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Poetry Summer 2018    fiction    all issues

Poetry Cover Summer 2018


Cover Michael Lønfeldt

Carol Lischau
& other poems

Noreen Ellis
Jesus Measured
& other poems

Amanda Moore
Learning to Surf
& other poems

Adin Zeviel Leavitt
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
Stay a Minute, the Light is Beautiful
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
The Wellfleet Oyster
& other poems

Anna Hernandez-French
Watermelon Love
& other poems

J. L. Grothe
Six Pregnancies
& other poems

Sue Fagalde Lick
Beauty Confesses
& other poems

Abby Johnson
Finding Yourself on Google Maps
& other poems

Marisa Silva-Dunbar
& other poems

Merre Larkin
Sensing June
& other poems

Savannah Grant
& other poems

Andrew Kuhn
Plains Weather
& other poems

Catherine Wald
Against Aubade
& other poems

Joe Couillard
Like New Houses Settling
& other poems

Faleeha Hassan
In Nights of War
& other poems

Olivia Dorsey Peacock
Thelma: ii
& other poems

Sarah Louise
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Inherent Injustice
& other poems

Frannie Deckas
Child for Sale
& other poems

Jacqueline Schaalje
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
Her Face
& other poems

Ashton Vaughn
& other poems

Frannie Deckas

Keep You Safe

(If I dropped acid

In the fire with you,

Pulled the trigger

In the dirty rain,

Could you have pushed despair

Out of the nightmare? As if I

Pulled it from the vein?

               (A thin whisper in the wind urges,

               Keep him safe—

               And I keep you safe).

To have and to have held; but today

An ironic gravity pits in the palms,

A bitter serum sits on the tip of the tongue.

Seraphic injustice—

It’s candy for the atheist,

But I will not let you float away.

Don’t you leave me, don’t you go—

There is nothing behind the sky.

I am not inside.

               (In the throat of a stranger,

               A guttural cry desperately keens,

               Keep him safe—and I vow that

               I can keep you safe).

As you slip into ashes into

Atoms into angel,

I am the broken cracked open,

The activated, blackness-saturated

Runaway on fighter plane,

And the jet engines sputter

Blood orange fire to the

Hellish core of it.

I am what was.

I shoot up with your words

In the thickening sickness of it,

But the cold old world is bitter

And inextricably twisted as it

Misses you in it, and

I think of you

I think of you

I’ll think of you eternal

               (And silent lips breathe a final plea of

               Keep me safe—but

               I could not keep you safe)).


you yearn yearn yearn for fusion

fire like neurons fire like ice like

blue green neon inside of those veins

under paper thin innocent skin

electric like synapse like lover

like volts charged to fry the membrane

rewire the brain shock shock shock

you back to life

you choke on your words

because you hate the way they taste

fly they like shrapnel lodge they

like bullets fester they like

dirty maroon wounds

and they wince and you dry cry

sink back into the silence

into the solace of pinkish

pinkish internal inferno

suddenly you realize the folly of the melancholia

the surrogate pain the surrogate shame

that ceaseless loop that looks something like a noose and

you’re caught in the amber when the chair topples over

you tread upon the bloodstains

gone and so gone

don’t you scrub; recall, recall all of it

ride ride ride push back against

the idle night; the darkening coward

might he perish in the pride

gone and so gone and

so far gone this time—the hellfire defied

he shook he cursed he trembled upon the throne

he denied he lamented he lied he lied he lied

the heat, the crime, the final word misheard

you understand with anguish what the burn belied

In the hot beyond

in the hot beyond,

I take my time.

I do not measure sighs

or sideways eyes

with seismograph and blood-stained tiles.

in the hot beyond,

I am trusting.

I do not take for blistering

the cold nothings.

I do not think the anomaly a cosmic microcosm,

and these thin wisps of sinful whispers

are decaying, graying.

in the cold cold old,

I am salt salt sordid sidewalk

dirty shoes dirty shoes dirty shoes.

I have every limb in the casket,

and I am brutally wasted,

you bastard.

in the cold cold old,

I am the dirty death march.

I am become him, harm.

I am bandit come undone in the blunder.

I hush hush—push back against the thunder.

Funereal dirge and it tastes like delight:

In the hot, hot beyond,

still I burn, but

I am alight. I am a light.

I am light.


The riddle does not exist

The elusive everything—all

Captured in the vanishing

Hurled flashing backward

Into the vacuum

I am accident

Fibers in the hellstorm

And gone so soon

Space between raindrops

Glimpse of the maybe mystical

I am a nothing nothing nothing

But I move move move

Constant crusade for the womb

The something the all things

The one thing

They laid pretty bricks for the haunting,

And I thought I had a dollhouse.

The riddle does not exist

I bicycle in the timelessness

Crepuscular man, idol of the twilight

Hold hand, hold hair, hold heart,

Hold dirty appendage, bandage,

Baggage, everlasting damage

And flash vanish backward

Into the vacuum

The riddle never existed

It was only ever the spectral echo

Only ever the crippling withhold

Always ever masked in the damaging

And tongues glistening that

Only ever left me famishing

Weary in the search for nurture

Crusade for the white hot womb, and

I was only ever vanishing

Child for Sale

I am a child for sale

won’t anybody please buy me?

I’ll tell you, mostly what I do is read, and

I am enraptured, I am so very fractured,

that whether lowly or holy

I can humbly assume any role you need

noiselessly, I can put myself to sleep

my flesh burns, my skin bleeds

but I do all I can not to weep

some may say I am cheap

sure, I’m a child knight errant

in search of a parent, and

I’ll barter, I’ll bargain—

you can just have me for free

it’s whatever you see fit,

whatever you see fine

prospective parent,

I am docile and I am kind

I am deferential and benign

I am nine

could you teach me

how to tie my shoes? (if

I could so impose), and

might you show me how to

just grab hold? then, if there’s

time, how to mercifully let go?

would you teach me

not to throw out my woes?

you and I, shall we sanctify?

allow me to bask in the

sweetness of sadness dignified

and if I go unsold, may I die

may you lay me down alone

without the nonsense

of a headstone

yelling about my unsacred bones

Retrospective parent, remember who I was

I was a child for sale

I was good, I was kind

I wanted so badly for you to be mine

Please, won’t you think of me from time to time?

Frannie Deckas is a 20-year-old college student living in Los Angeles. She is new to publication and an abiding devotee of all things poetry, literature, science, philosophy, music, and film. Consumer of the deadly serious beet.

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