I’ve grown to love the steady sound of so many kinds of caving in

an illustration of two bodies in orange and red with shadows behind them, floating together and overlapping in a mystical way
Art by Kristina Closs

Dear Maker,

by Susannah Nevison and Molly McCully Brown

Under my body’s din,
   a hum that won’t quiet,
I still hear what you’ve hidden
   in all the waves of sound:
each bead of pain
   that buries its head
like a black-legged tick,
   intractable but mine
to nurse or lure with heat.
   Please, tell me
what it means that I’ve grown
   to love the steady sound
of so many kinds of caving in,
   buckling down, the way
a body gives itself away
   like a sullen bride or the runt
who couldn’t latch? I know I’m just
   a hairline crack the music
leaves behind. I love
   the music, though I can’t keep it


If you’re me, it’s luxurious to go unobserved

an illustration of the back of a woman's body with a background rendered in a black silhouette with a background comprised of hygiene items like a comb, perfume, soap, etc
Art by Kristina Closs

[My favorite scent is my own funk, my least favorite scent, other]

by Diane Seuss

My favorite scent is my own funk, my least favorite scent, other

people’s funk, and this, my friends, is why we cannot have nice

things. I value the advice I give others but I don’t like the advice

that comes my way unless it reflects what I would have done anyway.

You know how it goes. I like how my voice sounds in the car

when I sing along with Earth Wind & Fire but no one else can

pull it off, no one. My bad acting, when I acted, was charming.

I intended it to be bad, as a comment on the state of theater

in the 20th century. On days I don’t have to see anyone I don’t brush

my hair, I don’t wear underwear or shoes or chemical potions meant

to extinguish my funk, and in these times, I am nearly perfectly happy.

If you’re me, it’s luxurious to go unobserved. When asked the inevitable

question, whether I’d wear eyeliner if I was the last person on earth,

no, hell no. Eyeliner is war. When I’m alone I lay my weapons down.

from frank: sonnets

I’ll pluck you from my mouth like an apple seed

It was incredibly difficult for me to choose just one poem from Calling A Wolf a Wolf, by the Iranian-American poet and founder/editor of DivedapperKaveh Akbar. If you want to feel utterly unzipped by tenderness and torment, get your hands (and eyes) on this collection.



Everything that moves is alive and a threat–a reminder
to be as still as possible. Devastation occurs

whether we’re paying attention or not. The options: repair
a world or build a new one. Like the belled cat’s

frustrated hunt, my offer to improve myself
was ruined by the sound it made. How do I look today,

better or worse than a medium-priced edible
arrangement? I am sealing all my faults with platinum

so they’ll glean like the barrel of a laser gun. Astronomy: the luminosity
of Venus reminds me to wear orange in the woods. Nobody

ever pays me enough attention. I’ve spent my whole adult life
in a country where only my parents can pronounce my name.

Please, spare me your attempts; I’m a victim of my own
invention. The desire to help others is a kind of symmetry,

an eccentricity of our species like blushing, gold teeth, and life
after children. I don’t worry myself with what my doctor said

before he burst into flames. I just eat his wet blue pills,
stay emotionless as a fig. Muscle memory: a heart

calls for you by name. Come to bed with me, you honest thing–
let’s break into science. I’ll pluck you from my mouth

like an apple seed, weep with you over other people’s lost pets.
The strangeness between us opens like a pinhole on the open floor:

in floods a fishing boat, a Chinese seabird, an entire galaxy
of starfish. We are learning so much so quickly. The sun

is dying. The atom is reducible. The god-harnesses
we thought we came with were just our tiny lungs.