Dissections logo scissors body by Deena Warner


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner





Artwork: The Difference Between Then and Now by Will Jacques

Artwork: The Difference Between Then and Now by Will Jacques

For Theo

Cathleen Allyn Conway


The library is warm with golden tomes,
old leather and old folios, heavy pages,
a babble of conversation that smelled
of black cherries and clean cotton,
parting in violent rifts of drunken laughter,
books and maps, cracked spines,
razorblades between the pages.

Books aren’t what you come to see.
This isn’t exactly the safest place to hide,
walking on bones, skeletons ground to
gravel, no stone unpublished.

Pack your navy suitcases of ageing paper
and cracked vellum; fill with school books
and too many pairs of clean socks.

Carry a map of scents in your head, a
whole world on a chunk of rock in the
middle of a bleak tile floor as if it were
dark water, clocks ticking disapprovingly
as candle-colours cut the newsprint dust.

There is a tradition the scholars protect.
The ghost of lights in your eyes
blow against the window.
Watch them explode against the glass.


The Influence
Cathleen Allyn Conway

Danger is a terrible addiction, but that’s what I like:
the pleasure of picking the bad choice, my own path
to damnation, drowning in looping rapture,
boneless with relief.

There was a party and everyone died in a rain
of shimmering glass, fine as scattered sands,
driver slamming brakes, metal-scraped metal
wedged bone on road, occasional body parts
grinding into one another, blood a fizzy
strawberry soda of sherbet, copper and tears.

All the damage between us electrified the bodies
brushing against me, heads-bobbing bodies
lounging on car seats of velvet couches as lights
pulse and flash against a stained-glass windshield.

Heat spreading up my arm across my bare collar,
slivers of icy air chilling fingers, white kitten heels
sinking into red plush, the intoxicating dance of carnival,
the wildness of grief smeared over my skin in an explosion
like honey and milk and everything warm in the world,
words swallowed by the night.

I’m hungover, everyone’s dead, and my root beer’s gone.
One night you will ask for something I cannot give,
like a normal person who loved you.


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner
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