Issue 1.12


Chrysalides

sidewalk glaze
& rotting snow
full moon smaller than a dime
tiny as the two-penny bit
drugstore change brought home

street lights & naked trees
& frozen slush crunching
beneath winter birds’ airward solos

your fingernail catches
as you’re scrabbling
among marbles, broken
bits of jewelry
in a carved thula wood box

no one wants to believe
theirs was a colourless childhood
water flowing
            tasteless           odourless
over the lip of a clean vessel

cocoons don’t give
you room    and you’re
pretty much designed
to come out different

you want him to tell you
you are young & ingenuous
& beautiful – because you know
you are none of those
but young

Lake List

Sounds within country silence
Ruffles on a smooth lake surface
Distant movement       a canoe
paddle ticking through air into ripples

A daisy here  a daisy there
Frog argumentation   punctuating
Children’s voices far off
singing row       row your boat

All the greens           there can be
The shore opposite beckoning with
wilderness allure   Silky water   Sharp
pebbles underfoot at the brief beach

Blue umbrella               hemisphere
containing        a world of women

Frances Boyle is a Canadian author, living in Ottawa. Her most recent books are Tower, a novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions 2018), her second poetry collection This White Nest (Quattro Books, 2019), and Seeking Shade, short stories (The Porcupine’s Quill, forthcoming 2020). Recent and forthcoming publications include work in Best Canadian Poetry 2020, Cypress, Blackbird, Vallum, Parentheses Journal, Prairie Fire, and Dreich. She helps edit Arc Poetry Magazine and writes reviews for Canthius. Visit www.francesboyle.com.


Forsaken

My teeth are rotting inside my head, I’m sure of it. I slide my tongue over slick incisors searching for decay, or the softening tissue of gums. Press against the tips of jagged canines, so the taste of metallic blood fills my mouth. If dreams really do come true, I will lose a molar first, during dinner, then find a bicuspid floating in red wine. Every day, for thirty two days, enameled pulp will loosen and fall out, until the oracle that is my own gaping maw realizes her proclamation, that life as I know it is over. 

Sara Dobbie is a writer from Southern Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Menacing Hedge, Change Seven Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Trampset, Knights Library Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @sbdobbie. 


A Question Birthed

After Soil Black by Tess Taylor

Branches in the park
                        throw no shadow

over leaves tossed
            to the still-green expanse.

Barren and not even November.
                        I was due on Halloween,

born a holiday late. A botched babe
            without ovum or stamen, Baby my only name.

Like a blossom, I was both
                        and neither gender, a question birthed.

Science solved for X and Y
                        & yes, science correctly guessed

my male-ness, though many weren’t
            as lucky, a parent or doctor chancing

& choosing wrong,
            mistaking maples for magnolias.

Now I sit barren
                        as this shivering pear,

surrounded by sprouting leaves,
            an orchard ravaged of fruit.

Chris M. Arnone’s work has been featured in Runestone Literary Journal and No. 1 Magazine. He will complete his MFA at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in December 2020. He is an intersex author, poet, and performer living in Kansas City, Missouri.