Size / / /

Content warning:



“What is the heart’s shape?” one girl asks.
They have only known love
at its most Janus-faced, joy and pain,
and know nothing of the in-between.

Their mopey lyrics and sighing doodles
make the heart seem flat, cut out of
paper. So I take them to the prosectorium
and dare them. “See a real heart.”

They are shy, wise as brides
in veils of eyelet lace. What they know
peeks through. In the cadaver, they see finally
that the heart is not a delicate thing,

a foldable, burnable thing
but strong. A muscle. A fist of blood.
A spelunker’s cave where the
Minotaur roams.

Then a curtain is drawn
on the corpse’s face, a shiny, waxy thing.
Behind the eyes, the brain,
two lobes of it, looking lumpen in its labyrinth.

“Where is the seat of the soul?” I ask them.
Around the table, they look up, my girls,
faces corona-bright.
The answers are somewhere borne up

on the palanquin of their girlhood. In the arms
of lovers, over the corpse of tamed bulls,
or even alone, perhaps they will think on
the heart’s irregular shape, the brain’s symmetry—

and know the true form of things.



Genevieve DeGuzman was born in the Philippines, raised in Southern California, and graduated from Columbia University. Her fiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Indigo Lit, LONTAR, Liminality, Rising Phoenix Review, and AJ (now Tablet), among others. She is a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association New Poets Contest and has been awarded a residency at Can Serrat. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: about.me/genevievedeguzman
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
Wednesday: The Body Problem by Margaret Wack 
Issue 19 Feb 2024
Issue 12 Feb 2024
Issue 5 Feb 2024
Issue 29 Jan 2024
Issue 15 Jan 2024
Issue 8 Jan 2024
Issue 1 Jan 2024
Issue 18 Dec 2023
Issue 11 Dec 2023
Issue 4 Dec 2023
Load More
%d bloggers like this: