Issue #45

*Trigger Warning: the next poem mentions child sexual abuse*

your dad should come with a trigger warning

Hannah Kludy

it’s a sunday and you’re watching football at your parent’s house

eating chili packed with cheddar cheese and saltines

your team is winning and you say i bet

my neighborhood will be losing it right about now

your dad says be careful

a woman not six blocks from you was dragged

from her porch while reading a book

and raped in her own backyard

you think holy shit

here i am eating chili and that’s what you fucking say to me

carry your mace he says like you ever get to forget

you want to ask him if you should stop reading books outside too

but you can’t

instead you’re with that woman

head pressed into manicured lawn

your bookmark lost somewhere between the porch and your back gate

heavy breathing in your ear

your dad says be careful you hear

wind chimes ringing and dogs barking just three yards away

Hannah Kludy writes most mornings and edits for Nocturne Magazine. Her work has been published in magazines such as Neuro Logical Literary Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, and Variety Pack. Follow her on Twitter at @KludyHannah.

what is not named

(or, Lady Macbeth on the rag)

Devon Ora

I check my phone after Act III

to find my brother has taken his wife

to the emergency room for a CAT scan

please pray, he says, and the ghost of myself

rises, accuses me of the treason

of agnosticism, which is the word

for when you no longer have words with God

(spell check chides,

do you mean Agnus Dei?)

I was once accused of being a witch

by a man of God who feared

a book written by a woman

this is a story I tell at parties

to remind myself of the stakes

at curtain, from a dry stage

the dead rise and bow

forgoing applause I check for news

who would it satisfy,

the amen I can't say?

heeding my body’s small voice

I reach inside myself where once

something divine almost spoke

a comfort, somehow:

this handful of hot blood

Devon Ora teaches writing in the Mountain West and is still an undercover queer in Bibleland. You can find her work in Contrary Magazine. Follow her on twitter here and instagram here.

Full Arms

Angeline Schellenberg

The gum-smacking receptionist who lets it slip

that the embryo in the ultrasound is just right

for six weeks gestation; I’ve been pregnant for twelve.

The maternity nurse with the voice like a snare drum—

not boy or girl: tissues decomposing—

as she stretches a sheet across the bed.

The anesthetic dream of a tiny blonde

scaling cloud-shaped arms.

The nervous intern who misses

my vein, flooding the flesh

around my elbow with labour-inducing fluid.

The swelling that never

touched my belly.

Angeline Schellenberg’s collection of linked poems about raising children on the autism spectrum, Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick Books, 2016), won three Manitoba Book Awards and was a finalist for a ReLit Award. In 2019, she published three chapbooks and was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year. Angeline hosts Speaking Crow—Winnipeg’s longest-running poetry open mic. Her latest book is Fields of Light and Stone (University of Alberta Press, 2020). She enjoys talking to dogs and eating other people’s baking.