago Pago reaches south, water streams down your neck. Bodies surround but you are alone if you want to be.

…Comes the thunderous domino buckle turning over the covers, the ducky face of pursed lips holding back. Drool smear dampens the right cheek, leaving stains like unfinished salt dumplings on the pillow between two branches, rooted inside, feeling so good inside. Thundercat plays on shuffle. The fading of his beard against yours, revolving like Davidian ring-around-the-rosy. The comforter is black, the Tide marker’s useless.

~~~

Gillick is from Virginia

I am Sick

My skin is tethered to long bolts,

pinned up like teenage posters.
You say that it will never be over

and I swoon like dirty wings.
Spread me out like wings and

push me through the pregnant pause.
Sing and hold my hopes for hostage.

You find hidden places I ache and
breed and move and diddle-daddle

on my naked sweaty knees.
Say to me that my hands are bloodlines

to my death,
and lead me there in tow like thunder.

Make my death the little smeared edges.
When it’s no longer so unfamiliar

you somehow lick the ocean clean.
Take my world and fuck me up again.

Tomorrow I will be sick but I am also
always sick with you and unbelievable.

Push me open and show me who I cannot be,
or else have my eyes fit snug bug into

my heaving openings and closings.
To you I am nothing and it is this nothing

I wrap in and spin wildly outside my head,
up against your blowing horror face.

Show me the horror inside my open body.

 

~~~

J C Bouchard’s collection of poetry and photographs, Let This be The End of Me, was published by Bad Books Press in spring 2018. Their poetry is forthcoming in CAROUSEL and has appeared in PRISM international, carte blanche, Arc, The Puritan, Hart House Review, BAD NUDES, BafterC, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and more. They live in Toronto and online at jcbouchard.com

A Prayer For A Saintly Sinner

feet stumbled across
tumbled stone
where whispers of
ancient slippers
meet modern feet.
one stocking—
torn,
hands cradle
my hips and
i am rocked
in rhythm
with the cadence
of ghost murmurs
and plaintive
pleas and the
constant click,
of rosary beads.
my open mouth,
bathed in
green,
blue,
red,
sucking in stained
glass hues,
a sinner sanctified
while you enter me
like a prayer.

~~~

Juliette van der Molen is a writer and poet living in the Greater NYC area. She writes completely unladylike erotica and other sundry things. She is a recipient of the Zathom Microfiction Award (third place, April 2018). Her work has appeared previously in Horny Poetry Review, Memoir Mixtapes, Lit Up, P.S. I Love You, My Erotica, The Junction and is forthcoming in Rose Quartz Journal. You can find more of her writing at Medium and connect with her on Twitter @j_vandermolen. Her debut chapbook, Death Library: The Exquisite Corpse Collection, is scheduled to be released in 2018 by Moonchild Magazine.
~~~

Honey

A woman dies. They bury her. They plant
Flowers. The flowers bloom,
They’re pollinated. The bees make honey and the
Honey is sold in big jars from big crates in big
Boxes. The woman’s family buys honey.
They sweeten their tea, soothe their
Allergies. Soften their skin in rich hand
Masks.

It is my promise in life to choke on
You. I will shrink myself until I am only
Big enough for you. My mouth stuck,
My lungs filled. I make noise, like inhaling
Gravel, like breathing in dirt. I love
This and I want this. My jaw unhinged,
I die wrapped around you. I do this
While the sun rises. I do this while you
Are not looking, when I want you to think
About me. I do this because I love to
See the whites of your eyes,
The underside of your jaw. I love how my
Name has no meaning when it comes
Out of your mouth.
My buzzing, my flittering, tiny
Diazed eyes are me. Memememe.

I want to choke on you, fill up
To the seams with you. My mouth
Glues shut. Too sticky to swallow.

They bury me.
They plant flowers.
The flowers bloom.
I love you.

~~~

Sloane Frederick is a writer currently seeking solace by hiding in the deep south. With a hot love affair with the desert south west behind them it was time to live with a little broken heart. It’s better for the art, they say. They have been published in Alligator Juniper, Entropy, and others. You can only find them on the internet if you look hard enough.