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In the country, they burned all of you.
Croppers, with their electric fences and silos and shotguns.
In the city, we weren't so smart.
When your people came down from the stars
we put you in jails and cellars and basements,
but we let you live.
You, I let live.
At first you yanked at the knob, desperate.
Now you scratch it out of habit.
The stars have evaporated.
What’s that about, I wonder?
You won’t tell me.
I lean against the closet that’s become yours.
Through the broadening
crack beneath the door,
your light leaks around me
pulsing, pulsing
as if coming from a severed vein.
Please, please. Your voice
is like static, the echo and whine
of a canticle coming
in and out of focus, the station
not quite right. Please.
After all I’ve said, is that the only word
you know? You know,
I’m trapped too.
Can’t just walk out of this apartment.
I pass the time getting drunk and watching
your brethren, fiends in the streets, blood staining
their throats. Their voices
mellifluous and beautiful.
Limbs stretched and translucent, silhouettes
flaring bright as glass
melting in a kiln, repeatedly
reshaping themselves.
A grace and a terror
to behold.
The world has done this to you, not me.
Some promise must have been broken
between your lord and mine.
Please, you ask again, pressing against the door.
I can feel the heat seeping through the wood,
your face so close to mine.
At the bottom of the door
where you are making the hole
a petal of burnt ash
drifts away.
I wonder how long it will take
for you to reshape a gap
large enough for you
to come out.
Will you let me live.

You don’t tell me.
Just a scratching, please.

Laura Cranehill lives in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse and three sons. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vastarien, [PANK], The Future Fire, and elsewhere.
Current Issue
10 Jun 2024

In summer, the crack on the windowpane would align perfectly with the horizon, right around 2 p.m.
airstrikes littering the litanies of my existence
I turn to where they are not, / and I nod to them, and they to me.
Friday: Infinity Alchemist by Kacen Callender 
Issue 9 Jun 2024
Wildlife and Rainforests Inside My Father 
Phonetics of Draconic Languages 
A Tour of the Blue Palace 
A Tale of Moths and Home (of bones and breathing) (of extrinsic restrictive lung disease) 
By Salt, By Sea, By Light of Stars 
Friday: Utopia Beyond Capitalism in Contemporary Literature: A Commons Poetics by Raphael Kabo 
Issue 3 Jun 2024
Issue 27 May 2024
Issue 20 May 2024
Issue 13 May 2024
Issue 6 May 2024
Issue 29 Apr 2024
Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
Issue 8 Apr 2024
Issue 1 Apr 2024
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