Let’s see the Grand Canyon together.
I’ve never been.
Surely Arizona’s natural majesty will help
me forget that I found a hair in the butter this morning
and spilled the coffee beans on the kitchen counter
and that someday we’ll run out of Jeopardy! episodes.
our bodies will turn arthritic and
vigor will turn to past tense,
wrinkles will deepen into grooves and our skin
will get sun-spotted and soft,
but I’m sure this will all feel rightly trivial
in the presence of one of the world’s geologic wonders.
This crater in our earth is eternal,
and we’ll have gone there, together—
our own eternity.
By now you must know I’ll follow you anywhere.
Sarah Groustra (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based, Massachusetts-born writer and a recent graduate of Kenyon College. Her writing has previously appeared in Funicular Magazine, Lilith Magazine, Boats Against the Current, Moon Cola Zine, Fish Barrel Review, and Roi Fainéant Press. Her plays have been workshopped or produced by Playdate Theatre, the Parsnip Ship, and B Street Theatre Company. You can find her on Twitter @ladypoachedegg and at sarahgroustra.com.
Let’s imagine your ashes getting peppered with marijuana and smoked all night long, an unburnt piece of your spine feeling lucky to see the light of day, me unrolling the lid of your urn and feeding you to the black waters, the depths sucking your remains almost instantly, the wind swatting away your few airborne particles, your conscious parts aching in the teeth of nature, your ego crumbling to fish food in the belly of a great white whale, and the lines on your snaky face turning to butterfly shit as the sun cowers behind the clouds like an ashamed god spying on her creation from a healthy distance. Let’s imagine your ashes infecting the bowels of this Earth to the point of no return, the memory of you poisoning more people by the second, your absence making wives lonelier than ever, and scarring daughters for life. Let’s imagine them all turning into maggots because of you and getting gobbled up by a free-roaming chicken, their digested selves finding their place on a dinner table, their puréed leftovers tossed into a garbage bin, the garbage bin thrown into a compactor and rocketed into space in smoke and fire. Let’s imagine the planets realigning to avoid your presence, the stars refusing to illuminate your soul’s fire, and the void spitting you back home in meteoric spades, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Let’s imagine us looking back at what’s left of our world and remembering all about you. Let’s imagine us cussing.
Sarp Sozdinler splits their time in Philadelphia and Amsterdam. Their writing has been featured or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Masters Review, The Normal School, Hobart, Maudlin House, Passages North, The Offing, and elsewhere. Some of their pieces have been anthologized and received a mention at literary events, including the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize judged by Jonathan Escoffery.
something, yet to be named
and even when i’m lying i’m being sincere.
a six-folded sun secretly dim inside; bitter
sutras dictated by a poison buddha. grey letters.
look at this smile, flavored with affliction.
this jaw is the heaviest rock in the world
and rhetoric is simply a matter of time;
the way grand schemes are destined
to be unraveled.
all will be purified in the end,
bitty red butterflies floating
out from between your ribs.
apheresis. that is why one must not roll
around in the sand of beautiful things.
it sticks to you after, little granules
of shame that cannot be washed away
no matter how raw you’ve scrubbed.
Justin Clark (he/him) is a father and poet living in Indiana. He has an Associate of Science in History and an Associate of Arts in Philosophy. His work has been featured in Hobart: After Dark, The Tecumseh Review, Southchild Lit, Interstellar, and Zero Readers Review. He can be found on Twitter @PrognatusD.