She stood barefoot on the snow
Above the woods.
She stood on the lip
Of the cliff
Above the railroad tracks
Used twice daily.
Once to Montreal
And once back to the sun.
He smiled when he saw her.
Where his teeth should have been
Was some honeycomb.
The spaces between still oozing
With the stuff.
It dribbled down his chin
As a bee crawls out his nose.
He was the stock of the shotgun
She was the trigger.
Curdled ghosts in a cup of tea.
The last time I was there
They shot a hole through my heart
Just a small one, enough to
Relieve some aortic pressure.
As if that was a real thing.
I think they just wanted to
See if they could.
It left me like an exile—
Like a zoo docent
The rosewater mist pushed past
The curtain leaving watery
Footprints on the floor.
You said it looked like a map.
Maybe it did.
I didn’t know what to do.
I thought about climbing up to bed,
But found comfort curled on the carpet.
You did contribute to my fortune
As if you were made of rain.
John Rodzvilla teaches in the Publishing and Writing programs at Emerson College in Boston. His work has appeared in Harvard Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, gorse, DecomP, and several others.
Sometimes I think my job is to rehearse living
after you’ve chosen not to be.
I practice finding your body.
I parrot words that comfort
everyone else, search
for the bank passwords,
embrace a cold bed
There is an hour each night
when the veil is lifted.
When just before dawn
the walls of each world thin
and the dead
and the not-dead
can meet again. Tonight
while we are both still living,
I tell you about the veil,
about the visiting.
I present it as some thought
experiment instead of
the haunting I hope for
and you just laugh,
forge entire worlds
to avoid pain.”
Danielle Garland (she/her) is a writer and editor from Southern Appalachia. Her work has been previously published in Anti-Heroin Chic and Susurrus Magazine. You can follow her adventures in poetry, hiking, and aerial arts on Instagram @_daniellegarland.
We circle the couch, eye it
like ibex in a room of vultures.
The cats pace, avoid our boots,
hunt mice, ermine, scrod.
When we speak, pillbugs fall
from our lips, form patterns
that may have once been,
or someday may be, language.
The bed has no sides.
Sumer is icumen in. The box fans
all point towards different corners
in the basement. The washer
is in the center, an altar surrounded
by parishioners. It sings as we cannot.
The shower has run for sixteen
days. We have no idea if anyone
is in it. It seems gauche to knock
on the door, let loose a torrent
of isopods on a clean stranger.
It is six months from now and I sit amongst presents and light a single candle on
a birthday cake and turn back around to find your high chair empty
It is four years from now and on the first day of nursery school I get in my car
and drive there and when I open the back door there is no car seat
It is six years from now and I sit and look at all the pictures of the first-grade
classes in the newspaper and you are in none of them
It is twelve years from now and I go to repaint your room to get rid of
superheroes and replace them with rock stars and the walls instead
are plain yellow
It is eighteen years from now and at your high school graduation I sit in the
stands and wait to hear your name called until all of the other families
It is tomorrow and I still do not know if I am alive
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Aromatica Poetica, and Literary Cocktail, among others.