Issue #16

Bar Fight

Haley Davis

Dewy phalangeal touch-cells, spreading and contracting like pupils revealed from eyelids or pores when the air changes and I walk through it after her, absorbing anything left in her wake by osmosis.

Pounding in the shallow, my palm is pulsing hints of cider against the wind outside, against the people outside our corner of the bar. Even my hands are buzzed.

When I look at her, or when I remember I’ve got my hand on her thigh, I spiral, cardiovascular, greet newborn stars with yawning pupils. If now were appropriate, I’d stand up to brag,

She’s got eyelashes a mile long, and I’m close enough to beg them to kiss my cheeks! but it isn’t.

I’m beating myself down into the seat we share, swatting cross-table accusations that we are somehow worse than anyone else. I tuck my nose into the cables of her shoulder’s knit cardigan, meeting my lips to a dip in the pattern. This is close to her skin, as close as I can get here. Tonight, it is enough to know her body is next to mine, benevolent and warm. We brace for blackeyes now and, later, I dream of violet pansy fields I’ll lip-plot across her body.

Haley Davis is a poet and occasional writer of other things from Arizona. Her writing concerns gender, apocalypse, nature, and how awesome and beautiful it is to be queer. Some of this work can be found in Boshemia Magazine, The Tunnels, and Arizona’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology. You can find Haley on Twitter: @haleythepoet


Stephanie Seabrooke

When the world ends I want to be draped over a display couch at Costco like the wholesale concubine I am. The wild eyed suburban refugees can have their way with me, running venal fingers along the keen edge of my femur and remarking on how few dents I have for a floor model. As the ash clouds roll in their 24 karat terror will split open the dark and I’ll be staring back with the hopeful smile of a dead girl on the news.

When the world ends I want to stay buried in my glittering boneyard for two thousand years like the languid summer ladies of Pompeii, their brains forged into shattered glass as lovers kneeled before them lapping flames from their feet. I’ll lay a curse on the tentacled mortals who dare to dredge me up and their children will thrash with fever and weep hot dollops of blood.

When the world ends I want it be written of me on the back of a bill, or a dirty window, or wherever else dreams are departed: She was never a good woman. But she knew what to pray for.

Stephanie Seabrooke lives outside Baltimore, MD. She tries to fit in writing between chopping vegetables, picking up dog poop, and staring out the window in a melancholy stupor. You can find her on Twitter @StephSeabrooke