Issue 2.16

Whale Bones


The note in the cabin log
treats corpse like treasure—
“walk down beach
turn corner
you will find something

We walk down big beach
turn corner like tide and
watch for bears—

none; just
big bleached bones
slightly stinky, still
some skin.

We just

We wonder where the
in-between bits went and
Asa picks up white bone with
tendon, spins until I

Here lay bones
of body bones
of being and we
are spinning.


If you x-ray
whale fin
you see four


How long does it take to pick
big bones clean
and why do we want
to take them home?

Ariadne Will was born and raised in Sitka, Alaska. She is a student at Middlebury College in Vermont and loves eating ice cream in the rain. Her work has appeared in a variety of small-scale zines, including Selkie Zine, Andnother Zine, and Daylight Zine. She can be found on Instagram @squashpuree.

My mother isn’t dead but

My mother isn’t dead but
the hospital gown
is her wedding dress.
It reaches the floor
making a train
that you have to hold
so as not to trip the bride.
It’s tied and untied,
she’s naked for the first time
before her husband
in a private ceremony.
It’s not a virgin body anymore,
the proof
is the stains on the sheets
that the nurses wash
and put out to dry in the sun
so that the whole family sees.
She’s pure, washed with iodine, ready
for them to cut her body
into portions
like a glazed cake.
The dress barely covers
her deflated breasts
the steps she takes annulled
by the walker to which she clings
as to the hand of a first love,
the marks erased from her palms—
where’s the life-line now?
My mother sneezes
—something in her still shudders—
before getting in bed and tucking herself in
as if she were her own child.

Carla Chinski was born in Buenos Aires. She is a literary translator, researcher, and Art History graduate from the University of Buenos Aires. Canciones de cuna para mi madre is her first book of poems.

Jack Rockwell is a writer and translator from Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in Wilder Voice and Agora Magazine.

Taking It

I keep saying “1 cream, 1 sugar” even though I know it won’t taste right 
first thing in the morning without 2 of each.  And forget artificial sweetener.

First thing in the morning I pop up ready to roll but coffee is the birthright of
an American adult and mine is only satisfying if it tastes like steaming melted 

coffee ice cream, like sweetness is headed my way. By afternoon the day 
has become whatever it was meant to be and I can drink it black, bitter, 

and lukewarm. By then it’s just finishing the pot and if there is enough for
a boost of caffeine to get me past what ought to be nap time, all the better. 

When this is all over—or maybe today—I’m going to stop lying to the man 
at Dunkin Donuts and my self, because “2 cream, 2 sugars” is how I take it.


out of the dark, draped 
over gloved hands
screaming, singing

crumpled, curled 
folded, arched
vernixed, unvarnished
bare, bloody

we work so hard to forget
it begins this way

Heidi Mordhorst is the author of two collections of poetry for young readers (Squeeze: Poems from a Juicy Universe and Pumpkin Butterfly: Poems from the Other Side of Nature, both Wordsong/Boyds Mills) as well as contributions to numerous anthologies including Life in Me Like Grass on Fire (Maryland Writers’ Association). She serves on the NCTE Excellence in Poetry Award Committee and teaches public school PreK in Maryland.