Updated: Feb 19, 2021
A collection of short works of poetry.
By Eliza Rudalevige
up north, where I’m from (or pretend to be) the autumn plummets into piles as if it has somewhere to go. in the city, where I belong (or pretend to) there are fewer leaves, more pigeon feathers. the moult begins in late august and often isn’t finished until the last of november; despite the cars honking, the pigeons take their time, know that this their city waits for them to pluck scattered blessings, shed the sweat of summer from their backs, discard it soft and sopping to the swiftly cooling curb.
By Victor Omojola
Opening my mouth, a gate creaks open Tentatively No words come out and the fortress retreats to its preferred position Just that: a fortress Protecting thoughts and vulnerabilities from escaping But also shielding the larger entity from being penetrated itself Inside the halls of this structure, a beautiful thing still manifests Riddles are written and solved Theories, theorized And illnesses, cured Work is done, life is processed Within these halls But life yearns to be lived, not just analyzed Like athletes want to be quantified and not just qualified The same as musicians who want to be quantized, who want to be monetized The same as lovers who wish to be romanticized So let these walls crumble In an event bigger than that of Babylon Let that black body, mind, and heart be free And as the mouth opens once more Let the words come out Let the words escape the construct And let the words construct
By Judy Xie
I reconsider yellow And the sun through the branches whistles the aching of an endless complaint I want to see you again. I would like to unwind you or wind you The way your arms the hair standing up You insist on squandering sanity for sunflowers They are your favorite Slow-motion everywhere I am not used to concessions but my arms reach out–
By Annelie Hyatt
I press a paint brush against the shark’s exposed skin creamy blues and greens rubbed into its lined, ancient denticles Its fins are cut off and my hands recoil, washed in its oil fumbling I reach for a sheet of rice paper to cover its body a mask for the dead, perhaps or proof of its existence — or maybe it was I who wanted to preserve its memory, hold it soft in my young hands press rice paper to its flesh and pull up, higher a painted spectacle of blues and greens but there isn’t an inside, no cavity for a soul I search for life in places I can’t find it a corpse of pigment, my trembling hands, trying to remember what I lost
By Sylvie Epstein
I cannot walk and sip something hot all and once And so instead Of stopping on delancey Once
By the time I sit down on
Navy blue linoleum char
I carry soggy paper bag and my palm Is sticky White plastic looks like the 3rd grade watercolor I made in North Hollywood He rolls his eyes But I cannot walk and also sip something hot
Again, Next tuesday
By Gaby Edwards
We are striding down Magnolia in the waning afternoon, a wide, boring, and flat boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. Everything is beige: all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurants, smoke shops, burrito stands, parched grassy front yards, boxy apartment buildings. The wind is whipping down the street, stirring up overflowing garbage into miniature trash tornadoes: baby vortexes swirling with ripped coffee cups, straw wrappers, napkins, and soiled plastic bags. Cars are streaming up and down; we shriek over squeaky brakes and rumbling engines. How can we stay quiet?
By Elysa Caso-McHugh
You keep telling us, The world is not safe for us.
But you always refuse to tell us why:
This elephant in the room Takes up more space than I have to Breathe.
Quite honestly, I’m tired of trying to.