Page 26: You Can Sleep When Ur Dead by Erica Brunner

You can sleep when you’re dead,

that’s what Prisilla told me.
I had no idea

where I was,
but I was at the Command Center
in Oakland
in a warehouse.
Sliding metal doors
blended into stained concrete.

Prisilla talked about
Gary Glitter, Slade,
the disco ball she owned,
how she couldn’t stop moving,
how every wardrobe
should be composed of
leather, lace, fringe, fur,
bones.

I was curled
on a mauve couch,
head rested on a cum stain.
The couch,
on a riser
next to a hot tub

out of commission
because of fungus.
The riser doubled
as a stage.

My bed, a stage.

Prisilla wanted me to stay awake
so she had someone to dance with.

My eyes, concrete.

Prisilla wanted me to stay awake
so she wouldn’t go back to Angel’s room.
His room, covered in mirrors.
Where sex became about you and the mirror.

From high ceilings dangled
green and blue planets,
televisions mounted to walls
played Star Trek episodes
none
synced to the others.

Angel covered me with a blanket
the scar on his upper lip
so deep,
he whispered,
how can I resist,
those eyes.

The water in the morning was cold.
There was a television covered
in plastic
in the shower.
I washed myself
and watched Star Trek.

Page 58: Shmushmortion by Daniela Bizzell

Shmushmortion by Daniela Bizzell

We called it a shmushmortion. Driving through brown, slush-lined roads, he joked about moving to Mexico. He joked that it wasn’t his. He joked that it would come out dark-skinned, lacking that pale-pink pigment so commonly found in the Swede. I joked that I would leave it on his doorstep and that I would fly to Mexico. I joked that if he made another joke I would punch him in the face. I joked that it would have beautiful eyes, unique, because both of our eyes were beautiful and unique. Except I wasn’t really joking. We both knew, when it came down to things, that he was broke, I was still in college, and if there ever came a time, I would have a shmuhshmortion.

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Page 72: I Will Never Hit Anyone Ever by Sarah Green

I Will Never Hit Anyone Ever by Sarah Green

Amanda doesn’t know she’s seven poets

All of them suffocated by their own mothers’ handbags hiding gateway drugs

Illiterate screaming from a room down the hall and a man whose silhouette isn’t

symmetrical with the floor

paces aimless authority and shuts her up with this thumbs in the grape skin light of 5am

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Page 141: Little Boxes by Meredith Bastien

Little Boxes by Meredith Bastien

He told me his family raised him to believe in the magical powers of gemstones. Maybe that explains it all.

Sam was always more interesting than me, that’s for sure. He dropped out of college and delivered mail for a while. On his first day here, he said how much he liked working indoors for once. In one of the drawers in his desk, he had a box of rubies, sapphires, and topaz. He said they gave him emotional strength.

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say,” I said on his last day.

“Is any of this new to you? Are any of these feelings new? Have you done all this before? Is this special for you?” he asked in the dark on my bed. Sam was the fucking worst because everything was new to him. His skin looked like it had never been bruised before—like his job was to bathe in milk.

“I mean…I’ve had sex before,” I said.

I could have said something really mean, but instead I just pretended to fall asleep. He hated working here, so he’s quitting to backpack through Europe. He didn’t like cubicles; only dead people should live in boxes, he’d say.

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Page 194: A Case of the Mondays by Sam Finer

A Case of the Mondays by Sam Finer

“The El Paso County Medical Examiner stated that neither an autopsy nor toxicological tests were possible due to the nature of the accident and the condition of the remains.”

I saw some pictures of a man today –
or what used to be one, anyway.

He was filtered
through the turbine of a 737.
Dented blades ground bone to powder.
Burned crisps blasted out behind.
Scraps of red ringed around the bowl
with a lump of melted fat pooling
on the rim, probably dripping
onto the runway with the rest of him.

At least it was over fast.

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