Firefly By Hannah Munroe



[Poem by Hannah Munroe]

Like a cleopatra but with more legs
I shine so bright but it’s not beautiful like a firework
Danger like the Lightning
We buzz around each others atmosphere
I bring the heat down to you
But your light is so cold
You’ve always been a nomad – man in flight
And like the Lightning that goes straight to the dirt that is where I stay
No one cares about your shining beams from down here
I can see all your edges from the ground
The insight is my only advantage to this field I am stuck on

these days when you have a daughter – Samantha Lucero

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

These days when you have a daughter
You don’t need to worry about if she can fit
a bracelet around her waist in a finely boned corset
the color of teeth and blood
Whether she’ll marry a farmer or an aristocrat
Have 3 boys and 1 girl
Because the world always needs more men
To be aristocrats and marry little girls
Nor do you have to worry about her burning at the stake
For making eyes at the pastors wife and
Wearing a red ribbon in her hair
You’ll have to tell her it’s okay to say GET THE FUCK AWAY
to the guy who sits way too close on the train
When the train is empty and you’re alone
With a knife you left at home
and the mace your boyfriend said you’d never need
You’ll have to tell her college is important
Because if you don’t have it…

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Pretend Creature


[Words and photo by Nadia Garofalo, pictured]

I sit in a Whole Foods eating organic
Fair trade organisms
Self conscious in this privilege
I made this place

So far from the young creature kid
That held up in her bedroom drawing and dreaming

I died over and over
Performing countless times for my pretend audience.

Writhing and clawing under the monotony of the hills
Their protection bored me i longed for the dark woods of the world
But the knot in my stomach ties me to safety
Don’t disappoint don’t over do don’t die, like really die
I could never believe anything beyond this moment here. The future is not for me to imagine. Forward


Battle Cry

Brave and Reckless

some days i worry

whether my humble friendship

my love for you

my faith in you

is strong enough

fierce enough

to bathe you in light

to nourish and sustain you

when the days are bleak

and the nights are deep and dark

and your demons

crawl out of hell

calling your name

i can hear them

dancing a frenetic reel

in your head

their stiletto heels on

i feel you starting to slip away

i despair that you will succumb

to their siren call

of blissful oblivion

that they will ask you

to dance with their dripping

claws extended

and that you will throw yourself willingly

into their poisonous embrace

that promises swift release

these are the lies that they offer you

there are times

when I fear that I might be the

only barrier left between

you and the void

i am so damaged myself

a fragile, unpredictable being


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If We Were Lobsters by Nate Leland


[One of my favorite poems by Nate Leland. Contact him at linked address for a copy of his poetry book.]

How many times had you asked me what it would be like if we were lobsters?
And you meant the question to be funny,
and I meant my answer in kind.
I said, “If we were lobsters
we’d feel differently about grocery stores.”
And you smiled crinkle-kindness
as though your eyes were gathering the drapes to let in a sunny Monday,
and I tried to smile back a dappled hazy
brilliance of lingering weekend to fill your vacant living rooms.
You said, “If grocery stores were circuses,
and you and I were lobsters,
then who would ever pay attention to the clowns?”
and I said,
“Fuck the clowns!
If they wanted positive attention they should try,
oh, I don’t know,
not killing people!”
You’d never liked clowns or Christmas ornaments,
so I always smashed one with a hammer,
avoided the other entirely,
and really tried to keep the two straight…
and that was love,

You asked me what it would be like if we were lobsters.
And you meant the question to be funny,
and I meant my answer in kind.
But I said, “If we were lobsters
then we wouldn’t be able to afford each other.”
And you winced,
your windblown hairs between your lips
like purse strings fumbling for your excuses,
and I tried to recall June fireflies
and how many dollars they were worth as they randomly
backlit your curves in the grass.
You said, “If we couldn’t afford each other,
would it still matter that our rubber bands match?”
And I said nothing,
because in that moment,
I didn’t know.
But it was still love


You haven’t asked me about being lobsters since,
but if you do, I know the answer now:
I’d say,
“If we were lobsters,
we would be able to take our arms off
if there was danger
or if the other one needed them.”
I’d say,
“If we were lobsters,
we would deal with infinitely fewer traps
than we keep setting for each other.”
I’d say,
“If we were lobsters,
then we would be sweetest
when our skin is thinnest.”

But we’re not lobsters.
If we were,
We’d be…
bottom feeders,
in the dark,
cold and alone,
so we can’t be lobsters,
because this
is love.

Where My Ghosts Come Out to Play

Brave and Reckless

the room is tastefully decorated

respectful distance is kept between

the desk near the door and the

comfortable chair that I decided

the first time we met will be mine

arms folded tightly across my chest

hands in unconscious fists

the small table next to me holds

kush balls and engraved stones

with reassuring words like hope and peace

and a box of tissues that I do not like

to need

the art on the walls is soothing colors

mostly abstract compositions

except for the print of  colorful umbrellas

that rests on the floor against the small

filing cabinet

this is my favorite

she keeps the office lights dim and I watch

the dust motes dance in the open space

between us

where do we start talking about the trauma?

asks the kind voice across the room

where do we start? I ask myself

and the usually tightly barred door that


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Memento Mori by Devon Balwit

Dimitry Vorsin.jpg

[Poem by Devon Balwit, Art by Dimitry Vorsin]

Memento Mori

Pain’s bastinado blanches,
makes a death’s head
of me, a grimace set
teetering on cervical spine.
In answer to students’
questions, I swivel like
a submarine spyglass
peering out at youth
from disphotic dusk.
Today’s theme
is courtship, flings,
flirting, friends with
benefits. To them
such talk from the
rictus of my mouth
must be as if a crone
pushed aside monitor
cables and IV tubes
to lifted her gown,
on a scrollwork
of varicose, crepe,
and snowy pubes.
As they talk amongst
themselves, I massage
my scapula, tilt my
jaw, trying to dislodge
by fractions the grip
of the grave. I do it, gloss
reciprocal, be attracted
to, crush, be my type,
waiting for one among
them to say “Teacher,
I am attracted to brainy,
once-beautiful women,
now in a state of
physical decline, but
with such lascivious
vocabulary. You are
my type, my unrequited
crush.” One does not.
I exhale, swivel this way
and that, watching,
discretely, the clock.