198 lede

Harvest. by Maxine Phoenix

EVERYTHING SO GOOD, you gorge on it like ripe fruit— / Sickness all-consuming as you grab fistfuls of peaches, / Fleshy pink watermelon, / The soft bodies squeezing out from between your knuckles / Piling onto your lap, / Spilling off the table. // Forgive my eagerness, please / (The fruit, or / Reacting to your goodness; / Wanting all of you, with all of me, always / And fearing the absence); / Forgive my inconsistent openness, please

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A lone walker. by Madeleine Gray

You learn many things taking routes away from home.
A backpack crammed with essentials, keeps my back straight.
My legs enjoy the balance made from good posture.
Decide to follow the stones, not the path, wind up
somewhere lost in the wild. British wilderness is not
as tame as one may think. Uncoil the trees,
cut through the bushes like a butchered heart,
still pumping blood, and rainwater - remember to take a moment.

John Moody’s Marmalade sausages swallowed.

in a sky of squeezed lemon light,

sun-ripe as a gall wasp grub’s
feeding frenzy, on citrus stalks.

Succulent sausage sweetness
cloying my bestial tongue, while
I adjust my sated taste buds
under a sharp sandpaper sky.

Pick a Team, Any Team by Tim Frank


When I was thirteen my dad bought me the number nine Dembele replica shirt, complete with maroon socks, black and white shorts and a matching scarf. I loved it so much I wore it for five days straight, even in bed. I refused to bathe, so I developed strange rashes and became all sticky.

But that soon changed when Dembele tore up his contract and transferred to a club in Spain that paid him three times the wages. He was welcomed like one of their own—a saint.

The Theory of Wisdom Teeth by W. F. Roby

Lieserl Einstein lived to maybe twenty months; the date of her death is disputed. Eduard went to an upper-level school and was a rising star in the brand-new field of psychiatry but was diagnosed with schizophrenia and soon required around-the-clock care; his last chat with daddy was a shouting match. Hans was the most Einsteinian of the lot, a scholar, a real authority on sediment transport, a sort of godfather of modern geotechnics and environmental science, but not exactly “rewriting the laws of physics.” Hans also has the benefit of the best gravestone inscription: “A life devoted to his students.”