My friend mails me maps with nothing on them — no stars to indicate the places he wants
to go, no brief notes acknowledging the cities he’s explored, no push-pin marks to indicate
that the map was hanging in his bedroom or office before it journeyed to my mailbox. I’ve
received so many maps over the past year and a half that much of the world now lays flat in my
dresser drawer. Cities and states rub up against my underwear, street names inhale the lightly
perfumed scent of my bras, capitols demand that my cotton socks move over and make some
room. Sometimes, early in the mornings, I can feel the weight of all my undergarments upon
the world. This reminds me of your dirty shoes and all the apples you’ve bit into without me —
each map representing a seed I’ve yet to sow.

Kayla Pongrac

Kiss me

December 13, 2019

Kiss me, just once,
lightly,
like the tender touch
of a butterfly’s wing,
barely the weight of a leaf,
the flicker of an eyelash –
then listen to your heart race
and die of happiness.

deviant pleasure

December 13, 2019

I once heard a story about a girl who requested something so vile from her paramour that he told her family and they had her hauled her off to a sanatorium. I don’t know what deviant pleasure she asked for, though I desperately wish I did. What magical thing could you want so badly that they take you away from the known world for wanting it?

Carmen Maria Machado
The Husband Stitch

The Christmas tree, twinkling with lights, had a mountain of gifts piled up beneath it, like offerings to the great god of excess.

Tess Gerritsen
The Sinner