This month we offer sinking stars, a handful of the world.
Next month we reach for:
Submission guidelines can be found here.
This is How You will Write Poems About Her
You will take her to the aquarium in November
when she doesn’t feel like leaving her house.
You will watch with fascination as she watches the fish
and you will slowly start falling
for the way her eyes glow when we sees them
and close when she kisses you.
By December you will know every small detail about her,
like how she always does the border
last on a jigsaw puzzle,
how the veins on her eyelids
are like veins on a jellyfish–
they are rivers running through fields of snow.
Tonight she will show you her knees
and the yellowing bruise on the corner of her hip.
This is how you will write poems
to her legs in the wintertime,
stubbled and caressed
in khaki-coloured chinos.
In February when she meets your parents,
you will find a bouquet of black-eyed-susans
nuzzled under her nose
and a warm rhubarb pie in her arms.
This is the only time you will call her a liar
because you made her promise not to bring anything.
In March she won’t tell you that she has fallen sick.
In April she will hide her arms
in the folds of your vinyl jacket.
In May you will find her in a fifth floor
hospital room and the stars will look
as if they are sinking.
In the summer you will place black-eyed-susans on her grave
and realize that her whole life is encompassed
in the dash between March ‘75 and July ‘97.
And you will regret the day you fell in love
with someone who had a fear of falling.
This is how you will write poems about her.
Hannah Shapiro (she/they) lives and writes on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. She holds a BA in English Literature from Carleton University. Their work has been performed by various schools and production companies. This is her first poetry publication. Hannah is the Poetry Editor of Sumac Literary Magazine, which is set to release its first issue in April 2023.
Once, when I was little,
my brother tried to teach me
about String Theory. Because
I was too young to comprehend
the universe, he said: imagine the world
was made of very small strings.
Like worms. And I laughed.
Even then, I knew the world
wasn’t made of worms. I thought,
scientists must be very silly.
Recently, I pulled up the
Wikipedia page for String Theory.
There were no mentions
of worms, only words like
“perturbative” and “chromodynamics.”
My brother couldn’t have really
understood String Theory
much more than I did, but he
wanted me to know that nothing
was beyond me. Maybe I had thought
scientists believed in nonsense,
but all that mattered to him was that
I could have held a handful of worms
in my palms, and I would have believed
I was holding the world.
Erin McKay (she/her) is a writer and high school senior. She has an enduring fascination with Joan of Arc and you can find more of her work here.