Barbara Ann Meier – 3:11 AM

 

3:11 AM

It starts with a contraction,
a shudder, turns to a roll,
tightening to knots…
the earth twitches and shakes off its top layer.
Just as the cramp grips the calf.
I wait.
Watch the pictures rattle…Anticipate the next twitch.
Why do I bother to wish for sleep?
It won’t come. The cramp won’t stop.

The pain that starts mid-calf,
travels to the arch of the foot,
Reminiscent of a forward fold
and downward facing dog.
Just as the ache from head to child
planks my adult. Board- like stiff.

To tighten the muscle,
requires the stretch to rebound
and snap with tectonic plates.
Wait….
For the next spasm of muscle.
I grasp tight, but leaks in cracks,
seep,
ooze,
break loose.

I roll to floor,
hobble to gulp magnesium.
Turn up the heat, lay the leg flat,
and think of past actions.

I’d text you sorry but what good would that do?

Warrior 1 shifts to Warrior 2.
The end result is a stretch and a cramp
at 3:11 AM.

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EMAN BOURAS – GIRL BURNING THE WRONG WAY

Girl Burning the Wrong Way

The girl wants you, alive this time—

Which is to say, hands turned on the table
so we know you’re not moving to kill us, hands
around our neck meaning forever, meaning
right now, meaning hands
around waist pulling toward another
fire, another swallowing thing, choosing
the poison over the lips and the
wrong body in the lake, over
and over.

But you aren’t
the one dancing this time with
rolling veins, a stronger sage, spitting
holy water into the
hotel room to
remember all this for you.

When you thought, at least there
was dirty breathing on
the opposite side of
the bed, at least there
was breath, a man in a hat swearing
he loves you, swearing and
heart pounding, and
fist in wall–
why did they all feel the same to you?

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BROC RIBLET – BALLAST

Ballast Okay fine, the ballast said. Fine, fine do what you want. I will stay here while waters bob. And ship strays. And wood gets wet with tide. The ballast said no, wait. So tired of passive. Track your own whereabouts. Head count with the lighthouse. I want to not do this job. And bid […]

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CATFISH MCDARIS – HELENA THE SHARK

Helena the Shark

She told me she was Helena
Blavatsky reincarnated, there
was some resemblance, I told
her her breasts reminded me of
Texas, one sort of drooped toward
Dallas, the other curled like a
Texas longhorn in a Waco twister,
her farts were ungodly, I’m talking
Martian strange, I took her on a
short road trip and told her if she
cut the cheese anymore, I’d stake
her ass to an anthill and lather her
with honey, she just smiled, we got
to the beach, I got out our lounge
chairs and tequila sunrises from the
cooler, I fell asleep when I woke up
a tiger shark was wearing Helena’s
sunhat and bloody bikini top and
was sipping an icy Old Milwaukee.

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Allasandra Buckner – Apperceive

Apperceive

How well do you know me?
Can you tell me my fears?
Maybe my favorite color?
Or my age in years?

Can you tell me what I’ve said?
Can you tell me what I’ve done?
Who I said it to?
Where I’m from?

I’m sure you know most of these…
Maybe you’ve misunderstood.
I’m not so innocent…
I’m something of a no-good.

Here’s a secret you didn’t know..
That little girl back in ’08,
You know who I’m talkin’ ’bout
That one in Bull Lake…

She was swimming and drowned abruptly,
Was it an accident? No.
I was there- holding her down,
Kicking and engulfed screams- not letting go.

That’s just one incident but,
Remember that terrorist attack?
People like to call it 9/11…
I let them on the plane- and never looked back.

There’s fixations you should believe
But things you refuse to.
Like, how could I be so cruel?
Better yet, have I done anything to you?

I admit, I have, yes, it’s true.
Those sweaty, screaming nightmares…
Should I stop telling you?
I had a hand in that- you were unaware.

I watched you lay still,
You were unable to stir.
I caressed your leg- your cheek,
You thought of me as the whisperer.

Those fires everywhere-
Are they threatening your palace?
I held the lit match
I watched with such malice.

I viewed the houses burn,
That fire reflected in my eyes.
The heat licked my smile
Yes, all me, just in disguise.

Who am I, you ask?
Nobody simplistic, that’s for sure.
I induce fear in the world,
But I can be a cure.

Without me, there would be no fight.
You wouldn’t risk your life.
I am adrenaline and purpose,
I’m the reason you grab the knife.

Actually… I lied.

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