Body like a House, Hands like Home

In my dream last night, you finally kissed me, finally opened
your door of a mouth wide enough that my past could fit through it.
My barred window lips, unsure of themselves & unsure of you,
tried to craft stories from the contact high of being so
near your chest, tried to turn your touch into non-negotiable
poems about heartache & loss & gain & futures & eventual trust
in me, I guess, but mostly in us.

Brought my right hand down to place on your thigh
but your body had distorted itself until it was my childhood
home – teal outside paint except one beige spot on the chimney,
basset hound barking from the wooden back deck.
I leaned in closer to the second story gable window to
see myself sitting on my white canopy bed
104.3 WZYP radio blasting through my 1990s boom box,
staring at my sticker-covered blue corded phone
waiting/always waiting
for a boy to call who never actually would
until you breathed into our image & everything disappeared.

Wordlessly, your hands questioned my intentions, asked my hips
if they liked what I saw. Could I ever love a man filled with
unmade memories already so comfortable that
I could slide into them like freshly-washed bedsheets
after years of sleeping cold on the ground every night?

I could.

 

~~~

 

Rachel Tanner is an Alabamian writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bad Pony Mag, Anti-Heroin Chic, Atticus Review, Tenderness, Yea, and elsewhere. She tweets @rickit.

and then hold me like an orchid

like a rocking chair my hips to get into it I like to feel hands
on my body in different places simultaneously  I like my
nipples grazed but less like a deer more like a heron over
water its feet dipping into the surface kiss me everywhere
don’t miss my lower back I like my toes sucked the
bottoms of my feet make me scream butts are meant to be
held I like my nipples held like you’re turning a coffee bean
between your fingers yes I think I’m sensitive in the
place where you’re sensitive thanks for asking and no I
won’t be held accountable for the noises be they rabbit or
owl or chimpanzee please lick the mole on my wrist open
me like a primrose and then pluck me like a dandelion

~~~

Kaitlin LaMoine Martin was raised by a community of writers in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She’s been published in Barrow Street, Bellevue Review, and Passages North, among others. She owns a photography business, works for a non-profit, and spends hours thinking of new ways to entertain her dogs, Frida and Adam Lee Wags II.

Full Fathom Five

When the preacher in the pulpit warned me about a weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth I thought it was figurative. And yet, here I am in the middle of the night with my desire an open, gaping wound. My sounds hide in the darkness not meant to be heard in sunlight. He is not here. An ocean away. Tide crashes and roils between us as the siren sings. I slither in the no man’s land of lucid dreams as my skin presses into the sheets. Fingers clutch and twist at fabric while I rub the smoothness of my cunt against well-worn flannel. I can feel him, his breath hot at my ear, a phantom riding me hard. If I turn over, I know I will stare into the black nothingness and release the spell. Instead my cheek rubs against the mattress and my mouth opens, lips parting to spill out the wail from the well inside. Legs part and knees press in search of a grounding I cannot find. My center flames, leaking wet and spreading into the ocean of us. I feel his hand wrapping my hair, winding it and pulling it until I’m anchored against him. His needs punish me and I capitulate to the pull of the moon. I am the figurehead carved into his prow, battling sea spray that steals my breath. He slides over me, submerges us both as we roll into the deep, falling a full fathom five.

 

~~~

 

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 also appeared in Memoir Mixtapes, Lit Up, P.S. I Love You, My Erotica and The Junction. You can find more of her writing at Medium and connect with her on Twitter as @j_vandermolen. Her debut chapbook, Death Library: The Exquisite Corpse Collection, is scheduled to be released in 2018 by Moonchild Magazine.

Adam, the first light sucking demon

A is for Apple and my read lips. A for just the right amount of anarchy. Adam’s fave Pandora mix is Electric Feel and always hungering for that blue ooze sound. it’s never enough even when the fingers come out of his fake mouth and attach to your lips and suck. It’s always about mouths.

Skin smooth as clay, missing one tooth for Camden town roughness charm. Warmth generated from his shoulders and back like all hell. He took his shirt off too quickly, didn’t realize there is an art to the seduction of light taking.

Most girls ran when they saw the holes in his back where his blades once were. Some morbid ones stuck around, listened to MGMT, got high, pretended not to care that the holes gaped and mouthed at them, opened and closed, like a flesh colored sea anemone.

When Blue Foundation was turned down, the flesh colored holes made tiny moaning sounds, siren-esque, their song turning stale and howling. Closer, a stench from the back, a darkness waiting to be satiated. Adam, in his peach house alone.

 

~~~

 

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens lives in Midwest and is the author of four full length poetry collections: Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress (Yellow Chair Press, 2016), The Messenger is Already Dead (Stalking Horse Press, March 2017), We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition, and The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows (forthcoming in 2018.) Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is also the author of ten chapbooks. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from The Pinch, Prelude, Cleaver, Yalobusha Review, decomp, and Inter/rupture. Visit here here.

Still & Still

Still

His sexts show off new panties
hugging their hands on his ass—
he the candelabra in the mirror—
figure with flames too distant
to blow out. You leave him some
dirty talk, a constellation that dries
on your hands for him.
             In a dream
a woman doesn’t believe these
condoms are for you. She’s mad
you have sex at all. So you sleep
with her, you—
             Wake in a dark bed,
to pull yourself out feels hard
as rubbing one out just so you don’t
have to later, eating so you aren’t
hungry later. Still, you tend
your body like a stained counter,
scrubbing until all trace
of human touch is washed away.

Still

I the boy who eats other boys—
tongue dipped in their scars
and teeth woven tattoos.
He a gun that follows its fire
to catch its bullet. He say snowball
I say snowfall. Say deer track
through white quiet like words
sinking their stakes on a page.
He say wild when I got a fistful
of his hair. I throw mud clumps
in the river. Eat soil. Am soil.
Am what takes your water,
that cradles and caws even
when your claws leave gouges
when your antlers gouging
my teeth still receive your throat.
Still so much thrashing gets named love.

~~~

Jaye Harper (she/her) is a trans woman from Oklahoma who teaches writing in Michigan. If you want to contact her for a collaboration, read more of her work, or to fight her you can visit her here.

Sending a Nude to the Wrong Saint on Accident

All Calvin Klein cotton & bicep. All naval tendon
& alkaline powered. All sinfully sweet & tender
bulge. I remembered your maroon fingernail polish
& crest-fresh smile. I remembered your brash &
tattoos. I remembered your angelic scapulae &
felt the taste of an orchard in my mouth. I wanted
for you to have this. I made this for you. Took it
& took liberties with my own slivered darkness.
Tell me you’d forgive me if I hogged the covers.
Tell me you’d forgive me if I didn’t come at all.
I wanted to. I have a hard time relinquishing
everything I store inside because I’m afraid. I am
bare-ass & eye-tooth. I have a pond in the small
of my back & a sky written at the base of my throat.
Tell me you’ll save this. Tell me that my night
is bright with the possibility of magic & loss.

 

~~~

 

Samuel J Fox is a bisexual poet and essayist living in the Southern US. He frequents graveyards, dilapidated houses, and coffee shops. He is poetry editor for Bending Genres. He appears in such places as Sooth Swarm Journal, Cahoodaloodaling, and Vagabond City. He Tweets (@samueljfox).

SEXT

I want an MRI of your dick
inside me. I want to print out
each layer full-size on a sheet
and hang them end-to-end
on a corkboard beside us
to study, my leg hoisted
over your shoulder. I want
our heat on paper,
a professional sketch
of the closest I’ll ever get
to being your skin, but even that
won’t be perfect, that fuzzy outline
of your cock like a UFO
or Loch Ness monster sighting.

The longer this goes on, the likelier
it seems I made you up, your hot flesh
a mist in my hands, like
I’ll slide my boot up your thigh
in a restaurant and find only
the leg of the chair, or my toes
will miss your mouth, slip through
some crack in the universe
never to be seen again.

When I first made half-moons
in the wet clay of your back
I wanted to stop everything,
peel out of the shot like a kid
in an anti-drug PSA, like
“Hey guys, do you believe
this shit?!” Because lately,
when I’m not ruined by you
I dream of quitting poetry
to pursue a new career
as a sports commentator.
I’d devote my life to drawing
circles and lines on freeze-frames
of you nailing me with your socks on
at 6 AM, seeking trap doors in the angle
of the dawn shadows on your cheeks,
like this shit is the Super Bowl,
like this shit is the moon landing,
because it might as well be.

 

~~~

 

Kat Giordano is a poet and massive crybaby in Pittsburgh, PA. Her poems have appeared in Maudlin House, OCCULUM, Indigent Press, The Cincinnati Review, and others. They have also been known to show up trembling on people’s doorsteps in the middle of the night, too traumatized to explain what they’ve seen. She is one of two editors of Philosophical Idiot and can usually be found overindulging in her shoddy mental health on Twitter at @giordkat. Her debut full-length collection, The Poet Confronts Bukowski’s Ghost, is due out in summer 2018.