This month we offer secrets pressed behind chiffon curtains and cold on our cold bed.
Next month we reach for:
Submission guidelines can be found here.
Here is where the ghosts drift at night, beheaded
and translucent, toward the Ambassador Hotel.
Under the canopy of billboards outside
my apartment window. One prays to Greta Garbo.
Another to Mae West. My favorite sings
Garland for me if I’ve had enough to drink
and promise not to tell. Secrets pressed
behind chiffon curtains. The moon breathes
a little too close. Like it might fold over, drown us.
I hold an August lover on the island of dusk-blue bed.
I tell her my skin is a ghost. She listens to my meat heart beat.
Through the glass, ghost heads sing in ghost hands.
Bulbs of sweat and alien moon:
Summer is for murder.
Leah Mell (she/they) is a lesbian poet and translator originally from the American South. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is fond of ghosts and the sea.
I remember since it’s
Months you left me.
Since the doctor
Said you have months remaining
To be with me.
We spent the day laughing &
Dancing & singing together
While I rained tears when you sleep.
What do you feel
Having your chest cut open,
Your heart cut in two/separated/
While your heart bleeds
& All that’s left are sour memories?
I play myself a sad tune
Beat a beat of sorrow
Knitted from a drum of loss, rendering the air into a dirge
While I sing a song plucked from ocean of sorrows flowing in me.
I dance to this rhythm
& God watches.
Father knows how many times I wake
To touch your body/fearing to lose your warmth.
God knows how many times I cheated sleep
To watch you breathe/
Afraid of the minute you’d slip out of
You in your sleep/afraid of the hour you’d
Grow cold on our cold bed.
How I became a lamb in a slaughter house
Of pain after you went still/ how my eyes are
Always the color of blood after you were laid on that bed with ‘lid’/how I broke after you were lowered into the red earth at home.
I’ve nurtured phobia for flowers you loved.
These things could not bring you back
Still, they unbury memories of you inside me,
Leaving my eyes wet/throat choked.
Ayiyi Joel is a 19-year-old budding poet from Edo state in Nigeria. He has works published/forthcoming on Synchronized Chaos, Carthatic Lit Mag, The Beatnik Cowboy, Poemify, and elsewhere.