This ritual, for me, used to entail careful cutting, excising the horizontal line over knee and navel, the compass’s V over the right breast, the square’s L over the left, four white rounds of cloth with their holy symbols I’d hold between tweezers and carefully burn over the sink, rinsing down cinders and wiping away scorch marks on porcelain.
Their sacred bits stripped, I ripped the remaining cloth to rags, perfect for soaking up lemon oil polish on the piano and bookshelves.
V — — L
I remember putting them on the first time—I was 21, prepping for …
Duncan Leeds used to go to my school, but transferred when his dad got a promotion and his mom wanted a house in Wellington Gardens, a house that had an elevator and a trampoline in addition to the standard two stories and a pool for Florida mansions. Wellington was thirty minutes away from where I lived in Boca Raton, and in Florida time, that was a whole other world. He was my first real boyfriend, even though we only saw each other on weekends.
“I love you,” Duncan said on the phone. It was late, past eleven o’clock …
The most mundane of all things
was the birthing of new small things like ourselves.
Before the fall, things like this happened every day.
The world did not need new things
to unravel and undo things even further.
Yet we grew things in our bodies anyway.
We knew what we were doing.
There is nothing more to say.
Meghan Joyce Tozer is a film music scholar, editor, and activist in the San Francisco bay area. She holds degrees in English and Music from Harvard University (B.A.) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D. and …
In the plaza on Howard Street
you’ll find the unlikely fountain
prohibited by iron rails
beneath a walkway encased in bronze glass
and surrounded by red – brick
would – be windows if the concept made it
through the financing,
and tucked up in there like an afterthought is
Benjamin’s Café with one woman serving
through the grim afternoon,
her face a relief map of untreated tumors.
West on Main
Lincoln stands a mute copper witness
to the convergence of afternoon drivers ,
an d further west find the Shrine Auditorium
with soot black colonnades of Corinthian dolor…
The moon, only a half-arc wafer,
and the darkness discordant
with rush hour traffic.
This throng of lonely souls,
in accidental communion with each other,
their heartbreak heavier than night.
Together, we wear a shroud of invisibility
under the same barren stretch of sky,
inching along the same patch of road
amidst the sinusoidal symmetry of hills —
sentinels of many other sorrows.
Noorulain Noor is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and a two time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared in Spillway, Sugar Mule, Santa Clara Review, Muzzle and other …
A field disgorged,
to the bishop led there
by a star, a saint’s
remains, a shallow
to attract ever more
distant folks until
the catchment of
St. James’s bones
& more & more
farmers along the way
through their wheat.
Pilgrims attract coins
& miracles attract
pilgrims & a solid
miracle—a healing, say,
of some medieval’s
a little chapel along
the path its wings, to flourish
& to crow, till some
fresher miracle erupted
somewhere, draining off
the blessing seekers.
Whoever has will be
given more & whoever
doesn’t have, even …
Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
And nice to be surprised
Although that is not what happened today.
I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
Just the other day I was walking Charlie
And a black man approached me quickly
With his hands in his pockets.
I was scared.
Charlie wasn’t scared.
Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
The train station because it is dark …