August 28, 2019

Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper

Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper

Even Aphrodite Has Lazy Days  I apologize for the days I don’t wear make-up or dress in tight gowns, and for the days I don’t try to seduce a man to feel worthy.  I used to bathe myself in lavender to attract men. Right now, I’m tired and alone. My confidence wilts when I don’t plaster my face with a glow brighter than the sun.  Today, I’m lying beneath blankets in nothing but sweats and skin. My hair is tied into a bun, purple scoops under my eyes. I wish a man could see that even without my highlight I’m still beautiful.  Most days, I may appear  like the pink sunsets pouring into violet streams. But beneath the gloss and glow and goddess sheen, I’m just a woman, a person. Someone who is more than vanity. And with my face bare, I hope my soul can finally shine, lilac light blooming freely through my skin after all this time.  Citrus Grief  Rows of oranges make a masterpiece in…

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August 27, 2019

The Women: Poems by Stephen Jackson

The Women: Poems by Stephen Jackson

The Back of Trudy’s Head  Everything, at once  came to Trudy on the bus, the world through a window  smeared with hair grease came in clear, she  looked around at all the other passengers and knew us —  felt our tension in her  shoulders, drew a breath of  body odor, smelled our fear.  And the thick, pink man  who sat ahead of Trudy leaned back to scratch his mat  of ratted graying hair releasing flakes of skin  down his back and in the air,  then turned to smile a  crooked-tooth smile at himself  in the window, that at night  is both a window and a mirror.  Trudy pulled the cord  to make the driver stop, as it was all that she could  think to do, and when he did  the doors swung open  but Trudy could not  get off — no one did  but me, and I watched  the back of Trudy’s head  till the bus drove out of view.   Bridgette | Since the Accident  Friday’s the new Thursday  for Bridgette, since she  moves with sudden grace  at such an elementary pace through space and…

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June 29, 2019

Hiding out in Bathrooms by Julia Hwang

Hiding out in Bathrooms by Julia Hwang

I. Shame eating + the sterility of bleach = A well-balanced breakfast? I stuff Kit Kat wrappers in with feminine waste and wipe my hands of chocolate on too tight pants   II. Scream and smash and scream some more and throw the vase’s remains against the door Icy water surges and deafens I recoil into a pool of red  How shocking! That a hand holds this much blood That our pain could clog a drain III. DON’T DO IT Whoops too late I POP and SQUEEZE and SCRATCHwatching tiny pricks of blood bloom across my face I am bumpy, bitter ugliness I refuse to recognize her  I dab away tears with salicylic acid I bury her with clay  IV. I am grown I am a woman yet still, I hide out in bathroomsscarfing down deli meats wiping at my nose, sloppily I am a girl eavesdropping on whispers and giggles avoiding conference calls and confrontation drowning out crying babies, sirens wailing catching a breath always ashamed still alone  Julia Hwang is an emerging poet writing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work, which tends to be narrative, women-focused,…

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