Afterburn & Girl On Top


I pop cinnamon Altoids
In my mouth at the stop sign
before your house.
In three minutes it will taste like alcohol
or maybe the memory of that time I got drunk
on fireball after learning
that you hit on my friend
when we were not actually together,
when we were nothing.

We are still nothing
but even more than nothing now
and I bite the Altoid between
my teeth, feeling it burn the soft tissue
of my cheek as I turn:
into your driveway,
the key in your lock,
the deadbolt behind me.
I take off my shoes and climb into your bed.

We have always been nothing, I think.
Cinnamon-flavored saliva stings
the back of my throat and I remember
the sting of wanting all of your somethings,
but not knowing how to be around you,
not knowing how to be what you wanted
of me. Now, I am exactly that girl,
but not exactly your girl.
I hear the shower door slip in its track.

We will always be nothing
in the existential sense
but in the sense, too, of this void
we live in, this space where we lay,
this little box we keep handy
and in the sense 
that we are solid, sweet, necessary
but the moment mouths touch
we begin to melt, to dissolve.

Girl On Top

this is the most vulnerable
I will ever feel:
my knees pressed tight
against your thighs.

it is no power position;
I can look nowhere else
but in your watered-down
brown eyes.

this is feigned intimacy: my hands
on your chest, searching
for a support they will
not find.

your fingertips resting between ribs
drawing yourself in
to what feels like home but
cannot be.

how is it that you are
still in charge,
even when I have you
pinned down?



Isabella’s “official” bio will tell you that she listen to a whole bunch of 90’s alternative, that she hate poetry rules and writes a lot about sex and anxiety. It’ll tell you, too, that she lives in Michigan and has a chapbook coming in January from Finishing Line Press. You can find a whole lot of that information on her website, and her social media pages.

Drunks in a library

some nights

we just lean

against each other,


like books on a shelf. we lie in bed,

closed off

but communicating, comfortable,



without words.

other nights

of course

we bang like bottles,


and carried home

in plastic bags,



and smelling


of fish

in torn wrappers.

we bang


one another,

break our seals

and rattle the banisters,

sloshing with stale



and easily smashed.


DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

born again virgin

yeah i guess it’s too late to kill myself.

at this rate, i’ve spent so much time keeping

myself alive that i might as well bandage

my wrists and take the rocks out of my

pockets. the way my skin rests on my bones

makes me nervous. the knowledge that someone

else has touched me, has seen me, knows about

me — it’s unbearable. but science says

in seven years i’ll have all new skin and

it’s been 1 month since anyone else has

touched my body. i guess i could

elaborate and say i’m thinking

about going to a gay bar to hook

up with strangers ever since things got called

off, but that should be expected of me

at this point. the best way to get over

someone is to have someone new to spill

all your secrets into, to put your mouth

between someone else’s legs, to have

a stranger’s number light up your cell phone

screen. i know i’m, like, ugly, but i’m funny

enough to get laid, and good enough in

bed to forget anyone else has

ever slept with me.


Lizzy Ann is a New England poet that often writes about New England and the horrors that come with living there.

Men forget everything

Show me u!!!
Must I peel myself again
like a soggy Florida navel
falling through your open fingers
without my armor, my white
spine splitting like your willing thighs?
Or are you thinking bananas
and eggplants?

You’ve seen me naked. Twice.
Men forget everything
except ache and other slights
perceived, and with additional age
they sag like a scrotum elongating or
a no, oft repeated, because gravity
is cruel and cruel is inevitable.

ur profile makes me wsh I wuz age apprprate
Fifteen over, fifteen under and it’s
the plot of a truck stop paperback
in any direction on the grid, meaning
more to gird down, matches a game
of tense disagreement, like bees
swarming from a splashed nest,
seeking dry flesh to inflame.

Who said you aren’t?
But he makes no reply, his green dot
goes orange as if the aren’t were
inadvertent code-switching,
as if a moth alit his tongue
mid-sentence, as he was not
about to say i loved u, once…


Ben Kline lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, writing poems and telling stories, drinking more coffee than might seem wise. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Pidgeonholes, Graviton Lit, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Risk Magazine, petrichor, Riggwelter, Grist Online, Trailer Park Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, Toe Good and many more. You can read more at



I am threatened

at once by fog

desire & feel

have never

done anything

to a ghost

the modesty of

mybeing & immodesty

of mychoices

have never

done anything

to a ghost

not that I forget

that I remember

only flattery

have never


there is no disciple

have not accosted

your little smile

that baby seed

of petulance

enveloped as it is

in the silk

your stomach

your intestines

& interest

yes you too

are a velvetpink

valuable & not

sofar from

the surface

of the skin

the cutis yes

largest organ

thatmuch is true

               I can be

but often amnot

of the living

I drag & insist

I am ________

incapable of ________

please dontyoucover

I am only a mirror

of one dimension

however you

or the two of you

are gen tle

in reac tion

of bod y

to outer stim ulant

meaning skin thin ner

meaning thi ck skin

meaning yo u

are much more

a body than I

a bodythan I anticipated


after I spill my guts to you

as if

when into the wind

your breath

comes back

as foreign

/ here again

little boy afraid

of anything / anywhere

pissing the bed

at kitchen noise

same boy

& whether

you know it or not

you love as he is / root of man

you know

who leaps from bedside

prowls nude / aroused

about the night house

ready to pounce

whatever whisper awakens

you / the man

barely humming

above a fifth /

the man

too scared to change

the lightbulb

here is a glass of water

here is a towel

Jon Conley is a writer and musician from Cleveland. He is cofounder of Long Long Journal. Find him @jonnnnnnnnnnmmm

Car Trouble

The problems you attract
follow you home,
laughing behind
your back,
making you
angry enough
to fuck
how I like it.
When you couldn’t pay to fix your car,
I offered
my neck
for you to dig
your teeth into
during those lean times,
on my acceptance.
When someone slashed your tires,
I let you carry
your revenge
out on me,
your eyes
in my gut.
Soon I’ll be sneaking into your heart
while you sleep
to cut your brakes
if you keep it up, eager
to see you kick into gear
as we fly
     into the night,
engines burning
with hunger.


Irene M Vallone is a transgender poet and writer, originally from Pennsylvania but currently based in Washington state. Examples of her work can be found at neutralspaces, and she tweets at @Irene_M_Vallone.

mid March in the arctic

my ribs
hum honey

your fingers
marimba mallets

this dance our
springtime touch

curled reach in
my hibernation

the sky fumbles,
hitches out of me

chases my lungs
painting watercolor

auroras unfurled
left suspended

& breathing so
we do not forget


Madeleine Corley is a poet by internal monologue. When she is not writing poetry and songs, she cuddles her roommate’s dog and dances at bus stops. She is currently serving at the Poetry Co-Editor of Barren Magazine. Her work has been published/is forthcoming in The Elixir Magazine, The Hellebore, Moonchild Magazine, DARK MARROW, among others. You can find here on her website,, or on Twitter @madelinksi


She said my name tastes like a mango;
what’s it like on your tongue?

There are nights where it is your mantra—
is it cinnamon that lingers, sweet cream,
or starfruit? Is it a flavor you want
on your lips forever—whispered
in the cold dawn under thick covers,
when the first dusting of snow has fallen?
Echoed in stone cathedrals, called across
crowded souks at dusk when the sky is rose gold.

Your name is indigo velvet, wrapped around me
at midnight. Watching Aurora Borealis curled up
next to the fire—safe in it’s delicious warmth.
It’s amber perfume—makes me think
about licking honey from my fingertips. You are fresh
ginger and sweet mint in my mouth—a balance
I constantly crave and hold onto.

Our names entwined, we swim in the Aegean after the sand burned our feet.
Late night drives through small towns to abandoned roadsides where we
can see the Milky Way. Your smirk when I bite my lip—my back rolling
into an arch like Stoya’s when your hands press light bruises into my hips.


Marisa Silva-Dunbar is a Latina poet. Her work has been published in Dark Marrow, Dear Reader, work to a calm, Chanterelle’s Notebook, and Marias At Sampaguitas. Marisa is a contributing writer at Pussy Magic. Her work is forthcoming in Dark Marrow, and Apathy Press. She is the EIC of Neon Mariposa Magazine.


After “Portraits of Beasts: Alebrije” by Ángel García

I learn first to say yes. You. Driving stick down the mountain. Your fingertips purpling the fat of my left thigh as you park. I make little noises, soft and guttural like a piglet. You zip up. Tell me I’m bleeding. I look at myself in the rearview. Slick my front teeth with my tongue. Bare them in the darkness. Growl. I let you think this was your idea.

Then this: I clench the thick roll of belly heaving beneath my Pendleton. I am no better than any animal. Including you. The mama spider on my ceiling laughs at me. Spits on me. I vomit my breakfast into the pink fur rug. Detach my skeleton from the mattress and start the shower. The cat left a mouse, decapitated, in the tub last night. The water washes it’s fur clean of blood. I lay down beside it.

Here, take it: this apology. This grave. This tribute. This thing. Homegrown. Loved, sometimes. Beaten and starved. Suck the flavor out of me. Tough piece of meat. Burnt. Cooked to death. Chew me. Swallow me. Digest.Truthfully, I can hardly remember the taste of myself. I can hardly remember the sound of your breath, wet like a river stone.


Emily Clarke is a Cahuilla Native American writer, activist, photographer, Zine artist, and Traditional Bird Dancer. Emily graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in May of 2018 with a certificate in Creative Writing and is now continuing her study of writing at University of California, Riverside. Emily’s work has been featured in News From Native California, Four Winds Literary Journal, and Hoot Review. She has been a featured reader at events such as Indigenous Now, And The Earth Was Shaken, and UCLA’s Environmentalists of Color Climate Justice Forum. Currently, Emily is writing poetry exploring modern Cahuilla identity, feminism, and human intimacy. 


on the boat everybody was on dancing

there was two more people climbing each other

in a movie     they were sitting down

and one person came up an punched them in the head and I

was wow I was    overwhelmed and I felt it I did in my head

I felt it in my head feel the ground because my eyes were closed but

then I asked somebody what

they felt and they told me to pull my pants up

then laughed but I could not     understand this boat because of all the bodies

in the cups that we all had one big one and it was metal

but then they made me go upside down to drink it I did not

understand why I love this so much and everybody was cheering I hate

who they are but they are there right then and we are not on a boat I am sorry

if I confused this with something else like a boat

it was in the shape of a boat that is what it was the shape like

how it looks like it keep you warm if it is over turned

a bottle and you can have to pull on all these things so that the enemies or whoever

the crew knows that you are a pirate

and I noticed while they were dancing this that I hadn’t

ever wanted to be sitting     down while we were loud

whoever they felt they told me to pull my pants up and I was drinking

a bottle of water and saw inside of it this note that said something

and then I looked inside of  it and I saw a ship in it

while everybody illegally fought dogs in the basement or people I was one

of them and I was     did not want to be a pirate

so they hit me with the pipe


Angelo Maneage is a famous grocery clerk and 2017 recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Alberta Turner Poetry Prize. He has work on Hobart, in Sprung Formal, coming to FIVE:2:ONE, and around other places. He is co-editor and founder of Long Long Journal and poetry editor for BARNHOUSE. He lives in Bedford, Ohio.