By Zoe Kurland
That feeling of shame when you’re too fancy for the occasion
that “I am overdressed for this party, So much so that I can feel
the slick complications of my waist” feeling.
and the ways in which I’ve tapered
are crushing the cave where
why is Y a hook between legs why is X arms and legs
Clothes puddle at the foot of your bed.
an infinite stain shrinks, an anemone head
into dermal layers then fluid pools then
poof and cackle to melt
soft and wrinkled as
the wicked witch, I am
one more smudge
on your Ikea
Most things in me have a half life.
It began as a surmise on memory
but now it’s whatever goes inside.
yours or mine
By Hailey Broughton-Jones
Image: “Riffs on Real Time (1 of 10),” by Leslie Hewitt, 2006–2009.
What is the aspiration of progress?
Humanization as defined by the white man?
By his system, by his rules?
What is the end game?
Play the complacent fool?
By Yao Ong
Gosh, wind me up and bid my jaws
Pull into shape to gripe about the time
The time I glued my firm on that door
And left there a stubborn pale red stain
By Rebecca Brill
Image: “25 Years,” by Ezra Scott-Henning, 2016.
Summer evenings when no one is home, I make a point of eating pungent things. Sprawled on my bed, I eat stinky cheese, garlicky crackers, spicy mustard, and anchovies off a paper plate. I drink wine out of a plastic cup.
Image: “Untitled,” by Sara Wallace-Lee, 2016.
Emma Raddatz: How did you begin writing ‘leprosy,’ ‘lust,’ and ‘live’?
Rachel Godfrey: ‘lust,’ the one about the boy, Ivan, I started writing in December because I had sex with him at the end of September, and I tried to erase that that happened. So I started writing ‘lust’ slowly. It was very easy to write because the way I write is I, first, write out all my thoughts in a stream in my journal and then I turn it into something that’s fitting. ‘leprosy,’ I just wrote, it was a weird Saturday night, I was in the ST lab, and I didn’t want to do my work, that’s when I wrote that one. The last one, ‘live,’ I wrote like two days before I submitted it, I don’t know where it came from.
By Cornelia Channing
British author Helen Macdonald’s 2015 release H Is For Hawk takes a genre-defying leap into the mind of a woman unhinged as she copes with the unexpected death of her father. Part field guide and part elegy, the memoir follows the grief-stricken author on her quest to tame a Northern Goshawk, a large and notoriously bad-tempered hunting bird. The book is a parable of loss but also of reckoning, of the things that we do to heal ourselves. Macdonald, who harnessed a lifelong fascination for birds of prey, throws herself into the deep end when she adopts a wild 10 week old hawk. She turns off her phone. She falls off the map. Her relationship with the bird, Mabel, is fraught and intimate, forcing her to grapple with her grief, to give it shape.
By Danielle Cohen
There was nothing lean about it, because it was earth-shattering,
the way she tipped
her torso back, opened
her palm welcoming
all the energy of the universe and letting
it pulse through the feathers of her red dress,
(which leaned with her spine as it
curved into a backwards C, or a sideways U, depending
on how you look at it),
it was rich with color with rhythm with soul,
it was rich with zealous with sultry with bold,
it made everyone forget about the trumpets,
the trumpets with their shiny brass, and
the midnight hands that moved up and down those
polished buttons, but the trumpets,
those didn’t even matter because she,
she was the melody, the beat, and the lyrics, and her
pointed pumps held up the one leg,
the one leg she leaned back on as her outstretched arm kept
her balance, so she didn’t crash into the bar
that separated me from her,
and I watched from behind those six inches of wood,
over a motley set of
martini glasses, and
I leaned forward onto that bar
to watch her, and
the men leaned back on their chairs
to watch her, and
the martini glasses leaned back towards mouths,
their clear contents onto
desperate tongues, and
the whole room leaned
into the present and
tilted with her.