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Are you there?
Where are you now?

I’ve been searching for you since it began
It seems I lost you a lifetime ago, and this mine field is long.

I thought going through hell with you would mean something.
I gave you all I had,
Even that tiny corner of my soul I wasn’t using just then.

So where are you now? I thought we were supposed to fight the dragons together,
but I’ve been splattered too many times to trust
And too many friends are gone

So I wait and load, load and wait.
I’ve been broken, too, but it won’t matter much longer.
This leg I drag won’t hold me back from the firestorm.

They’re coming, now, and I don’t mind, I’m numb to terror.
And used to standing all alone.
I locked out the wasteland, but they’ll come.

Claws will scrape the metal, fangs will part for the howl.
They’ll charge, and rend, and batter down this flimsy shield.

Ready, ready and waiting
With more fire than they can imagine.
Monsters at the door,
but I will blaze a wall for them when they break it down.

And when the guns are spent, there’s more, far more in me.
It’s time to burn bright, one last time.
One last fight,

Break it down!
I’ve been waiting too long

Marlane Quade Cook is an emerging writer who dabbles in a variety of genres, including poetry, speculative fiction, literary fiction/fantasy, and a few less easily defined. A former visual artist and classical ballet teacher, she is adapting to a change of lifestyle after several progressions of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) left her with decreased mobility and function. Marlane and her husband/caregiver Jonathan parent two children who also have EDS. She is volunteer director of a small, inclusive community ballet program in Northwest Montana.

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Current Issue
6 Feb 2023

Beatriz Nogueira is fifteen years old when her life ends.
how humble it becomes after beliefs on it / burn up
Your quivering, alien shift from human to halfling to not-quite,   a carrion flower never in bloom, but burst.
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By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
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