One Poem by E.B. Schnepp


I. Body / Euphoria

science says we are 70% water but I can’t find them, the oceans 
promised under my skin — just something sticky, 

much too pink. dig deeper, into vestigial 
organs, past bright copper abraham lincolns, 

the spiders living in my veins, after all 
they’re harmless. I could learn to love them

the same way L. doesn’t try to love their hips,
this too is not forever, and L. and I (E.) are dreaming

ourselves into cyborgs, the start screens of video games
where we (optimistic) might be able to find something closer

to our own skin. metallic, this skin could blend
me into the background. am I woman

or am I mannequin? ATM machine, ready and able
to give you everything you need,

provided you already own the credit. this too vestigial,
this too harboring spiders, spitting receipts 

you didn’t as for. oil is no closer ocean than blood,
but no farther; and this inaccuracy too you could learn to love.

II. do humans dream of synthozoid neuro-transmitters

never as pink as medical / textbooks would believe and here / everything feels / artificial // are you breathing / neon in or out / of sync with its electromagnetic / pulse, synthetic drum beat / in a club in a city / you’ve never been to either // the club or the city, rarely / stared neon dead in the eye, asked it // to make you dance, but your bones crave it / that pulse. you’ve swallowed it down all your life / until your bones became a wind up / toy tight, with no hope of release until the cords snap at their joined spaces. // exhale // before you can’t / anymore. before the last string snaps and you, neglected / marionette drop / limbless to the floor. 

III. error 418: I am a teapot

I’ve never been pink, but believe I have been bloody; 
mistaking every shattered thing for love 
and maybe that’s why I’m crying tea, crying 
coffee, crying jet fuel into my lungs on the slow drive back 
from connorsville, a box of porcelain riding shotgun, 
I just want to give you every beautiful, fragile thing. 
and something about this isn’t right either, 
I used to be able to hold my caffeine so much better, 
where did the compulsory heterosexuality go? this is [not] 
a confession, this is a panic attack held hostage by the driver’s seat. 
driving on the wrong side of the road, I just need to make it 
three more miles. I’m glitching to the passenger’s side, 
who’s eyes are supposed to be on the road now? 
it’s not mine, now mine are tracing the faux gold paint along tea cup rim, 
sinking me, slip and slide style, down into teapot spout. I am genie temporarily 
[temporally] contained in someone else’s auctioned heirloom, I am virus, 
blaming every weasel [no one ever remembers to check 
for the weasels] in the large hadron collider and like this reality 
I too am prone to being a mistake. glitch me baby one more time 
this time into the right flesh, right romance novel, right moment before I realized 
I was thanking construction for slow moving traffic so I could reach 
over the middle console to run my fingers along the edge of a tea cup. 
falling backwards into september and someone else’s apartment 
where they’re sweeping broken glass into the dustbin. this won’t fix anything. 
the tears, the reason there are tears, the realization I already had six months ago, 
twenty-four months ago, stored away so carefully in my rib cage. 
the cloud would be more efficient. I could lose that password, 
accidentally delete it, nothing is ever truly deleted, 
but it can be rendered unretrievable by all the right parties.


E.B. Schnepp is a poet currently residing in Chicago. Their work can also be found in Lumiere, Up the Staircase, and Molotov Cocktail, among others.

One Poem by KB

You Can’t Kill Me, Imma Bad Bitch

after Pose


Even with the blade still fresh with my red. You could 
drip, even dagger & twist, but the angels still sing 
for me. Telling a Black queer they’ve died —
from natural causes or anyone else’s glock nine —

is saying we lived & you can’t erase that. After all 
these years of cuffing, refusals to cuff, 
bluffing on us, you still see me in these 
streets, & memes, & sheets. Isn’t the refusal

to let go of our matter in a world 
that gives crumbs to us 
the making of a life? Isn’t our life 
the making of a feast? They eat us up, 
honey. We stick up 

gender. Tell him & her give us something better. 
When you have so many days, 
& pain, 
& lessons written in permanent marker 
(just to make it harder to deny your beautiful 
existence) how could you ever die? 

Imma bad bitch. With my grip
on everything considered culture. & every strength 
passed through generations of red pumps. So live, baby. 

Get from point A to point B. But first, 
you have to walk for me.


KB Brookins is a poet, essayist, and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), Freedom House (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2023), and Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf, 2024). Follow them online at @earthtokb. 

One Poem by Umang Kalra


this is what punctuation looks like: gratuitous 
           extravagance               in the face of almost-death. 
we are running out of time: why               are you breathing 
           between words? everything is 
returning sideways and we are running out 
           of things to call new. somehow       we are dancing still: 
                        it is their turn            to watch & are you wondering still 
           what we look like              to the debris? [                ] used to tell me how 
                        we were protected from catastrophe 
           by a stroke of gravitational luck. i wonder where 
                    we are meant to put our fondnesses in this system 
                                 of approximate death. i am drawing lines               across 
                    a star-map for you: this memory is too 
                                 shallow             for you to remember & i must 
                    hold a funeral attended well enough              for the both of us. 
                                 we were never          supposed to matter enough 
                                               to be able to look up          fruitfully—we were never 
                                 supposed to grow our own futures in the soil, look, death is 
                                            only consequent if there is someone around 
                                 to mourn. will you stay, for me? when the sun caves in and only 
                                           our emojis remain. will you digitize it all for us? 
                                                                    will you tell our corpses we were here, wondrous 
                                           and watching the sky draw patterns 
                                                                      for us to pray to? 
                                           will you ask       for us to try again? 
                                                                    at the end of the world, will you think of kissing me? 
                                                                    will you live long enough just to feel it            again? 
                                                                    will the planets look like familiar friends? 
                                                                    what of water, of surveillance, of psychiatry, of all 
                                                                                our other cities? will you build 
                                                                    them again, this time 
                                                                    tell the moon               i would swallow
                                                                                it if i could. tell jupiter 
                                                                    thank you / look 
                                                                                            up again for me & call it 
                                                                                chance. everything else: 
                                                                    is an orchestrated plan. agriculture 
                                                                                looks discordant from up there. 
                                                      what are we doing? let the soil swallow
                                           you too. i’ll meet you in there.


Umang Kalra is a writer from India and the founding EIC of VIBE. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Wax Nine, Lucy Writers’ Platform, and elsewhere. They are a two-time Best of the Net Anthology finalist and a Pushcart nominee. Read more at

One Flash and One Poem by Goldie Peacock


15 minutes. That’s how long I have to get inside. The snaking line of would-be revelers isn’t moving, and I tap my cowboy-booted toes out of impatience, which the cocaine I’ve been snorting all night doesn’t help. A shivering mass, we stand in the cigarette-and-vodka-tinged air outside the warehouse party where my partner, Switch, scored a last-minute bartending gig. We stare down the door person as though we can will them to let us in before midnight with the ferocity of our collective gaze.

Of all the places Switch could’ve been asked to bartend, the warehouse sits around the corner from the apartment I moved into yesterday. I stumbled upon it when a fellow student at a pay-what-you-can yoga class recognized me from an audition, chatted me up and offered me her room while she spends the month in Mexico. Her parents have already paid rent. It’s a step up from the friend’s studio apartment I was couch surfing at because I’m too broke for anything else. Let’s call this friend Rainbow, since he earned his name at a Rainbow Gathering. Rainbow’s futon is also his bed, which I shared while trying not to think about his unwashed, crunchy sheets, rendered as such by many Manhunt-facilitated encounters. Also, he snores. He welcomed my crashing with him indefinitely, for free, plus was the one who introduced me to Switch, and I love him…but still.

I don’t yet understand how frenetic going out for NYC New Years is—I’ve been here for this occasion in the past, but always spent the night smugly sequestered, since I’m hardly basic enough for Times Square-style celebration. I haven’t planned accordingly and here I am, in line when I should be inside to kiss Switch at midnight. At some point I give up on the idea of making it, and am still waiting on the concrete steps in a crush of strangers when the clock strikes 12 and the air explodes in cacophony. My chest burns with frustration, plus the cocaine, but ah, well, whaddyagunnado?

2010 will be a year of discovering limits. Having just moved from Maine to New York, I’m an unsupervised kid in a candy store. This means euphoria but also stomachaches. 

Euphoria is coming into my own as a nonbinary person, exploring what that means. Switch is also nonbinary, and that helps. I wear eyeliner and fedoras and tunnels in my ears with large earrings through those, plus layers of necklaces and ties. I often bind and sometimes pack. As a drag king, I perform as a male, while as a go-go dancer and model I’m booked as a female or androgyne. I get she’d at one gig, he’d at another and they’d at another, and smile about how, work-wise, my gender strikes a balance.

Stomachaches are the following lessons, learned the hard way:

1. Go-go dancing in the city until 4 am, taking the train back to Brooklyn to attempt a few hours’ rest, then taking the train back to the city to stand still and naked as an art model the next morning doesn’t work. My legs feel gelatinous, the floor beneath me seems to undulate.  

2. Snorting a mixture of blow and Xanax while art modeling also doesn’t work. I unwittingly induce a panic attack of sorts, and it’s one of the few times I have to feign illness and excuse myself from class.

3. Chugging green tea and rushing to my appointment for a paid ADD medication trial is a bad idea. I get kicked off due to my abnormal EKG and am out $50 a month.

4. Love is not enough to save a relationship—but I’ll still stay in this one for five more years. 

5. No, I haven’t become intolerant to heat from my time in Maine—2010 is the hottest summer on record. Nauseatingly hot.

6. Panic can feel like nausea.

7. I can do gigs galore in all my genres, but there’s no one but me to say “you’re working too hard, chill out,” and I don’t know how to say that yet. The average New Yorker I meet doesn’t say to me, “Ooof, a 13-hour day? That’s bananas.” They say something like “yep, it’s all about the hustle” or “13-hour day, huh? Lucky, mine was 14.”

But back to the warehouse party, the first few minutes of 2010: the door person finally lets us in. Switch doesn’t act angry when I arrive around 12:10 and we have our belated kiss over the bar, but in hindsight I’ll think they’re disappointed, my tardiness a failing they’ll stack up with many others. A few minutes later, they accidentally drop a massive, full bottle of Grey Goose, which shatters on the floor. After the shock wears off, they laugh, as does everyone else. I think it’s cute when they screw up, not a failing—it adds dimension and makes for good stories. 

Then Rainbow shows up to this party, of all the millions of parties happening tonight. Switch and I confer and confirm—neither of us told him about it. Rainbow’s rolling on E and greets us like we’re the most delightful sight of his life. In a cigarette rasp, he yells “My favorite theys!” across the space and bounds over for a bear hug. It’s yet another fated stroke, yet another sign I’m right where I need to be.


notes from the past 24 hours in my androgynous apartment

Here is the place where androgynes hide
cloistered, clad in cloaks, hoodies, blankets,
buried in research, knee-deep in words
of other places and times.

Through lock chain and deadbolt,
good luck getting in.
Electric wind waves outside contact—
cozy, flimsy placebo. 

Through audiobook, Patti Smith reads Just Kids,
recalls a new haircut she gave herself.
When somebody asks, “are you androgynous?” 
she thinks the word means ugly and beautiful at the same time.

Through iPhone recording, a psychic recounts
a past life as priest…no, priestess…
wait, priest? Gender that changes with the light.
This priestexx stands in an ancient field,
reading from forest texts, blessing the people—
all ye be fruitful and multiply!

The people were fruitful, multiplied,
but some have grown hateful
and while they are few, 
they are the loudest poison.

Gender reveal party pyrotechnics,
in all their binaric insistence,
scorch the earth, leaving hundreds 
homeless. Lifeless.

And thus, the temptation to hide,
on the part of the androgynes.
A beautiful ugly practice.
It can’t last forever…right?


Goldie Peacock writes stories, essays, and poems. Their work appears in HuffPost, Sundog Lit, (mac)ro(mic), Roi Fainéant Press, MoonPark Review, Bullshit Lit, and more, with more to come. A panelist for the Newfound Prose Prize, they live in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn), as well as on Instagram and Twitter @goldiepeacock. Author photo by Uyphuong.

Two Poems by Josephine Raye Kelly


i am the rage that filled the furies with the knives they needed to slice apart their rare steaks. making oaths with bloodied tongues. i am the blow dealt by the ocean storm that drowned the shrimp boats. the anchor in your belly. the steel in your bones. i am the song that slammed your guitar on stage, met with rioting fans. i am god’s right hand smiting the sodomists. i am the devil’s disembodied lonely lovely yearning wings. the bullet in your rifle. the wooden handle of your hatchet. i am your sleep demon. the mirage in the darkness. the flash of terror upon waking. i will not offer you redemption. my rage made you worthy of love. i will get what i want, stepping over stuck limbs and snapping the bones of the men who deceived me. i am the fear and shock of saturn’s salted children. i am the discarded muse that bore the world.


Two Years of Two Weeks to Stop the Spread

We lived in the movies we binge-watched,
eating adrenaline like m&ms, 
hoarding vibrators, inhalers and ice cream. 

We danced with people around the globe
through the blue lights of phones, 
feet pumping on the hardwood. 

I took a pounding in my Polish dress, 
surged all over you, smooth and unyielding
in the choke of your moans. 

We lay under the window listening to the song
of a night bird while the empty BART train
whooshed by, cool air gliding over our naked skin. 

I kicked the dentist and the veil thinned,
wandering through baby books and dreams
until we finally drifted out of this unreality.


Josephine Raye Kelly is a queer femme living between the coast and the redwoods on the Pacific Coast. As a writer and multimedia artist, they create from the intersection of inspiration and compulsion. Josephine holds a BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and an MSW from Cal State East Bay. Their work has been published in Chinquapin Literary Magazine and The Richmond Anthology of Poetry. You can connect with them on Instagram @jrk.dreamscape.

Two Poems by Robin Arble

Father and Son

My lost
daughter, I

would be
if you

let me.

hurts, sweat
smells sweeter.

New-old ache 

in my thighs.

into ovaries.

Do what
I say.

Drink strong
coffee, kiss 

your wife
on her hair, or

let me be
your lost father.

Let me be
your only daughter.


Commas (II)

“If” is to witness a person climbing a tree, always alert to the light touch of leaves running under her fingers.

Or the jealousy of hair. Shaking the last note out of the green guitar, expanding the muscles of the throat under a mirror of your ten-story window.

(She went through many voices to get here, but there is not here.)

Squished angles of the green guitar, splashing chords over the crowd. Pummeling down the attic stairs to the safety deposit box, sunshine a slowness of your eyes.

Now’s a table makes its lightbulbs flicker fangs of pale bacon, metal spices whistle it quilt it shrouds the seasons for a moment. 

Hover over a dictionary, the trees now more distinct. The first thing I noticed. The hair in the skin growing slower, the bones under the muscles no different.


Robin Arble is a poet and writer from Western Massachusetts. Her poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Oakland Arts Review, ALOCASIA, Door Is A Jar, Pøst-, One Art, Overheard Magazine, and Your Impossible Voice, among others. They are a poetry reader for Beaver Magazine and the Massachusetts Review. She studies literature and creative writing at Hampshire College.

One Story by Avery Briar

Beautiful Meanings in Beautiful Things

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

You tell your mother your name on a sweltering May afternoon. She takes a sip of a margarita, passes it to you; you take a sip, pass it back. The lime curls cold on your tongue. She stares at the budding breasts nestled under your shirt. She can’t see, but the flesh spills over the cups like wine, and the bra straps bite into your shoulders, and you wish she’d taught you how to size yourself. She used to want a daughter, but now she inspects you like a specimen.

Your grandmother wanted to be a man, she tells the melting margarita slush. Did you know that? Not sure when she stopped. Dad still loves her, I think. They make it work. She looks up at you, finally; a tiny smile dawns on her face. I still love you, too. You’ll always be my son, no matter who you are.

She reaches to hug you, and you stick together with sweat. If she can feel the weight of your changed body through the layers of damp cloth, she doesn’t say. Alcohol dribbles from the glass in her hand. It’ll stain, you think, like piss on your first girl shirt. You’ll have to throw it out, buy another from Walmart for four ninety-nine if you can afford to.

I love you, she says again, but she uses someone else’s name to do it. 

Later that summer, your grandfather buries the husband you never knew he had.

While your mother weeps into a growing mountain of tissues, your grandfather, hunched like wheat in the wind, shows you the man you never got to meet. The wedding photo you knew—grandfather in his threadbare suit, the familiar stranger beside him in a dress they both despised, the two of them heavy and grimacing—is gone. In its place is a single Polaroid, framed and dust-free, of two young men in the back of a bar. Their eyes glint scarlet; the light from the camera flash flames off their rings, plain bands like the one your grandfather wears now. The two men in the photo hold each other with one hand and share a bouquet of lush, green blooms in the other. Your photo-grandfather’s pinky caresses his—husband’s. His fingernails are painted, soft, in sunset pink.

He always liked carnations, he says to you in the present. You wonder if the man in the photo sounded like this, voice ragged and trembling with age. His favorite writer was Oscar Wilde.

She—he—your grandmother—your grandfather’s husband never told you that. But you suppose you could fill a novel with things they never told you. History you never got to learn.

Why? you ask, smoothing over their Polaroid faces with the supple pads of your fingers. Your nails, too, are painted. Black, black, black. A coat for every mourning.

Your grandfather swipes the sweat from his forehead; it seeps into the white of his sleeve. He couldn’t—in public, just at home. And then, when your mom was old enough to start talking, old enough for people to start listening… There’s a clench in his jaw, strain behind his eyes like miles of barbed wire. It was lose her or live a lie. Not much of a choice, was there?

You glance back toward the living room where your mother’s sniffles have turned to sobs hard enough to make her cough. She never told me, you murmur. She just said… But of course, you can’t risk breaking his heart by telling him. 

Yeah, your grandfather sighs, voice soft and fragile as silk. Well. She chooses to forget, I think. We didn’t raise her to view people like that, but hate—ignorance finds a way. Always has. He places a hand on your arm, and the warmth leeches through the suit jacket she’d begged you to wear. But it’s better now. Isn’t it?

You never told him, but he knows. How could he not? Your mother might avert her gaze, pretend you never told her, but it’s obvious in the shape of your body, the way you hold yourself, the voice training you’ve done, who you’ve become.

Mostly. You stare holes into your shoes. They were your dad’s. Sometimes.

Your grandfather pulls you in for an embrace; he’s warm, solid, alive, real, and he knows. You wind your arms around him, too—and his body feels so frail and small, somehow, like one hard squeeze would dissolve him.

When you were little, inclined to boys’ clothes and the name your parents gave you, there was a moment. A man in your grandparents’ kitchen, thick-limbed and willow-tall. He looked like your grandmother but not; he wore her face and someone else’s body. His eyes were wide and wet like an ocean you’d not yet seen.

You’re early. Your grandfather snatched you up from behind, spinning you into giggles. How’s my favorite grandson? 

I don’t know, you chimed, how is he?

Handsome as ever, I think, your grandfather said, a grin splitting his face in two. His cheeks were blooming pink and dappled with moisture. Were you too heavy? Was he that old? He seemed younger, the last time you saw him. He seemed more alive.

You kissed each of those cheeks, and he kissed yours in turn, and when you looked back to the kitchen, the other man was gone.

Maybe he’d never been there at all.

You get his real name tattooed on your chest, above your heart, above your breasts, surrounded in a garden of green carnations. Your grandfather never wept at his funeral, his wake, but he does when you tell him this, his heart wrenched open, raw and trembling.

For him, you say. And you.

And you, he tells you, holding your head in his hands. They seem so much smaller than they used to. He kisses your forehead; tears trail down the ever-deep lines of his face. My favorite granddaughter.

You bend down to rest your forehead on his shoulder. I wish I could have known him. I wish he could have known me, too

Oh, darling. He would have loved you.

He calls you by your name, like he knew it all along.


Avery Briar (they/them) is a nonbinary writer, bookseller, and creative writing student with too many feelings. They live in the Pacific Northwest with their cat and an uncountable number of books.