Issue #2

what to wear

Mia Wright

in my woman body, i wear

strangeness like a garment.

burdenbreasts buckling construction.

this corporeal petrichor, a malachite

orchid, a dry velour tongue stretched

stone-brown with memory. in my

man body, i am white. my hair an

alarm of silk knives, a mouth made

of fists. my penis is quiet, a red alien

hissing low for violence. my torso is

part razor, part roller skate. this form

achtung, weapon ready-cocked, aim

bathed and fed the same, a diet of

conquered flesh –

Mia Wright is an Oklahoma native, single parent, and seer. Her poems have appeared in This Land, Word Riot, The Girl God, Watershed, and some restaurant napkins. Wright was a finalist for the 2004 Grolier Poetry Prize and earned an MFA in Poetry from Boise State University.

Read more of her work on her blog or find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Notes on blood

Audrey Gidman

when it came I sat /against the wall/ with / the ache in me / let it slide / down in hot globs / let it stick / to the soft /of my thigh / I thought / of sopping it / up & / keeping it / gone / but I wanted / to see / myself

falling / out

/ in wet

/ red

/ tongues

Audrey Gidman is the 2018 recipient of the Elyse Wolf Prize and author of the chapbook, body psalms, forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. Her work can be found in mutiny! magazine, Confrontation, Slippery Elm, The Rush, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington.


Chani Zwibel

Strange half memories of ancient goddesses worshipped in ancient temples, fine figures of marble, sly cold smile of the goddess, milky and pale the moon.

I could write of her, down through corridors of forever, cold in her beauty, soothing, cool pillow on a sticky summer night.

Fragrant with cypress and rose in the old groves where once sandals brushed dry earth in falling dusk, going outside to pillars of a sacred place.

While not so lofty or picturesque, the mimosa shrub, grown into a plump tree, squatting on my suburban lot’s western corner, twining trunk and branches through the metal fence, still creates a kind of leafy shelter, wreathed in tropical blooms, calling to butterflies in summer.

An altar of stacked stones collects offered scattered bird feathers, acorns, little flowers, and pebbles collected from walks.

Peering around the landscape of a modern neighborhood are ancient, strange faces, half remembered, half buried, from out of archaeology.

They inspire deep dreams, and a wild wandering.

Dressed in purple hoodie and grey sweatpants, today’s modern answer to dress and cloak, and underneath it, swinging like nature made them, breasts unbound from man’s design, no bra, nor corset.

I walk out to the crossroads with three halved pomegranates.

Not to summon, not to bargain, but to acknowledge in gratitude,

Hecate, key holder, gatekeeper, dark mother:

Thank you for your message from the underground, here are these red fruits, glowing in the quick-sinking gloaming.

Another rainy dusk, as I walk my dog, large, lithe, grey-blue canine,

I walk under tree-lined roads, hearing the highway’s roar beyond, and a motorcycle thunders some deep-voiced response to the shriller calls of the crow.

I hear her voices answering me.

Chani Zwibel is the author of Cave Dreams to Star Portals. She is an associate editor with Madness Muse Press. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now dwells in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and their dog. She co-hosts an open mic night called Poetry and Palette once a month at The Good Acting Studio in Marietta. Find her on Facebook.