Dissections logo scissors body by Deena Warner


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner





Shield Dance by Will Jacques

After Three Nights of Terror, I Refuse to Face Him in My Sleep
David Arroyo

Consuming the coffee
panic like pollen in my eyes,
scratchy   red.

Awake is not alert.
Fear is not hair on the chest.
It is bleak bags

each stuffed with a mace
stretching the face
into a sad bloodhound.

I watched dawn
crawl over the base
of the window

like a spider,
while Dracula

like a conch shell
shaped like a television
against my left ear.

Did I win?
Do I get a reprieve?
An empty page of sky

had no answers.
My red eyes cicatrized
and hardened against the marathon of day.

This is cheating,
but this is how I prosper.
Delay. Deny.

Foster addictions.
Stumble tense
between past, present.

an accidental


In China, He Finds Me
David Arroyo

“...the dining-room declares
A larger loneliness of knives and glass
And silence laid like carpet.”
Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel, Philip Larkin

Sleepy-eyed I wake / to roiling dark
            like Nutella spread
                       thick across my field of vision.
            The neon sigh peering
into my window snuffed
         by bubbles of black — of black —
                     Of black blank. My brain stutters
         and fumbles for the noun.
The dark, seeping
            in the grey creases of me,
                      decomposes language
            Into a bland stew.
                                                      Someone is on my chest.

Nathan, is that Nathan? Why is Nathan
           on my chest? I’m flattered Nathan,
                       I know it is lonely here but I don’t swing
                                                                       that way.

I cannot verbalize this.
           He is huddled on my chest
                      in child’s pose.
            heavy, dense dwarf star.
Feel my fingers but cannot move.
          Sp.eak. Can’t. I. Ca. Ca.
                     I. Ca.

From within me
            the whirlpool of swirling
                      phonemes spits out
                                   an Uh Oh.

Uh oh. This is not Nathan. Uh oh. This is HIM.
            Uh oh is the strange ohm
                       that jail breaks me back to waking — real waking.
             Neon light, apple red,
drapes across my chest in a thick sash
           Not enough — I fumble for the switch.
                      It is like dry land drowning, this sort of fear.
           only the blinding bulb oxygenates the polluted air.



Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner
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