Size / / /

Content warning:



when i was a kid i was an asshole to my cousin—

me, with a mole the size of the moon sitting beneath my left nostril.

he, 6 years younger than me, taking speech classes.

he always pronounced yellow, lell-low

i died laughing,

then died a second time when he tried to say it again.

my brothers and i called him big nostrils;

those things were the size of hula hoops.

we all died, went to heaven and came back when his nostrils flared when he talked.

eventually he didn’t want to talk anymore,

and i made fun of him until he became mute.

 

i’m 27 years old now—

me, a grown man taking speech therapy,

not because my speech got crumbled up because of a car accident or a near-death stroke.

but i left out the part

where i was ridiculed by everyone else for the mammoth size mole beneath my left nostril.

people pointed and said yeww that big booger beneath your nose;

they pointed until my eyes followed my shoe laces.

i altered the way i said words so the mole wouldn’t move that much

so i wouldn’t stand out like a black flower in a red rose bed.

 

life is just like those hula hoops,

and things come around full circle sometimes.

 

my cousin is 21 now—

he, a tall thing of confidence and can talk anyone’s ear off

while i can barely get my own name out right to people.

now look who’s talking?



Oak Morse is a poet, speaker, and teacher who has traveled across the Southeast as a performance poet as well as a teacher of literary poetry. He has a Bachelor of Journalism from Georgia State University. He is the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry for the poem “Garbage Disposal” in Issue 16 of Pulp Literature. Other work of his has appeared in the UndergroundPage and Spine, Fourth & Sycamore, DrylandUniversity of Canberra, and Patch. Oak currently lives in Houston, Texas, where he works on his poetry collection titled When the Tongue Goes Bad, a themed set of work aimed to bring attention to a contemporary speech disorder diagnosis known as “cluttering,” a diagnosis which Oak has worked tirelessly to overcome. You can find more of his work at www.oakmorse.com.
Current Issue
16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
Load More
%d bloggers like this: