Sugar Says
January 29, 2013, 7:40 am
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rumpus



Non-Sonnet for Telling You Everything -Betsy Wheeler
January 29, 2013, 7:17 am
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Like how high banjo trills make me go electric.
Like how charity. Like how gold.
Like I’d like to take you in and feed you a little
sweet milk. Like you’d mind, but I’m so
tired of honesty like California fault lines.
Like how this is the big moment.
Like, now.
Like how cuteness rules the dating quadrants.
Like how sexy. Like when I say you look good
in white linen, I mean sheets. Like I’d like to
rob your booty bank. Like how I’d take my
winnings to the grave.



Cybele -Miranda Field
January 28, 2013, 1:24 pm
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She shows me on her own long torso:
how the metal plugs latch on,
a little roughly, but not so sudden
as to frighten the cow and stop the milk.
The apparatus needn’t be beloved, it’s unequivocal,
the sucking’s rhythmic, mechanical.
This is how it’s really done
on distant farms, in agricultural zones.
A novel taught me
how to make an udder flow:
form an okay sign with finger and thumb,
collapse the o’s soft rim, trapping
the teat and pulling, as on a bell-pull
or school-girl’s pigtail. But you must be
on your knees, you must be no
machine, you must be close to straw
and creaturely.



After -Molly McCully Brown
January 28, 2013, 7:27 am
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The girls in the parking lot behind the Chevron have just
smoked their first cigarettes, and were not clumsy at it.

Each one assumed she would be: that she would fumble
with the lighter, struggle just to get the tip to flame,
then drag too deeply on the thing between her fingers.

Each one thought she’d need to turn her face away
to cough into the evening,
the asphalt, the gutter filled with straw wrappers and Sweetbay
magnolia petals. So each girl,

when she brings the cigarette up to her mouth, is surprised
to find it only stings her throat a little, not even as much as her father’s gin,
not even as much as the sip she takes in plain sight and is allowed to enjoy.
They are all more thrilled by the pennies of low light

cast on their hands than any of the rest of it.
They smoke the cigarettes all the way down,
because they feel like they should, and then, already casual,
put them out with the heels of their boots.

One gathers her hair at the nape of her neck, lifts it up and pins it high
and loose, like honeysuckle spilling over the fences, another runs the rough moon
of her fingernail along her lip and laughs, and the third is already moving

toward a pickup truck. She turns back to wave,
her whole body sudden and shining in the headlights.

In the morning, each one will discover it:
in her hair, in the ditch
of her collarbone, in the soft globe of her mouth,
and marvel at how slow it is to leave her.



syrup & honey
January 24, 2013, 6:03 pm
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Kingdom Animalia -Aracelis Girmay
January 24, 2013, 7:54 am
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When I get the call about my brother,
I’m on a stopped train leaving town
& the news packs into me—freight—
though it’s him on the other end
now, saying finefine

Forfeit my eyes, I want to turn away
from the hair on the floor of his house
& how it got there Monday,
but my one heart falls
like a sad, fat persimmon
dropped by the hand of the Turczyn’s old tree.

I want to sleep. I do not want to sleep. See,

one day, not today, not now, we will be gone
from this earth where we know the gladiolas.
My brother, this noise,
some love [you] I loved
with all my brain, & breath,
will be gone; I’ve been told, today, to consider this
as I ride the long tracks out & dream so good

I see a plant in the window of the house
my brother shares with his love, their shoes. & there
he is, asleep in bed
with this same woman whose long skin
covers all of her bones, in a city called Oakland,
& their dreams hang above them
a little like a chandelier, & their teeth
flash in the night, oh, body.

Oh, body, be held now by whom you love.
Whole years will be spent, underneath these impossible stars,
when dirt’s the only animal who will sleep with you
& touch you with
its mouth.



dream in which you survive and in the morning things are back to normal -Aricka Foreman

except, I found tufts of fur at the foot of
the bed _____my muscles bruised beneath
cracked bone _____I thought we were walking
through the woods ___ standing not-close
enough while I tried to find something to pull
from my mouth _____ something that would make
sense ___the ease in which my love for
almost everything folds into itself hard with
waiting _____there was salt in your eyes
my nail beds ached, dull at first ___my mouth
burned with iron ____a small guttural noise
kept spilling __and you ran and wouldn’t stop
_______ and you wouldn’t even turn back