spontaneous human combustion


Spontaneous Human Combustion: “Girl, Kissing, Bursts into Flame”
Laura Kasischke

It happened to me. I was there. Out

past the factory, where

whole pleasure could be pried
open with an impulse and a wrench. The strange

cowboy of him, chains
and leather and mascara.
I was a keychain, some patchy fog.
The noise of the neural system seemed
to be coming from the stars.

Oh, the wren brought those kisses down from heaven.
A screech owl brought them up from hell.
O earth, wind, water, this

is a simile not satisfied by fire —

Still, if he’d doused me in kerosene that night
I could not have burned better or brighter.

Photo by Andy Watkins on Unsplash



Carlos Drummond de Andrade



Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

the visitor


The Visitor
Carolyn Forché

In Spanish he whispers there is no time left.
It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat,
the ache of some field song in Salvador.
The wind along the prison, cautious
as Francisco’s hands on the inside, touching
the walls as he walks, it is his wife’s breath
slipping into his cell each night while he
imagines his hand to be hers. It is a small country.

There is nothing one man will not do to another.

Photo by Evi Radauscher on Unsplash

end of world


The End of the World
João Cabral de Melo Neto

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O fim do mundo

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

return – regreso


Return (rough translation — read the original!)
Consuelo Tomás Fitzgerald

This copious rain
tends to erase my face
but the tenderness
I am born from these eloquent streets
and it returns my appearance.



Esta lluvia copiosa
tiende a borrarme el rostro
pero la ternura
me nace de estas calles elocuentes
y me devuelve la apariencia.

Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash

love’s function


e.e. cummings

love’s function is to fabricate unknownness

(known being wishless;but love,all of wishing)
though life’s lived wrongsideout,sameness chokes oneness
truth is confused with fact,fish boast of fishing

and men are caught by worms(love may not care
if time totters,light droops,all measures bend
nor marvel if a thought should weigh a star
—dreads dying least;and less,that death should end)

how lucky lovers are)whose selves abide
under whatever shall discovered be)
whose ignorant each breathing dares to hide
more than most fabulous wisdom fears to see

(who laugh and cry)who dream,create and kill
while the world moves;and every part stands still:

Photo by Gregor Moser on Unsplash



Mercury in Retrograde
Sheryl Luna

The day ended badly with a broken ankle,
a jinxed printer, and a dead car. The dry yellow grass
against the sunset saved me. Roosters
pranced across a lawn of shit, proudly plumed
in black feathers, bobbing before the gray goats.
It was the first day I saw god in the quiet,
and found a mustard seed was very small.
There I had been for years cursing “why?”
and all the gold in the sun fell upon me.
There was a white mare in the midst
of brown smog, majestic in the refinery
clouds. Even the radio wouldn’t work!
My mother limps and her hair falls out.
The faithful drive white Chevy trucks
or yellow Camrys, and I’m here golden
on the smoking shock-less bus.
I lost language in this want, each poem
dust, Spanish fluttered
as music across the desert, even weeds
tumbled unloved. The police sirens seared
the coming night, dogs howled helplessly
Lo I walk the valley of death, love
lingers in my hard eyes. Mañana never
comes just right. I mend myself in the folds
of paper songs, ring my paper bells
for empty success. Quiero Nada,
if I sing long enough, I’ll grow dreamlike
and find a flock of pigeons, white under
wings lifting awkward bodies like doves
across the silky blue-white sky

Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

there is the worst


There Is the Worst and then There is More
Clementine von Radics

You silly little girl,
you think
you’ve survived so long
survival shouldn’t hurt anymore.

You keep trying to turn
your body bulletproof.
You keep trying to turn your heart
bomb shelter.

Stop, darling.

You are soft and alive
you bruise and you heal. Cherish it.
It is what you were born to do.

It will not be beautiful,
but the truth never is.

Come now,
you promised yourself.
You promised
you’d live through this.

Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

daphne and virginia


To Daphne and Virginia
William Carlos Williams

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when they are old.It is
all they can do.
or watch a heavy goose
who waddles, slopping
noisily in the mud of
his pool.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash