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 Feb 2016 Swells
 Feb 2016 Swells
this bruised ballerina forgot how to dance.
            her lithe body a marionette
artfully conducted by threads in her back
   at the nimble fingertips of some perverse desolation
       she moves mechanically
   to its twisted touch.

she is told to somehow turn scars to flight --
    mend wounded wings
             and glide, carelessly soar
      through painted skies and fairy clouds
sweet as a songbird's melody
    reborn, a fresh starling

(listen: she weakly sings)
 Jul 2015 Swells
Jodie LindaMae
It occurred to me this morning
As I shuffled under the sheets of his skin
That if he was Fat Man,
I was Nagasaki
And if he was Little Boy
I was Hiroshima.

Because in the end
I will be the one with the disintegrated body
And deformed children of memories
And he will fly free,
The mushroom cloud of my soul's ambition
Billowing in the distance.
 Jul 2015 Swells
Edward Coles
Take one a day and mind the gap,
the rich and the poor, the beer on tap,
stand in line, date and sign,
the Red Bull jitters, the box of wine,
give way to the left, give way to the right,
the artificial winter, the bringer of night.
 Jul 2015 Swells
Claire Waters
we lived inside of clocks
we had bodies of heartstrings that will be plucked
a vibrating mass of shifting cogs
and locks built behind bars and red rock walls
and i still don't know you after a couple years
the key is sawed after a few brief fears
reformed the locks
 Jul 2015 Swells
Here it is
the poem on survival, the one you've all been waiting for
where I learned to untie the noose from my smile,
my smile from the trigger warning.
Here's your trigger warning:

I shivered when you kissed me.
I had a hard time believing my heartbeat was a good thing; had a hard time
believing the front door was still an option.
I wake up some days and remember when I used to sing bruises onto my skin,
fill up large towels with my blood,
watch it go black,
watch everything go black.
Still remained smiling;
still stood with the scars; with the ink between my teeth baring
a warning sign for whoever comes next,
for whoever wants my body without wanting my mind.
here it is
here is how i survived:

I hurt myself

I still do it just doesn't show
the scarring.
here it is baby boy come inside its about to get ugly,
you're about to see me cry,
you're about to see me shake,
you're about to find out what im really made of,
I'm about to find out if you break.

are you scared yet
this is a challenge you never step down from,
you brave boy!
you with your sword and white horse;
shining at the darkness inside of me; shining at the stench inside me ; come here,
make me feel whole.
Dont say I didnt warn you.
 Jul 2015 Swells
Kyla Mae Pliskie
the cliffs of your iris scream more truth
than your voice can
that echo adored, only leaving
debris on the bathroom floor
now, i raised that straw
to block those thoughts
but never turned on you
never turned that light off
that image looks ridiculous
i wanted peace, you're demanding
bad habits masking
what we should
have finished.
empty sentences
bored with
running out of ways
that i can escape this.
but i give a nod
to your
dominant performance.
 Jul 2015 Swells
leaves layered like scales, dripping
with honey light
the spongy rich earth
umber and decadent

the demurely stooped ferns
and blush of huckleberries
the tentative saplings
cradled to her soft decaying chest

and the proud sentinels
vast canopies like circus big tops
deities the sun pauses for
and presses his hands onto, praying

her verdant dewy cheeks
and sun speckled arms
her swollen figure
ripe with abundance
death and renewal
 Mar 2015 Swells
Tom McCone
 Mar 2015 Swells
Tom McCone
sugar i
am carried on lofty currents,
days like this. days
evaporating, caught in
tumult. hands, caught between
bricks. banks of
simmering stormcloud.
outside, in the throes of
daisy-speckled fields, i
am found with the taste
of your syllables tucked
just behind the lip. thought
convolving, shifting dot,
position, tangent; no simple
question. just combination:
these speckles i know, the
silhouette of
your face in
each blink. the
warmth of this soft hum, when
i sing, to the world, of your
radiant heart.
is this too sappy
is this too obvious
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