the flamed mermaid

By Michelle Rochniak the flaky bones of ocean monsters’ preysift through the currents to my doorstep.the firewood of the merpeople village burns:opal-toned marrow ash. they said fire girls can’t have scaly tails;when i flap my flukes at the sun,their cerulean turns scarlet. it’s funny how scorpio soundslike a fire sign. i collect the bonesto earnContinue reading “the flamed mermaid”

What is the Body but an Instrument?

*CW: mentions of self-harm and death By T.C. Anderson How long would it take to scratch my skin until I began to feel bone,to pluck the tendons like guitar strings andhear my body’s sweet melodies?For what is the body but an instrument of destruction and chaos,a tool to inflict its misery on the worldwith hopeContinue reading “What is the Body but an Instrument?”

Hoosier Balladry

Content Warning: The themes discussed in this piece include historical references to slavery and the Trail of Tears. By M.A. Dubbs The verse of this cityis seeped deep into the pores of itslimestone foundation.  The first Hoosiers were stripped of land and homebut prose, inherited fromspoken word, was preserved.A history of generations handwoven into geometric narratives. African folktale,Continue reading “Hoosier Balladry”

April 4, 1969

By Paige Wyatt My mother leans into my shoulderA towering force shielding me From the way the world has treated herHolding the sky up with her shouldersForced to kneel when she was queen to lesser men She is not diminished now Her strength has bled into meHer hands have worked me and shaped meShe has passed herContinue reading “April 4, 1969”

Don’t Look

By Kaitlynn McShea Don’t lookat the dead animals on the crumbling concrete. They rest in between the blackened road and the untamed grass.  We’re not meant to witness this.  You will turn up the radio and stare straight ahead, knuckles white on the steering wheel. And you will see a gaping maw out of the corners of your eyes, Reminding you ofContinue reading “Don’t Look”

12/24

By Raegen Pietrucha My favorite ornaments distort me to an impossible glitter, frosted silver slivers. I still remember winter trees,how their snowmelt crackledas if somewhere, a fire already called. It hasn’t yet been a year. I don’t missMidwestern cold. But there was a boy in the place I left behind – he had always seemed imperviousin his thinContinue reading “12/24”