“Coming to” – Luke Swenson

Steel flashes softened by ascending fog above the rising waters there the bent white neck. Waves beating against porcelain walls. Swirl. Slant. Swish. Bubble. Rebubble. Turn. Huddled tight & permeable, what pink froth now lies exposed atop high places nestled in the valley’s gentle bushland cleft against fleshy cliffs at low water. Blood rushes to the damp head with a blink long & how & when tides rise up the chest & seep into the slits of the high drain. Ten pruned fingers against two slick knobs turn. Where does the inflow go now? What suction drains the black that now floods younder iris?

“wet leaf dance” – Hannah Kenyon Lair

i am the smell of rotting leaves and i am the moist soft ground beneath them. you are the joy in jumping and i, i am the rotting.   the sweet peace of falling asleep and forgetting this body rings with the wind like a chorus. will you tell me a story while i go?   you are the bright leaf’s dance as he falls from the tree and i am waking to watch the tree: yellower than the sun and much louder.   on mornings like these, i cannot distinguish between regret and gratitude. i think they must both swing wild in a banjo’s holler.   so i am missing wild brown hills and wild dogs and your voice. i am dreaming of sleepovers and of lives well built.   in these dreams, i meet friends in kindness and patience and i meet strangers with love.   in this...

“monster / creature” – Hannah Kenyon Lair

the words that i have to describe what happened here are not mine, have no value to me: slow dissolution before a rupture. the recognition of pain when the surge fades.   even now, i cannot feel. too frightened, or strong, or alone. all feeling lives in relation to you. how did you manage that, world-builder?   how does it feel to know you’re a god, a mother, a fleshy divinity? is speaking for you something sacred? or are you fertile like rotting fruit – pungent and profane?   ice floe or no, the tide rises. the memory of limbs quiets in the cool dusk. i am using only what you have given me. this is all that i have. daddy frankenstein, i am begging you: look me in the eyes and tell me   you don’t want me to live without you.