I overturn the plastic basket as a child would
a bucket of sand on the beach.
Dry, the clothes topple, jumble
across the king-size bed.
I rake, rummage and separate. Fold
boxers once. Jeans in three.
The collective noun for socks
should be a tyranny. I ball them.
Knickers I toss, a chaos
of spiralled elastic.
I stretch for the pile’s furthest borders,
A reunion of socks! Last year
this pair was smaller, these colours
brighter. I did not own this top.
This fabric, these casings
I curate. A sock, a vest,
Katie Jenkins (she/her) lives in Gloucestershire, England, with her husband and son. She has poetry in print withEveryman’s Library in theirPocket Poets series and Acid Bath Publishing in theirWage Slaves anthology. She has poems online or forthcoming withFloodlight Editions, Twist in Time, The Poetry Bus andSonic Boom. Her travel writing about diving with sharks in Fiji has featured in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. She has a creative writing diploma with distinction from Oxford University. Find her on Twitter @liljenko
I want to write my brother
Jessi Fuller Fields
I want to write my brother
like Natalie wrote her Aztec,
but I can’t & I can’t & I can’t
so I write the same line
on a dozen pages
How do I write my brother
Do I decant his life slowly?
Pour the horilka out steady-wristed
Steady fisted, two hands to hold
The door of an orphanage closed?
or maybe a story should start at the end,
our end being Queerness & how he said:
Jessi, you’re the straightest person I know
to which I wanted to say: you don’t know me,
to which I wanted to add: you never have
here is the part where I must note, my brother
would offer you a chocolate if you sat next to him, then tell you: his name, his job, his birth country, he’d mention his three families & three lives,
that he hasn’t always liked mushrooms
that he doesn’t drink alcohol or like unknowns
What I’m trying to say here is that he is innocent & open.
What I’m trying to say is, he’s a helluva lot different than me
I want to write my brother like he is
not how I remember him, vague interlocutor
but as if the forty days between us were a covenant,
binding us to the same plane
Jessi Fuller Fields is a Queer poet and writer based in Sao Paulo Brazil. Her work deals with breaking silences and exploring generational traumas. Fields completed an MFA at Queens University of Charlotte in 2020. Her debut poem 'They were lost, they were found' appeared in Typehouse Magazine in September 2020. She has work upcoming in 8 Poems. Follow her on Instagram @jessi.fullerfields and Twitter @jfullerfields.
saint john's wort
i carved repent and atone into my legs and i still feel delinquency dribbling from my flesh. i press my favorite flower petals between sheets of wax in the heaviest book i own — the complete works of william shakespeare — my mom’s from college. o how he would laugh. there are more things in heaven and earth. it’s sometime in the seventies and my mom goes to college. she wears a beige turtleneck and too thick glasses and she thinks about being a psychology major and changes her mind at the last minute because of a little boy and a pair of high heels. my mother goes to class and she reads and pees in a sink and gets poured out into a bath tub on her birthday. its scotland in the second half of the century and everyone smokes and uses typewriters and probably wears those checkered chesterfield jackets that make me dream of mysteries and monocles. her european train card looks just like me and i wonder if she too felt like bloodletting. we aren’t even catholic but contrition is in our veins, maybe. there is a lump in her right breast that swallowed her every morning for two hours, a cathedral of wires and waiting rooms. it isn’t genetic, i will not inherit my church from her; but i have a swollen mass in my right breast, too — a phantom malady, a dreamt philosophy spouting in me, too.
Kate Wilson is the Associate Editor of TERSE. Journal, an Interview Correspondent with Half Mystic, and a Poetry Reader with Alien Magazine. Their work can be found at Pressure Gauge Press, Poets.org, and Parentheses Journal, among others. They cannot do a somersault, but they can be found on Twitter @pasta_slut.