The Splendid Mendicants

by Carrie Naughton Everyone knows that the monks are a bunch of swindlers.  Only the desperate and the damned leave the City and walk  west into their wilderness. I don’t know which I am. I  followed my Mother here. If you have an old Mother, then chances are you might do the same one day, so don’t bother judging me. She thinks they can heal her. I think they’ll hustle her. Because come on, she’s not sick. “I don’t know why you’re following me,” she says, not even glancing back but forging onward through the pathless forest. “You can walk … Continue reading The Splendid Mendicants

Please Feel Free to Die in the Grass

by Vanessa Willoughby Stretched out across too many continents with my rubber bones. Wringing out witching hour fevers And mopping away the salt from my sweat. Every time I step out in my skin They wait until I can see the whites rising in their eyes Until they get the garlic, the stake, the crucifix. Their father’s x-ray americana vision And dreams of a limber lolita-mouth summoning fire to their loins Birthing a new man. A half-formed girlthing as tender as a peach, the pit You want to keep preserved Like a lion hunter’s gun locked Behind a case to … Continue reading Please Feel Free to Die in the Grass

Self-Immolation Means I Love You

by Vanessa Willoughby A reptilian woman shrouded in designer scales always serves as muse for rice-paper-thin ghost stories. Wrap your tongue around throat-shredding Syllables as heavy as cocaine bricks Let me know, my darling, godly Dear When you want me to walk in front of the leash and I will ingest your white fury as martial law. You know Duke, you know Jeep’s Blues Can set fire to our playhouse and Turn the mattress into a last will and summer testament. You know Duke, you know Jeep’s Blues Can turn my wrists into blood diamonds. Hold the water above my … Continue reading Self-Immolation Means I Love You