Size / / /

Just another couple come to neck,

to roll around and stain themselves

and leave some of their seed on me.

She just pretends I'm much too heavy

when I'm full. But when she's full

a greater weight will beat next to her heart.

She's fast enough uphill, although she laughs

more than she runs. You'd think the lug

would know by now what she has planned.

He reaches for me but she's faster.

(Easier?) We're out of reach.

She sets me down, my mouth wide open.

She pulls him down into my grass,

nearly as warm as the summer sun today.

He pumps, although they haven't reached the well.

She cries out when the sperm spans skins,

wet everywhere. I almost hope with her.

I hope this one is different than the others.

She takes his hand and takes the pail.

At well-side she leans in and points,

whispers, romance reflected in their eyes.

I am centrifugal, come out of his blind side,

hit him where he does not expect it.

I'd cry but I can only dent.

She drags his body down, away from town,

to bury with the others, flattened grass

running wrong way against my scalp.

I drink. She watches her own eyes,

whispers lullabies, and begs this one

to take root, not to wash away.




Mary Alexandra Agner writes of dead women, telescopes, and secrets. Her poetry, stories, and nonfiction have appeared in The Cascadia Subduction ZoneShenandoah, and Sky & Telescope, respectively. She can be found online at http://www.pantoum.org.
Current Issue
22 Apr 2024

We’d been on holiday at the Shoon Sea only three days when the incident occurred. Dr. Gar had been staying there a few months for medical research and had urged me and my friend Shooshooey to visit.
...
Tu enfiles longuement la chemise des murs,/ tout comme d’autres le font avec la chemise de la mort.
The little monster was not born like a human child, yelling with cold and terror as he left his mother’s womb. He had come to life little by little, on the high, three-legged bench. When his eyes had opened, they met the eyes of the broad-shouldered sculptor, watching them tenderly.
Le petit monstre n’était pas né comme un enfant des hommes, criant de froid et de terreur au sortir du ventre maternel. Il avait pris vie peu à peu, sur la haute selle à trois pieds, et quand ses yeux s’étaient ouverts, ils avaient rencontré ceux du sculpteur aux larges épaules, qui le regardaient tendrement.
We're delighted to welcome Nat Paterson to the blog, to tell us more about his translation of Léopold Chauveau's story 'The Little Monster'/ 'Le Petit Monstre', which appears in our April 2024 issue.
You take your time putting on the shirt of the walls,/ just as others might put on the shirt of death.
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Issue 12 Feb 2024
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