Tag Archives: tbp

Iota Difference

by A. N. Irvano

I am sitting here
on cam girls
watching people
how they are
watching me
“you ok?”
comes up on
the chat screen
“you look paler
than usual”

As a little girl
I drew lines
on my thighs
whispering to a God
“this is where
I want my body
to be gone”

As a little girl
I told someone I was anorexic
they asked how many
meals I ate
a day
two meals a day
was too much to them

I eat no meals now
one of my customers said,
women have better orgasms,
I ask if they know
that men
have better opportunities
so who wins



by A. N. Irvano

It scares me
to talk about
my ex is
because young
girls listen to his
or maybe because
I still do—

I reminded him
that it hurt when
he wrote an album
about the end of us
I wish you had stayed—

had asked him if he
had meant
he wished I
had stayed
I had
never left

Every I Love You Lied Through Your Teeth

by Sarah Frances Moran

Within your image of me
I am frozen
A masterpiece prodigy
and you have no regrets

I’m forever beautified and brilliant
inside your eyes
And I’m drowning
while you waft by dreaming
of a picture-perfect me
that lit up
every one of your sick fantasies
And that… deifies me, doesn’t it?

A small sector of a religion
Powerful I guess,
I needed to feel so craved

You cherished that glorious girl
legs wide-spread
expressionless but wide-eyed
and paranoid
Your award winning brain polaroid recorded

You’ll die thinking of me

Your old man, young boy
wet dream


by Mike Jewett

We fall hunting for laurels,

our purple bruises
into rose hips.

Our silversmith rings lose their fingers,
cracked irreparable.

Our lives of lavish luxury
lives as lapis lazuli.

The banks of the Ipswich
call out:

silhouettes behind birch bark.

how we used to swim
her waters;

tread her auric ebb?
We aim at deer, at ripening

persimmons. They chew
the fruit pretty.

We aim at killdeer.
Kiss a wasp.

We were dead fireworks
under Laniakea eyes.

As midnight, we are
films noir:

we imagine fucking
Lauren Bacall from behind,

speaking and kissing in tongues,
her mouth tasting

of unfiltered smoke,
breathing the snow

down her rose hips.

We stuff the stuff of nightmares
into a cardboard box.

We howl at solar winds and polar vortexes.
We are a vesica; both/and.

We fall hunting for laurels,
adolescent pulsars with persimmon eyes.

I like a woman with scars

by Eleanor Franzen

I like a woman with scars

they give her an air of mystery
this was said to me by a friend’s father,
a man perhaps thirty years older than I was,
his eyes stroking the scar down the side of my nose,
caressing that perfect broken skin that followed exactly the line of the bone.

you need a better story than that
how can any scar-story be improved?
it has already given you this: skin-child, flesh-cradled.
let no one ever tell you
you need a better story.

instead of hurting myself I dream of being found

with red silk lines slipping down my arms like a nightdress
with the mark of the wolf on my breast and belly
with the point of the knife at my throat

scars are history’s sigils
the last time I made love to someone new, I wanted him to see
two thin white curving lines on my chest. he did
and asked exam stress? and I said no
he said a boy? I said yes
and having made myself that melancholy woman,
won the prize.


by Claudia Lee

I wonder how you look
5 in the morning
Tousled in your sheets
If the red-crested cardinal chirps
outside your window too
And if the dawn
makes you feel lonely

like how it makes me
Does the silence trouble you?
Does it make you wish
I were there in your cocoon of blankets?
Does the subtle light
through the cracks of the curtain
make you love the yin yang
of the outside white
and the inside black

Hunting for the Aurora

by David Atkinson

A coronal mass ejection
caused me to wake my son
at a quarter past midnight,
on a school night,
and wrap up him carefully,
to shut out the cold,
to keep an cosmic appointment
with electrons, plasma, and protons
that had travelled a hundred million miles
to meet us.

At Magheracross
we huddled for an hour,
hats pulled down, coats zipped up,
squinting at the horizon
for green, and red, and blue
arcs and curtains spiralling to the pole.
The groundswell of a distant
Atlantic storm, searching for a shore,
slammed on the cliff below,
and we saw nothing.

Then we stopped
looking north,
and looked up,
and I gave him Orion,
and he gave me the Plough,
and I gave him Jupiter,
gifts that had travelled more than
one hundred million miles.

His last words
before he fell asleep,
“If it was easy to find
it wouldn’t be so special”.