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From Richard Siken:

November 18, 2017

I looked at all the trees and didn’t know what to do.

A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.

Detail of the Woods



From Elizabeth Metzger:

November 13, 2017

I am going through the language of me now.

I am flipping open the dictionary of myself
with my tongue, as if that were possible,
to find your first word.

In the torture of a foyer
doorless for entering, I am entering none.

Won Exit


From Alex Manley:

November 10, 2017

What do you do
when the high priests have hung up their mitres, when
the shepherd crooks have all gone straight, when the
curtain is torn, the covenant broke, the tithes spilled all
across the tiles? Which parishes do you frequent, whose
statutes do you study, whose name is on your lips when
you self-flagellate? To whom do you whisper your death
bed confession, alone in the dark, lying atop a certain hill,
bleeding on a certain throne of thorns? What do you do
when the sky opens?



From Sarah Carson:

November 8, 2017

I’m growing another body.
The lady who does the ultrasounds says
it’ll be a girl like me.
I’m trying to teach her there are men
who sleep at three in the morning
and men who can’t,
but that a door is something that opens–
I’m trying to teach her that even a deadbolt
is still a kind of hope.

Six Reasons I Can’t Answer the Door for You at Three in the Morning


From Richard Siken:

November 2, 2017

My dragonfly,
my black-eyed fire, the knives in the kitchen are singing
for blood, but we are the crossroads, my little outlaw,
and this is the map of my heart, the landscape
after cruelty which is, of course, a garden, which is
a tenderness, which is a room, a lover saying ‘Hold me
tight, it’s getting cold.’ We have not touched the stars,
nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it.

Snow and Dirty Rain


From Kiki Petrosino:

October 31, 2017

Some of my ghosts are planets.
Not bright. Not young.
Spiraling deep in the dusk of my body
as saucers or moons
pleased with their belts of colored dust
& hailing no others.

Ghosts, after Anne Sexton


From Anne Sexton:

October 28, 2017

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

Her Kind


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