Issue #46

The Blackbird

Lorelei Bacht

A cloud abandons.

An end comes to me

in its embrace of light:

I welcome colour.

Is it spring, summer, cherries?

Begin here, begin

now, with him,

with the blackbird

of delight renewed:

plucking every single red.

It is morning still,

time to redo your hair,

step into the river,

the busy street.

Wherever you are

is where we start.

Lorelei Bacht (she/they) is currently running out of ways to define herself, and would like to reside in a tranquil, quiet form of uncertainty for a while. Her recent work has appeared and/or are forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, Visitant, The Wondrous Real, Abridged, Odd Magazine, Postscript, PROEM, SWWIM, Strukturriss, The Inflectionist Review, Hecate, and others. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and on Twitter @bachtlorelei

Dear za'atar,

JSA Lowe

Intermediary, I loll in bed at 3 pm and eat raspberries. Not much longer now. While you are across the Atlantic trying to scratch out of your skin, seraphic, molten wax, heat feathered and muffled, do they hear you scream (tit pic, eczema). That you think of me as harmless is my privilege. Cheek roughened red from sleep against the pillow slip, nothing is okay, forty days in a room, nothing will be, I know your tubercular wedding tastes, I know enough to know (eau de nil, celadon) what is not for me (monkhood, a child, reciprocity). I can be calm. When the porn star comes (daughter of the Buddhist priest) she reaches up to draw down, kiss her lover (with her face still slick). We seek to connect in all our trials. In the movie when the world ends, she says urgent to the driver Let me out here,I need to be with my family. Who is yours, little shatterbolt, little ibis, egret, ushabti, blue cinnamon, phoenix, quasar, ripple of light, soprano prism, harmonics, overtones, rainstorm, blurred rapier, inbox I abuse, advantage I take, luck I push, little foxfire, phos phorescence, gleamed dreamer, driven, impatient to be photons, little redolence, glazed tanzanite, prosecco in a slipper, poisoned thorn, ball lightning, little outrage, little maze?

JSA Lowe's poems have appeared most recently in DIAGRAM, GASHER, Hobart, Salt Hill Journal, Superstition Review, Third Coast, and Versal, as well as previously in AGNI, Black Warrior Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Harvard Review, and Salamander. Her chapbooks DOE and Cherry-emily were published by Particle Series Books and Dancing Girl Press. She has a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston, where she currently teaches. She is the founder of Samsara Press, and she lives on Galveston Island. Find her at

Things We Took to Paradise

Rachel Hughes

sharpened shears

dried lavender

thick socks

silk slips

oil (for hair)

oil (for face)

oil (for dripping onto each other’s backs)

watercolors bleeding over bound paper

a book full of bloodied pages

sheets (to lie on)

sheets (to lie under)

sheets (to bind our well-loved dead)

knives with filigreed handles

forks with three tines

wooden spoons with deep bellies

stones to rub against a callus

moss for when I need to lie you down



towers of ice

a drop of sweat I caught on my tongue

blankets for when our skin isn’t enough

my breath

my lips sucking a bruise onto your wrist

hot coals

dried fruit

our fingers woven like a basket holding everything that we own

Rachel Hughes is an artist of Afro-Caribbean descent, a daughter of an immigrant, a woman who had a type of boyhood, and an expert at savoring delights. She is a writer, poet, playwright, visual artist, and stage performer whose work has appeared in The Vernal Arts & Music Festival, FringePVD, Talking Bodies, and more. Her short stories have been published in The City & The Sea Anthology and online at Soar For Harriet and The Bookwoman. Rachel can be found at and on instagram @croyland