there was a huge spider in the bathroom last night so i slowly backed out and closed the door
of the spiders
that live in your house
so i crush them
when i can.
i wonder if i’ve always been this way:
made of so much sabotage.
Rachel Tanner is a queer, disabled writer from Alabama whose work has recently appeared in Tenderness Lit, Wine Cellar Press, and elsewhere. She has a monthly videogame writing column in Videodame and she tweets @rickit.
A Poem in Which You Go Out for Supplies During the Season Finale of The Walking Dead and the Audience Knows You Aren’t Coming Back
but I haven’t figured it out yet.
Let’s twist this, you say, before you step into the waste,
swinging an 18-inch machete because there’s only one gun left,
and only three bullets.
My best friend is sitting in the corner of the bathroom of this single story
Texan rancher with a gash in her calf, almost to the bone,
from our quick climb-and-jump over the wrought iron fence.
It’ll get infected.
There’s a family-owned pharmacy half a mile down the road
and you’re rolling the dice on antibiotics. Gauze. Pain pills.
You promised us the suburbs would be safer than the city –
there would’ve been less looting there in the beginning,
which means more supplies and fewer gutted souls
looking for a fleshy snack.
You feel like this one is on you.
As she holds her bloodied, muddy flannel jacket over her leg,
I lean against the bathroom door and track the movements of the undead
down the hall – the homeowner, no doubt, lumbering over to apply
some good old fashioned Texas Castle Doctrine to his property.
My hands feel clammy against the holster
of the gun I never really learned how to fire.
If you stumble into my path before the next season,
I’ll save one of them for you.
Kaitlyn Crow is a queer poet based in Virginia. Their works have appeared or are forthcoming in Apeiron Review, Open Minds Quarterly, and Door Is A Jar, among others. They serve as an Editor at K’in Literary Journal and Chaotic Merge Magazine. Find them on Twitter @queeryeehawpoet and Instagram @kaitlynwriteswords.
I Watched Jaws as a Kid and Have Been Afraid of Sharks Ever Since
I wake at midnight, sharks
of anxiety circling me in the water.
This bed is no life raft but I cling
to it anyway, hoping it saves me.
At 1am my dog’s nails click
softly against the hardwood
and I realize the ocean around me
has receded. My other dog wakes, fearful
of being left out, and I take them both
for a walk. It’s raining, a quiet sluice
of water falling around us. They spot
a tiny mouse scurrying along the wet
pavement and it screams before I can
pull them back, 100 pounds of fur and teeth
descending on the small creature. Back
inside I towel them off, climb the stairs
to bed, the water chasing me up every step.
My husband slumbers beside me, safe
in his dreams. The shrill screaming loops
in my mind and I cling to the comforter,
hoping it’ll save me. When I finally fall
asleep the rain has diminished to a quiet
mist. The sharks still circle, even in sleep
they keep moving, my anxiety flowing over
their gills, keeping them alive.
Poem That is Also Prayer
I wake alone again. This is common
in our house – I go to bed by 11pm
and you stay up, a night owl married
to an early bird. I’ve grown accustomed
to an empty bed, the sheets beside me
cool and undisturbed. I sometimes think
I prefer it, the space void of another body,
the bedroom mine alone. I worry about
larger implications, of desires I don’t voice,
of wanting and not wanting.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full length collections Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart (Riot in Your Throat) and Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: www.wordperv.com. Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.