Issue #28


Mery Concepción

my older sister was born blue

my mother tells me that she was turning blue right before she finally decided to

meet the world.

apparently, she was two weeks late and yet

I imagine she probably still felt it happened too soon.

thrust onto a pale hospital bed,

white-gloved hands smacking light into her.

I am still a child when my mother starts showing me that to make a hollow space in a body

means taking pains.

there is a spot in the middle of her c-section scar where the doctor’s hand must have slipped

when sewing her up

the scar has faded to a muted brown but she tells me that the stuck stitch still tugs at her


her body folding in on itself at a single point.

I’ve been told my sister was late

but I like to think she was biding her time,

making sure she got a chance to be blue

before it meant sadness, bruises,

a naïve sky.

if she was blue, then so was my mother.

hell, so am I.

Black women never stay that way long,

lest we forget we’ve got overdue lives.

Mery Concepción (she/her) is an Afro-Caribbean writer and poet based in New York City. Her work deals with themes of embodiment, Blackness, womanhood, family, (un)becoming, and healing. She hopes her work can make space for the messiness, and beauty, of our collective survival. You can probably find her on the A train, in a messy kitchen, or curled up with a book.


Katherine Hightower

Her memorial service

was the last day of summer,

everyone was handed

a loaf of bread

and a jar of kumquat jelly

as they left.

A turquoise collection

larger than New Mexico

divided between her


soon to be stored in shoeboxes

at the bottom of closets.

They smiled when we entered

in our mourning attire,

dusty worn out slip on shoes

and black pants two sizes too small

in the middle of August.

The ride home in the car with my dad

was silent.

I think I killed Aunt Jodie he said

and turned on the radio.

Katherine Hightower has done nothing of importance yet but hopes to soon.


Fox Auslander

androsterone tangs

pandemic mondays

and their fragile fridays,

the right hormones working

the wrong body ::

:: each night

i worm into

my pink bedsheet

cocoon and dream

emergence, some

kind of faggy little monarch


amber wings snagging updraft

home; o to be hailed

and fucked and turned to smolder

unknown and


dissolution gorgeous.

Fox Auslander is a non-binary poet hailing from Southwest Philadelphia. They are a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, a temporary shut-in, and probably happy. You can find their recent work in Feral Journal, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and Mineral Literary Magazine. Find them on Twitter @circumgender, or check out their new art and literary magazine @delicatelit.