Peedeel says,

November 25, 2019

Your Underwear

November 25, 2019

Since we broke up, I found a pair of your underwear in my hamper. I washed them. It feels very strange to have them, but you didn’t leave anything else and I’m not about to call you up to come and get them. I want to get rid of them but part of me thinks it’s wrong to throw away such perfectly nice underwear. Since they’re underwear, I can’t even donate them. I put them on once — they’re clean! — but when I did I felt like a crossdresser. They upset me, your underwear. I can’t so l’ve all of their problems. They keep showing up in the laundry. They’re like somebody else’s kid from down the block who has big, lonely eyes and who always turns up around suppertime.

KC Trommer

Persephone Resists Her Myth

November 25, 2019

I’m a sliver of light under a locked door,
a scythe, a parable whispered at bedtime,
my sex, the cure and the curse
that cinches me into this dress fashioned
from shadows, weds me to the moment
I was taken. Stop holding vigil.
Forget me. Let the grass green.
I am not a warning, the siren you sound
when your daughters, under guise of picking flowers,
wander out of earshot, whispering
He loves me. He loves me not.

Sarah McKinstry-Brown

Playing the Husband

November 25, 2019

When you were the husband, you kissed up my back,
lips cresting each ridge of spine. When I was the husband,

I traced your name—the only poem I knew—
with pointer finger, then tongue, in the small frame

your shoulder blades made. When you were the husband,
I lay flat on my back and closed my eyes. When I closed

my eyes, the room didn’t smell like musty blankets, damp
weather, strawberry shampoo. When you were the husband,

I couldn’t be the husband. When you were the wife,
I wanted to be the wife. When you licked my wrist,

I imagined I was someplace I wasn’t supposed to be.
When I was the wife, I never asked how you learned to be

the husband; the wife doesn’t ask questions. When you
taught me how to be the husband, you instructed through

touch. The room always dark. Hold me like this. We didn’t
call it anything. When we stripped down to underwear,

I had this extra gene called inhibition. Once, when you
were the husband, I told you to stop. No one taught me

to be the wife. You never cried. You never wanted me
to stop. We slept like two spoons tossed in a drawer.

Emari DiGiorgio

writing life

November 25, 2019

When I was in my early 20’s and still nursing fantasies about what a writing life would be like, I imagined largely empty calendars: whole swaths of days free of anything but the imperative to put pen to paper. I assumed my craft would be allowed to develop of its own accord. After all, isn’t that what passions need to thrive: room, time, and lack of pressure? I couldn’t imagine having to wedge my creative endeavours in the minutes between bells, during planning periods, on breaks from power point presentations. As an adult with adult obligations, my writing has never been free to grow at its convenience. Like most authors, I must beg, borrow, and steal every second devoted to this pursuit that keeps me sane and makes my life worth living. But I’ve come to believe that the bright flames of passion require friction to stay ignited. My best work has been produced slowly and stoppingly in the furnace of a ticking clock and piling obligations, in those hard-won and therefore precious increments of time that make my hours, days, and life.

Lauren Brazeal
Block Schedule: my writing day

Streetlights

November 25, 2019

The first night we spent together in the new town,
our bed faced three half-shut windows looking east.
She wanted the sun to be our alarm clock,
and I wanted to sleep through the darkness.
At 2 a.m. she ripped back the sheets, sitting up next to me
as my sobs furnished the corners of our room.
Where are the streetlights? I cried, through teeth
clenched like picket fences and eyes held shut.
This town is too midnight, too quiet, too unhome.
In the city, the only silence comes before a storm
when stray cats bunk down in dumpsters and pigeons
steal away to their rooftops alone.
Even then, in thunder, there is the ever-present glow
of streetlights, of headlights, of the lights in homes
too terrified to turn off, for fear they’ll never come back on.
This town is no city, I whispered into her neck,
shuffling with me from room to room,
flipping each switch so our house became home,
buzzing like the cheap fluorescent heat I always knew.
We’ll look at nightlights tomorrow, she whispered in my ear,
leading me by the hands back to bed.

Darcy Vines