Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
She’s painting white against white. It’s an octopus—I know from illuminated glances, stolen when the desk lamp lights each colorless ridge and layer—but to the passing eye, it’s just an empty frame on the textured wall. She shuts the door against me to add another layer of madness.
Gretchen has an octopus painting on her wall, but she supposes you do, too.
Like the rain,
A poem falls
When conditions are propitious.
Words patter down
Sometimes the flowing
Quenches your thirst
Or washes you clean.
Sometimes the flooding
Strips you bare
To your foundation.
When a poem falls
Into your heart,
It is best to listen.
Casey Laine comes from a long line of talkative women. She works as Fantasy Editor at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores and publishes an annual anthology of fiction and poetry for her writing group, Writers Assembled. In her spare time, she chases butterflies with her camera. Find her on Facebook.
You cut your heart into the shape of a rose and fill your chest with acorns. We eat the rose with some chianti on your birthday.
Afterward, you say this is the best birthday you’ve ever had and stuff your mouth with cake as squirrels braid your hair for winter.
Erik Fuhrer is the author of Not Human Enough for the Census, forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. His work has been published in Cleaver, BlazeVox, Softblow, and various other venues. See more at erik-fuhrer.com.
She loves how it envelops her, how she feels free to move gracefully within it, and when no one is watching, she raises her arms out to her sides and spins around. If only she could do that outdoors and be, feel safe!
Her dream is both simple and unattainable.
Shawn Fukuda is a former Spanish, and occasionally Japanese, Court and Legal Interpreter, and now a homemaker.