If There Was a Way
to know how the ant became stuck in an ice cube,
it would mean a night of occupation;
tonight the moon will become sightless
until the sun decides its end of demise,
and the stars have already flanked like asteroids -
tiny from a distant, sparkling like fire-
stones. If I knew why the ant crawled
into the water inside the cube, I would
know why my arms feel the way they feel
when in some nights they hold darkness
like an earth-lotus, blooming without water.
I would know that curious minds are not
the only ones that renounce fear for break-
through; the desire to experience pain
is probably what drives stars to incarnate
cyclically; is probably what made the ant
want to be frozen. It isn't considered
death. The mind finds a sterile axis, stops
the rotation of churning, curdling to thickness
until the only form that remains is gel; water
is gel, in the inanimate way you enter
the realm of dreams, in the steadfast
manner you become home to the constricted.
But, I don't crawl like the ant into self-
picked spaces. I bloat like a pustule on burn,
find my own water in which to entrap
and cover the over-skin with glitter of relief.
The night will throb the moon on its frontal lobe;
the blind dawn will freeze in cataracts of light,
and nobody will know how I died a thousand hours
to watch the sun rise from its own.
He sews under the needle of numbness,
electrons cheering-on magnum opus of the dead
cells. There will never be dearth of spectators,
this is how he will always see, bright conjunctions
meant to slip him under a dreamless spell.
Some minds skull out of their forms -
disseminating like a torn letter - thinning paper
under a solvent of nerves. He sews like a vein
ready to receive; the exclusion of the external
like the red dots he would swallow for sleep.
It must feel like the universe has expanded
on a shrinking platform, and the ebon fills
in fast litres his jug of resistance. It is always
day when under; he sews a thatch to roof
his eyes as he dreams of hammocks
that don't feel like wired enclosures under
his skin, that sound of cooing waves of a lazy ocean,
that taste of lobsters, glossy red like giant pills.
When his jaw vibrates, he eats his teeth. He sews
under fluids that are chemically stable. And then
when he wakes, the white fluorescence
turns blue. His mind tells him he's an active dart
ready to shoot for target, his body sewing
his burning, fading memories of his sleep.
( Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, more about which can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com)
One More Night
What I always wanted is a space
to my spirit with tears and cure
myself from the grief and believing
that tomorrow will be a good day
One more night staying up late
I was not born to enjoy this world
with the diamonds of her parents
she mercilessly cuts my chest open
As the blood starts dripping all over
my flesh and I am walking away from
the dark road to rest and sleep in a
dirty sidewalk and having nightmares
If I ever survive with a broken heart
I would break the bird wings to fly
leaving no scent of my flesh nor do I
want to wash in a salty sea to die sweet
Only God Knows
Only god knows how much I need you.
I miss you as much as the snow misses
a moment to fall above the cedars.
Everyone says that I should keep moving on,
but I hear your voice coming toward me
slowly as if I hear an echo from a distance.
Weeping, because of my daily routine, the
autumn season appears twice in one year.
first was from the cloud, second is from my eyes
bitter is how happiness tastes
I smile in my dreams, waiting to see you
before the train comes and leaves me in grief
( Ahmad Al-Khatat. He was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote his first poem back in the year 2000. He also has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world. His poems were translated into Farsi, Albanian, German, and Chinese. And he currently studies Political Sciences, at Concordia University in Montreal. He recently have published his two chapbooks “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline”. With Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.)
( Kyle Hemmings' photos have been featured in Scars Publications, Sonic Boom, The Rush, Sunlight Press, Peacock Journal and elsewhere. He loves street photography and French Impressionism.)
There are some silences which annihilate the landscape.
I was brought up with them, learnt the topography of them
across the kitchen table. Fatherless girls fall in love
with the ghosts of their fathers. How many times
have I had to remind myself of this? But I’ve learned
not to look back in anger and not to confuse servitude
with solitude or vice versa. You know how it is,
that feeling of standing still in space, with every
double entendre, every double-bladed sword
sinking into the back of someone’s neck
while you watch, completely stunned?
The fire consumes a histrionic,
blisters them with jealousy,
turns ordinary women into furies.
I watched my grandmother pour gin
and vermouth down her throat,
as if that could somehow drown the flames,
but she passed out by 7 pm every night.
Momma would go upstairs to get stoned.
I’d play with my Barbies in the closet,
left numb, wondering why everything can’t be
straight forward. And if some things
just weren’t nice, you should never speak
of them again. But it is almost winter,
and I am myself ever, and God
is nowhere to be found. I watched
my grandmother recede in dementia
and my mother beaten into an invalid
by a stroke. She used to call me a changeling,
a wicked child. I came into her life
during a storm. I brewed secret poisons in
holes I dug, filled with rainwater and little
toads I caught behind the house.
Can I write myself into being?
Give me some matchsticks
and a cold and desolate patch of rock.
Give me some dead branches
under the twisting ribbon of night.
I’d fly through it; I’d fly straight
( Robin DeFrance is a writer and activist who worked many years as a caregiver. Currently, she resides in Kane, PA with her partner and cats. She finds poetry to be the best mouthpiece for communicating traumatic experiences such as isolation, abuse, sorrow, love, or remorse.)
The Beautiful Space-