I want to squat, bend deep
to the river stones in the apartment building yard
I pass daily and notice rarely.
Where did they get you?
Smooth edges say stream,
rich color says near here where soil oozes red.
Where did they get you?
The last quotidian fig tree I knew
lived in a different blood-earthed world
where mangrove roots elbowed a dirt road.
Your roots, fig tree, buckle cement
but my winter boots know the bumps by now.
Three tiny cuts on my fingertips, an onion knife,
hot burns that extract a cry
and cold metal turning me red
where my freezer gloves slip,
red also where cotton unsticks.
Housewives report increased clumsiness during menstruation.
What a misstep – to think I almost drank down
the water in which my friend
rinsed and soaked her cat-mauled hand,
watering witch thoughts,
familiar mug darkened with blood
and forgotten on the countertop.
I’m back. I walk and imagine the order form:
make the rocks smooth, check box
for a round and homogenous grain.
Enough for a layer forty feet square.
I didn’t see until one was out of place
how they probably came from running water.
Luella Allen-Waller is a marine biology PhD student in Philadelphia. She likes to play with sea anemones and big microscopes, and writes poetry while procrastinating on data analysis. This is her first published work, scientific or poetic, though she would like to note that the two practices are more similar than they seem. You can connect with her on Twitter for sporadic coral biology and conservation thoughts and on Instagram for incurable lake lust and a little more interiority.
After Alex Vigue
I think I’m obsessed with Helen Hunt. Really, I’m mostly obsessed with the movie “Twister,” her
white tank top and its magnetic force on Bill Paxton. Her hair, caged lightning, running a
mothership of misfits. The thrust of love extends beyond the science of our shared nature.
Helen Hunt does not lift you up. No rom-com silhouette sex breath, she is all business. I long for
Helen Hunt in the way you miss the hardness of a familiar bed after a hotel. How it was
desirable in the 90’s to be less feminine – rough and tumble tornado chaser, mud-spattered,
brazen. I saw myself too late in a mirror meant for other girls. The flip-flop of the 2000’s to midriff and bubblegum lips took me in an unkind hand and whispered a funeral for Helen Hunt. Left adrift in the new millennium I could only pray at the altar of plain girls, only wish, in my boy
clothes and head-down headphones to be as brave as Helen Hunt. Rising above the weather to
become the storm.
Tiffany is working hard on her dream of writing. Her work is published or forthcoming in Okay Donkey, Collective Unrest, Rabid Oak and The Mantle among others. She loves tea and cats and can be found on Twitter.
when a cliché
Anne Leigh Parrish
when a cliché, she’s wily,
crazy as a fox
in her foxy coat
of her own fur
she escapes the brush,
crosses the road,
cut by hunger’s knife
to seek the fleeing prey
when a cliché, the
a gentleman farmer
slows his late-model rig
to spare her thieving life,
for his game of golf
he marvels at
her leap into
her drive just to live
and not be seen
Anne Leigh Parrish's fifth novel, A Winter Night, will be published in April 2021 by Unsolicited Press. Previous titles are: Maggie’s Ruse, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2019); The Amendment, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2018); Women Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By the Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel, (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories, (Press 53, 2011). Her short fiction has recently appeared in New Pop Lit, The Slag Review, and O:JA&L. Recent poems have appeared in Mocking Heart Review, Crow Literary Review, S/tick, Wilde Boy, Feminine Collective, and 34thParallel Magazine. She lives among the evergreen trees in the South Sound region of Washington State.
You can find more of her work on her social media and website: