James Babbs

MONOLITH

“monolith ex. c light erosion” by David Tomaloff


In the Aftermath

somewhere among the ruins
I crawled through the rubble
confused by what had happened
the sky choked with dust
and I couldn’t see the sun

somewhere among the ruins
lost in hours of drunkenness
I wandered around alone
the sun had broken through
but it was too bright
I closed my eyes
and waited for night to fall

somewhere among the ruins
I started foraging for food
I wasn’t really hungry
but driven by my own body
the tasteless pieces
sliding down my throat

somewhere among the ruins
I found pieces of my heart
and gathered them up
before I realized
I’d never find them all
so I released them again
stood and watched them
scattering into the wind

somewhere among the ruins
I saw her again
fluttering over the wreckage
and she kept stopping
as if she were listening for something
for a moment I wanted to scream at her
but I didn’t
I just watched her turn
before lifting up her wings
and rising into the air

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Cassandra Dallett

Paw Paw

“Paw Paw” by David Tomaloff


On Bush Street

My window looks into an air shaft
dark and musty with smells of foreign foods
and aging hoarders
ten people sleep in the studio across from me.
My other window looks at a wall
painted grey streaked white with shit.
The pigeons drive Moxie my cat to grow wings.
the studio smells of 409 and heat
a muggy New York City’s summer
trapped inside San Francisco walls.
The hooker downstairs
tells me the former tenant
died on the twin mattress where I sleep.
The southern white landlord asks me to leave
makes up lies
about my black boyfriend
and my black cat.
Moxie leaves me a gift
in the middle of the apartment
placed on a pyramid
of shredded paper towels
a dead mouse.

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Sophia Argyris

HERE BE DRAGONS

“Here be Dragons” by David Tomaloff


DEARLY DEPARTED DADDY LONGLEGS

All those funerals we held for wasps
butterflies and spiders
in the garden planting crosses
made of twigs into the earth.
Solemn as churches
the three of us, singing or
chanting some song made up
to mourn their passing.

We’re older now and loss
is something very different.
Black clothes and lowered coffins
hushed voices, airless rooms.

Our repertoire of ghosts
just keeps on growing.
Long gone the innocence
of green garden insect graves

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Tyler Gates

i love anal og

“………i <3 4n4l_Og………..” by David Tomaloff


Just Another……

just another gas station bathroom

another Mike
loves
another Stacey

another number to call
for a good time

another broken mirror
splitting your face into
a million halves

the air is stale
the lights are flickering
and everything is the same
everywhere

look around
just another neighborhood
with crooked old trees
reminding you of
just another childhood
burned up
in just another small town

bikes with no brakes
hearts without purpose
another promise broken to
just another lover
who’s become nothing but

just another stranger

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John Grochalski

straz

“Straz” by David Tomaloff


bastille day

then he said

in all seriousness
how do you impress a french girl?

to which i said

a lot of wine
some edith piaf
some serge gainsbourg

a little proust on the couch

and if that doesn’t work
show her your cock
while whistling yankee doodle dandy

reach for the butter
and tell her to bend over
mon cheri

because it’s bastille day

all day

just for her.

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Catfish McDaris

odocoileus virginianus a

“odocoileus virginianus a.” by David Tomaloff


The Same Rifle That Killed JFK

Jarhead and I hunted America and Mexico for forty years. It was delicious like opening a frosty can of Coors, but it got too easy. Gunpowder took away the sport. We tried blowguns, spears, throwing sticks, and settled on slingshots. It took five years before we killed a deer with a rock. My lady, Juanita wanted to experience the hunt. She carried an old Italian Carcano army rifle I’d bought in an Army Surplus store on the cheap. We helped her find a good spot at the top of a hill and spread out. A herd of deer appeared like silent magic, a twelve point buck leading. We had our rocks ready to fly, but we held fire letting Juanita take her first shot at a living creature. Just as the deer were disappearing, BOOM. The antlers of the buck caved towards each other like felled Sequoias. One shot in a million.

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