The poems that follow explore heavy themes.
I have made an effort to identify content warnings.
When I was reading for this issue, I was struck by a common thread, as often happens. In the process of finding happiness, so many of us spend periods painfully adrift. Some of that is by circumstance. Some of that is by choice. All of it must be addressed, plainly. All it must be engaged.
My hope is that this issue will be what it needs to be. A torch. A mirror. A path forward.
At the start of a new year, take time to reflect. We do it together.
THE DESTINATION IS IMPORTANT TOO
Little kids have to be allowed
to touch themselves
if they are to grow up to be adults
who know how they
want to be touched.
Purity is overrated.
Orgasms are much better.
Do Not Become a Drug Addict during a Global Pandemic
Starved of opiates, my wounded body skins itself,
sheds its snakeskin and sweats in the humidity of
My cold English bedroom. Buttery roses curl up the
walls and prick me when I sleep. There is something
Inside my calves – gnawing, gnawing. My tongue wets
when I think of it.
Girls who taste like
tend to taste like
I used to want to be a pastor
I used to want to be a pastor
before I knew that girls weren’t allowed to be pastors
and that was like rule number four
(one) don’t kill,
(two) don’t steal,
(three) don’t worship not-God,
(four) and don’t let girls be pastors.
from then on a parable
meant a flashlight under the chin and marshmallow laughter,
and how great thou art on the same playlist
as (see recommended:) weird al yankovic
Your favourite green
Lucy Elizabeth Allan
Your favourite green is the moss that grows dirty and rank on a dead tree, and makes you shiver
with awful delight when your fingers brush over it, like being dared to touch a snail –
even though you touch them willingly, take them by the shell and lift them,
suction cup, from the ground,
holding them in the air for a moment to take in their ugliness and their subtle texture,
before setting them down in the palm of your hand.
You hold them sweetly, like you would a little mouse or a baby bird
if you could get your hands on either of those things,
just to let it know that you aren’t disgusted by it,
just to give it a little skin to skin contact, like an infant needs from its mother,
just because nobody will if you won’t.
You see the green in it, and it sees the green in you.
Hook x Line x Sinker
to the boy that threw me into the ocean
and told me that it was my own fault
if i drowned
for not being able to swim well enough—
thank you for teaching me
that sometimes, treading water
and staying alive is plenty.
(ps. fuck you.)
sometimes we need an intro
to get to the conclusion,
but sometimes we only have a body
& sometimes we only have a spot
of blood on new underwear,
& no bleach in sight
Notes On Waiting For The Train To Take Me Away
The fields are brown.
The guy next to me is mumbling ‘Pure Imagination’ to himself, out of tune.
The sky looks like dishwater ten plates into a big wash.
The train is running three minutes behind.
There’s a chimney giving off smoke, but it goes sideways like it can’t be arsed
The joyous announcement of a sixty miles per hour zone is undercut by
A woman in the car park waves at someone on the platform. No one waves
I sit there and I don’t cry, because I can’t, and I wonder if there’s something
wrong with me.