Laryssa Wirstiuk – My Last Memory of Snow

My Last Memory of Snow

I hesitated entering the bodega. The cashier had seen me cry before:
I’m sure of it. Would he remember me at the table with my twenty-four
ounce can of Yuengling? After that embarrassment I should’ve left you
in my car. The menu was sandwiches: hummus and vegetables on rye.
Sour Patch Kids. Steamed soy milk in coffee. I’m intentionally bleeping
out the important detail: three feet of snow on Third Street in Old City.
Normally I would have been defeated by the heavy white powder,
but we were procuring carbs, caffeine. At the AirBNB was a tub for two.
What’s more, I knew we’d be Pioneers! O Pioneers! in just a few months.
Extra pickles and hot sauce, please. My eye contact hungered for chips.
And, sir, is it possible I’m making a mistake? We plowed through drifts
with heavy boots and paper sacks. Voices bounced off new acoustics.
Few were out; locals were scraping cars a step ahead of the next squall.
I longed for less complicated circumstances: not so much of the always
life or death. Next winter a close friend would text me the following:
Your commitment crushed my hopes. I didn’t get it. You had plowed
the trail where there wasn’t any snow. He would send me postcards
with full color (some white, some grey) landscapes covered with more
than I’d endured. Despite who you are, I’ve landed. I can’t revoke a storm.

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Gonzalinho da Costa – APHORISMS


Politics is a realm in which iniquity is multiplied many times over when the masses like herds of animals incited by morally corrupt leaders participate in systemic evil on a massive scale.

Degrade the rule of law and reap the consequences of a lawless society.

Aloneness is alienation, solitude communion.

Everything is, yet nothing is as it was.

You can have your cake and eat it, too, not the other way around.

A friend in deed is a friend indeed.

Tend to a boiling pot lest it overflow.

A leap to safety is not guaranteed by a look.

Tyrants impose, peoples depose.

Wickedness will worsen when it is motivated by the underlying fear of retribution.

Tremulous truth is in reality conquering courage.

When the sun, moon, and stars bowed down to a child, it was only a dream.


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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.
For the next spasm of muscle.
I grasp tight, but leaks in cracks,
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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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?



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 […]




The woman stands still
in her living room for
a long while without anyone

noticing. Something chimes
far away and another hour

passes. She’s not alone
but it feels that way

because no one has taken
an honest look at her
all day. She feels a sad,

desperate thing inside
and she wants to kill it.

Tears could come anytime
and she hates herself for that.
Every light in the house

is on and they’re shining
on the worst parts of her.





I like to imagine not having them,
maybe finding myself in the country,
a ranch hand’s kid who really believes.
I saw it all once on film:
up at dawn tossing hay, carrying pails,
riding flats toward hills wide as far
can exist without sirens,
those usual howling squares.

Yea, that’s the picture I used to hold
while under some strange man, waiting out
the performance in a farm large as Coney
before the hurting would begin & I learned
to coat it, changing my face
to a new line:
“Hey, got the time Mister?”

Sooner than forever it was all over.
I kept eyes on the bed stand’s lamp
& bolted another drink, chinks
of what was happening only a numbing
kind of rush
no match for the stallion-carousel
bright & far away…

Then it turned into a turnpike,
this corner, that,
picking up streams of green paper, cash, fast hands,
ragged breath & more & more concrete.
Now I make sure to only do it in the dark,
keeping my gaze off headlights, off neon,
& I’m afraid to have dreams,
for what if the stables are just a different district
with the stalls all ready &, even there,

this will still be my life?