You float through our house to the sky // black with your skeleton storms.

You float through our house to the sky
black with your skeleton storms.
I’m slicing up my palms and wrists,
how much blood brings you back?

This toad is dead. Boiling in a garden of toadstools
same as the ones you’d leave in your pockets with
poison fungus growing on your tongue.

All you are is bad, you said.
You’re a bad, bad girl. 
Time to go, bad girl. Time for it to end.
Put yourself to bed. Go find an invisible grave.
Come back to meet me in the cemetery
see what’s left to split open and unearth. 

I do. Find your name on a rock.
My name in the dirt. Our blood underground
buried out back in a box with that
docile wolf, summer cat, my blistered fingers,
and the glass shard that cut open my foot
running south under a monsoon, trying to find you.

I still look for you in the scar on my lip.
In my small artist hands
that I fold to recite a prayer for those gathering,
looking at a hole in the ground.

The crowd is on fire. I am raining inside.
Where is your face? I cannot see in this dark.
I hardly remember. All the laughs
trapped in our laugh trunk,
that eye above my bed watching me sleep.

Now you’re in the mirror billowing with smoke
as I light your last cigar, wearing that turquoise
bolo from your acting days, star of the western set.

I rise, this dry rot a heavy cloak, smells like soot.
I’m holding three mice and some oil paints along
with a bulb of garlic to plant at the edge of a pond
past the woods, under the tree with thorns, next to that
folded up letter from your buddy in the 82nd Airborne.

I lay an ear to the soil and listen
for your laugh, your yell, the silence.

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Issue 1.4 Paperback

These 23 works of dark speculative fiction demand readers consider the following:

Who do we become when we only have ourselves for company? What remains when we've sacrificed too much? Where do the babies really come from?


Featured in

Issue 1.4 Paperback

Read a story out loud, upgrade your legs, and glow. Break quarantine for a quick smoke with your friends, learn where the babies come from, start a gratitude journal during an apocalypse, and obtain more followers, no matter the cost.

Meet Mona Luna, rob a bank, get the best spot on the ledge, sew a suit fit for a king, laugh until you choke, and scream until your throat bleeds.

Whatever you do, don’t look back, and never tell the beautiful bartender to smile.

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Ciphers flicker and spin like firemoths in the lambent glow // Bending and twisting in cyclone contortions // Trembling at the touch of my haptic caress

Just Smile

A bartender educates a patron on why he should never, ever tell a woman to “just smile.”


You float through our house to the sky // black with your skeleton storms.

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