{previously, on}

Ed Churchouse


our heartbeats echo drumskin taut,
played on these last bones of winter
by the rain that falls between us
and the old gods and the new gods
leave you in the same empty room
that isn’t empty because you.

love speaks the language of mistakes
love prays at the it’s alright altar
love fights together wars

and if today paints you upstairs
and me below you,
tomorrow hopes

you understand that all the right words
are just backwards enjambed w/the verb to shadow
holding hands with the adjective forgiven

and my patchwork syntax
holds you honeycomb in sleep.


Robert Okaji

Black Lilies

Flensing words, slicing deeper: all, nothing,
red to redder. Their skin, paling to nothing.

I speak today but you hear yesterday.
Black lilies in the chill of nothing.

Drifted apart, the two halves reconcile.
Yellowed, whitened. Older. Both stitched in nothing.

How many words have we lost to morning? Shredded
syllables sparring for sound. The nothing of nothing.

A coated voice, turquoise and calm, spreading across the room.
Buttered light. Pleasantries, unfolding. You, being nothing.

The language of night sleeps unformed in my bed.
I remember your hand on my cheek; flesh forgets nothing.


Darren C. Demaree


We are in our third incarnation. We have
been less-than twice already. If we want
to be more than this we will have to kill
both of our old selves. We will have to carry
nothing forward. We could be even more
of a dedication. We could become a painting.
Never doubt our expansionist tendencies.
There is a trail of bodies behind both of us.


Sophia Naz

Thirty Three Inuit Names of Snow

Light travels at sixty eight thousand miles a second
ergo, even as your lover’s eyelash brushes
your cheek, a glimmer has passed
into dark diurnal wells where you go
like village girls to draw
water for these lines

When you wake from wetness, clocks
are dismantling silence like
taxidermists they push
pins into sky’s chameleon feather
mining the amoebic
belly of water
to cash in on a quick rainbow
everyone’s watching for a pot of gold

While you are dreaming of a deep silence
folded in the thirty three Inuit names of snow,
What is love if not something that alights on the tongue?

Snow is the language of osmosis
synonym of a teaspoon of star soup from the first stirring
the eons old light swimming
like eels in your veins.

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