While Driving West on I-96, Wind Disrupts the Radio Waves

Paige Leland

i. Song for the Morning After

The sun burns blind-cut craters in the pores of our cheeks. We awake with elbows in our backs, stale breath between our teeth. Transparent skin blends in ivory sheets and makeup stains and make up stains.


You blow undulations in my temple, skirt small hairs behind my button ear. You press cold lips to my skin just to taste the metallic twang of pearl earring. Fingers slip between my thighs. I think of how ironic it is to feel most alive again this way.


ii. Song for How Literally I Take Most Things

Last Wednesday, after searing my flesh while christening my microwave with that brand of TV dinners you like, I learned you can make a burn feel better by first running it under hot water—

by letting the skin fall off

by exposing the bone—



iii. Song for the Sounds You Make When You Begin to Fall Asleep but Feel Like You’re Just Falling

To estimate logically, there are over 200 billion galaxies in the universe.


I want to tell you this because

I want to tell you about stars and the dust that settles. About molecular biology, the division of cells. About how I’ve memorized leaving.


But this time, leaving feels something like when you left me. Feels like finding a penny on the ground, tails up. Feels like words on the tip of your tongue that you swallow anyway.


If I move eight hours south into a cramped studio apartment with paneled walls and porcelain sinks, I wonder if you could find me there. I wonder if you would try. I wonder if you’ll think about the verse I sang you, the vibrato of Mercury’s falsetto.


And most,

I wonder if I come back, if Michigan will still be as blue as I left it.


iv. Song for Watering the Fake Flowers


I dress women in changing rooms that smell like you. Some days I choke on that fear, my panic like watching a body covered in a sheet being lifted into the back of an ambulance while crimson lights dance in the rearview.


Others, like Tuesday, and yesterday, and every day last week

the women leave and I sit with my back to the wall, pretend to lock the door,

breathe in the menthol and beer

the sticky perfume like cologne,

use the memory of the curve of your lip

to steady my breathing—




Nonfiction
Poetry

Lynch at Hyde
Alex Wilson


Prisoner of War
Tracy Mishkin


Solstice
Mallory Bass


Flight
Isabel Brome Gaddis


Clockwork
Lisha Ruan


If a Tree Were to Fall
Rachel Janis


Hand to hand
Rachel Janis


There, we are wordless, there
Rachel Janis


Leather and Velvet
Robert Beveridge


Near-Life Experience
Robert Beveridge


This Poem is about a Small Town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a College I Hated in Massachusetts
Ron Riekki


Firecracker
Andrea Janov


Sometimes When My Wife Comes Home She Doesn't Kiss Me
Ron Riekki


When I Was an EMT, We Never Got in Any Trouble if a Patient Died, But if You Scratched the Side of the Ambulance They Would Fire You
Ron Riekki


POST-APOCALYPTIC YOGA, ALL LEVELS
Janna Layton


The Search
Tim Kercher


Gentrification Download
Alex Wilson


The Ciudad Juarez Side of Sunrise
Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb


While Driving West on I-96, Wind Disrupts the Radio Waves
Paige Leland

Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb


OUTRAGE CONTEST: To the Fourth Estate
Marianne Taylor


OUTRAGE CONTEST: For My Sister
Mirri Glasson-Darling


OUTRAGE CONTEST: My Mother Finally Tells Him Off
Sandra Inskeep-Fox


OUTRAGE CONTEST: Roe v. Wade
Alexis Beckford


OUTRAGE CONTEST: African American
Alexis Beckford


OUTRAGE CONTEST: Rebel Rebel
Sam Cross


OUTRAGE CONTEST: If I Am Guilty of Anything
Sam Cross


When Poems Sound Better in Times New Roman
Paige Leland


A Metaphor for how Trash Day Reminds Me that I’ll Never Be Alone No Matter How Hard I Try
Paige Leland


In The Dark
Alison Stone Eric Greinke


Petals and Roots
Alison Stone Eric Greinke


Fiction