Issue #39

Kids on Bikes

Claudia Schatz

We fuck like kids on bikes in summertime

who loop and whoop barelegged in the street

with neon candy tongues, peach-mango-lime,

and salty skin slicked over in the heat.

As wheels cast flower shadows on concrete

when pedaled quick and breathless with delight,

so we make curving shapes upon the sheets,

soft movements, limbs and skin all limned with light.

No landing place we need to reach by night,

we amble, sweet meandering, no rush.

Exchanging calls of left, and wrong, and right,

we turn unhurried circles, dizzy, flushed.

The pavement pulls us past where we have gone

to ride until the streetlights flicker on.

Claudia Schatz (she/hers) lives in New Haven, CT, where she reads, writes, and makes the storytelling podcast Rearview. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Euphony Journal, Artifex Magazine, Five on the Fifth, The Hamilton Stone Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and Blue Earth Review. She is training for a triathlon. Find more of her work here.

Rebounding from the rebound

Magdeline Maher

I’m trying to put as many bodies as possible between us after you broke sitcom rules and I was the dumpee when you were supposed to be my rebound. I texted my ex “I love you” and he left me on read before responding “Miss you”: that motherfucker always gets the last word. I rode a Colombian girl’s face because she has dark curly hair and wears a gold chain like you do, and when she asked how she could make me cum, it was all I could do to not say: “You could be a greedy coward who doesn’t care about me: that always gets me off.” Instead I made her leave and made myself a stiff vodka martini before having a white boy in love with me over to lick me out that same night but he suggested I reciprocate so I kicked him out too.

Later I let a Mother-Approved Muslim buy me curried cauliflower and cocktails before he took me to his condo and revealed piercing ribs that dug into my abdomen and he sucked my titties with the zeal of a man starving and who could only be nourished by the milky desperation of Woman on The Perpetual Rebound and I grow incredibly bored of my own melodrama. I think about you all the time and I hate myself for it I leave diary entries unfinished and exit my own thoughts halfway through self-aware that you are an infatuation, not a crush not a love but not self-aware enough to know what to do about it. Instead I cry in my building’s communal laundry room and binge eat chocolate protein bars in the apartment my best friend rearranged for me so it’s like you were never here. I take multiple showers every day and use medical-grade exfoliant so it’s like you never touched me. Then I sit cross-legged on my living room floor, lit joint in hand, phone in the other, swiping through Hinge to find my next rebound.

Magdeline Maher is a writer from the deep South. She has written about masculinity, technology, and ethics in various academic outlets and her creative writing has appeared in Underground Journal and elsewhere. In her free time, Magdeline likes to read, hike, and seek the silver linings. You can find her on Instagram here, and check out the poem-themed Spotify playlist that accompanies this piece here.