Play Money. & Desandar, by Alix Perry

after The New Pornographers

To know the beauty of a boomtown

is to drink from its bottlenecks.
The curation of pleasure, oh

sir/ma'am/etc, you have come

to the right place. To enrich the flows,
their inevitable entanglements.

To distill your economic essence.

Something with which to scent
your bathwater and salt your meat.

A body begins to recognize

itself in its surroundings. Not long,
not long at all. Call it nostalgia or

narcissism, the effect is the same.

In boomtown, the streets paint
themselves with trumpet sounds.

The coffee learns to swallow

infinity, spit it out come morning.
Gossip spreads itself wide and

thick, caviar on a cracker. New

work/life suits incoming this week,
a weave that bends light, sets (y)our

shadow lose to do (y)our bidding.

after Boogarins

It was the sticky surface of the floodplain
that raised us. Have you ever seen a sapling
so verdant that the rain stains the ground green

at its base? Arborous mess like a felt pen burst
at the bottom of a backpack. Spreading fast.

Quickly. Quickening. Fastening myself to
something stable. Or trying. Under a wide enough

scope, everything gyring. We were newly eight
and ringed by party store tiki torches when
we looked up at the stars and claimed to feel

the Earth turning. High on the first night of
summer. Kick the can, dogs the finders’

unfair allies. Noses rustling leaves, feet
snapping twigs, the neighbor’s distant shotgun.

We hid in twos or threes and forgot to turn off
our flashlights. We whispered about cougars and
coyotes. Screamed because it was so much to

feel at once. The mysteries quit asking
permission at sundown. Deeper into the

woods, pushing toward a property line
that never proved itself real enough to find.

Alix Perry is a trans writer from the Pacific Northwest. Their work has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and can be found in Kissing Dynamite, The B’K, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere. Their chapbook, Tomatoes Beverly, is due out in May 2024 with Naked Cat Press. More at