Issue #4

    I Took the Day, Entire

    Barbara Lawhorn

    I took the entire day.

    I took the day, entire

    and entirely kissed

    the length of its neck,

    silvered it with my saliva.

    The wind galloped the leaves

    of my tangled hair. I wore

    clothes, but the breeze

    was the day’s fingers

    skating and skirting

    hems, crawling up

    my shirt, cooling

    the sweat pooling

    in my belly button.

    That place of tethered birth.

    I baptized my own finger there.

    How wanton this age-blasted body.

    My thoughts crawl in the dirt

    with the fire ants and alight,

    a-trembling and a-hovering--

    oil-prismed coven of hummingbirds.

    The wanting in me is a second mouth,

    agape. The longing? I expected age

    to temper it, but all my years are simply

    a new and lengthened tongue, testing

    a litany of words, seeking the one, the ones,

    it truly hungers and has the taste for.

    Barbara Lawhorn is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University where she co-advises SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace, now in its fifth year. She's into literacy activism, walking with her dog, Banjo, baking and eating pie, adventuring, and finding the wild places, within herself and outside in the world. Her most recent work can be found at Poetry South, Flash Fiction Magazine, High Shelf Poetry, and forthcoming in White Wall Review. Her favorite creative endeavors are her kids, Mars and Jack.

    You can find her on Instagram @barbara.c.lawhorn and Twitter @BarbaraCLawhorn

    The Things Joan of Arc said to me from the bookcase

    Elizabeth Sackett

    She tells me of the virgin sounds:

    the holy hollow vowels

    soft and bright and full of ache.

    Her only portrait

    was speculation. She was

    the idea of flowing hair.

    A sacred sword a river

    of holy mother heart.

    I only know the shelled whisper

    of a page or two, and the strong

    touch of bookcase and the statues

    sitting up and down the halls

    like bouncers at a garden.

    She says the way wind

    folds a morning curtain

    is something to keep in your pocket.

    Should I keep this statue inside

    of me? I ask. There’s an alien

    angel in my skull. I’m afraid

    of loving more than lovers. I hold swords

    to my mouth for the taste of blood

    more than the conviction.

    Joan seduced men into awe

    and chastity. Her beauty gave them bricks

    as they silently curled around

    battles, touchless.

    She was young and still

    and strong as a valley, wasn’t she?

    I ask this of the paper

    spines and words

    emboldened to the sound

    of empty spaces.

    I was a child, she says.

    I was a child.

    Elizabeth Sackett is a Long Island-based poet and performer with a special interest in theology, mythology, and perception. Her work can be found in Neon Literary Magazine, Wild Musette, Relief Journal, Subprimal Poetry Art and Visitant, among other places. 

    You can find her on Instagram @changeling_fae and on her website


    Caitlin Andrews

    It was just five letters once, a black dot far from home

    Now I unearth a world from the papery intersecting lines

    Flat demarcations transmuting into shape and form

    Springing up as skyscrapers and rustling palms in a curve of salty wind

    Penetrating sun and monsoon sting ravages skin exposed

    Hot and chilled and humid and heavy and damp

    The city goes on for miles, millions in a matrix of concrete and aching heat

    Flat grid Little Havana South Beach Irish bars tango and salsa and sex

    But there is only one of you.

    I am sweating all the time.

    Under arms damp

    Black is the only color that won’t stain

    The birth control turns my upper lip into a dark brown line

    I cut off my ponytail

    I hate the clammy feeling of open pores on my neck scraping against hair

    Sometimes I am more boy than woman

    I trade in skirts for pants

    Spreading my legs on the metro-rail seat

    I want to take up more space

    More of your time, without apologizing

    I ask you to read my skin, find the compass

    Connect the dots on the skin-speckles with the soft pads of your fingers

    Share my breath in the shower steam

    Sweat with me until we are slick and humming

    M/I/A am I

    Falling helplessly for a city that rejects my body

    While I am helpless for your body

    My longing curbed only by the knowledge that you are within reach

    That in this moment I am enough

    And the world is still and your breath is hot in my mouth and I don’t know if this feeling will

    ever come back so I draw you closer

    Odours buzzing in ecstasy

    I never want to stop sweating.

    Caitlin Andrews is a storyteller, arts educator, illustrator, and travel enthusiast from Baltimore, Maryland. Her research interests include Irish socio-political histories and explorations of gender, which have manifested in the form of mirco-fiction, essays, and two novel manuscripts. She is currently fully-funded at the University of Miami, where she is obtaining her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction. 

    You can find her on Instagram @edgarallenbro_