we should all live like the atomic bomb

by Joschua Beres

the bomb over Hiroshima
took forty-five seconds to fall
until: flash. bang. pop.
maybe that helps you realize
the importance of forty-five seconds
because even if that bomb fell
for forty-five years, it wouldn’t be
enough time.

but in one millionth of a second.
modern American science
can birth a second sun just long enough
to prove that popcorn never lasts past the previews.
lovers clothes never come off fast enough.
kites will never take you to the moon.
and doctors will always say its Cancer.

we should live like the atomic bomb
shaking our souls into thunder clouds
singing electric hallelujah praises.

because in the cosmic end
all we really have
are those forty-five seconds.

This poem previously appeared in The Kitchen Poet.

Essay Concerning the Importance of Her Hair After a Shower, or: The most beautiful woman to ever be a woman who was beautiful

by Sean Whitney

There are towers of stone and mud and she wants nothing of them, seeing them dirty. She is dirty. She is dirty and the towers are dirty but the towers’ dirt runs deeper than her skin.

She spits, not for saliva, but for arrogance, giving back to the ground the only thing she took that day.

She is rough mostly. Her hands crush beer cans against her thighs, and I can’t stop staring at her knees. She wears skirts, but climbs in reeds, covered in scratches, and I think this is stupid, but I am still impressed.

All birds call her name, but the crows sing her song, harsh, but forever there, telling stories of farmers brazen enough to fire at the murder that she is known to be.

She’s easy, greasy, beautiful, my tenth page girl. I don’t want to know her perfume, a stocking stuffer from senior year, when grandma visited. Sometimes she’s riper than brown bananas, and about as soft, so I appreciate it.

It only makes sense that I consider her my second love, to the Mississippi river, both powerful, constantly running, sometimes at my front door, and considered gross by most of my friends.

I am scared by her, and I’ve never heard myself moan before.

She is a plane crash in the ocean, all screaming, wet, and with fire.

She can lay me in her muddy waters, and I can take the drinks I need, tasting her hair as it wraps around me, and.

entropy – a measure of the disorder or randomness of a system

by Ross Robbins

You must remain in
your place. All order
is cut from below
at the knees, crumple

I cannot prove
my past
except to say

moments hover in
my mind that
could have been
this morning; flashes:

at four years old
beside a tree. My first
stitches. Tearing wallpaper

and my dad tearing me
out of joy by my arm
growling in my face

past is
melting snow
in a copper pot
to wash a cut

untitled poem

by Codi Suzanne Oliver

here to pull noise out of you i’m coming soft you never touch

you never came so hard in your life, you’re here for the noise

you’re here for the book, the vegetables, the roots, you’re here to pull faggots out of me

i’m turning to you i’m rotating into your mouth and i’m sinking you into my mouth / you faggot

i’m playing you a game we play together

i’m here to dig the noise out of you with my claws and my tools and you and to put the noise of storms into you i’m deceiving the noise of storms and trapping them with you i’m coming hard

you never touched so hard in your life, you never touch, i never felt so soft in my life

i took my face out and put it onto you, i hid the light from beneath the door inside me, i placed the dark of the door inside you in the stomach where the rest of the dark has gone

you took me and surrounded me, you brought me noise of animals and i brought you noise of storms

and close me at the light that creeps in beneath me so we can only witness light of storms where you took them in, under the tea and telescope,

closing my eyes with your heavy fingers, closing my eyes in your mouth above my mouth drooling your heavy come and roots and pages

i’m digging my way out buried in you, you’re coming soft, hidden inside your noise you pull me out from you slowly while you rotate toward the dark and i come there and i come toward you to pull storms and light from you with your tools and you open your tools for me

your hands open and you open my hands and i am here for your hands and you pull the dark from me

I’m Not Finished

by Rishad Haque

the battling begums keep us democratically torn
sheikh hasina and khaleda zia,
autocratic rule
Sway you don’t have the answers
we think of the next meal
we share the meals
the meals don’t have any value
but molotov cocktails are paid for by the government
the news media keeps us entertained
we pay attention and we stay scared
we don’t leave the house
we don’t understand why we are cattle
we ride cattle
we speak strong but we feel weak confused
the rest of the world finds opportunity here
counterterrorism, garments
senators find reason to help
miss jennifer is going to bring in the new year
can you see the future?
cold water cold murder
we stand the torture
we feel the future
we dismiss the present
the kids keep playing
it’s all for the kids
why so many kids?
all this blood
all my blood
it keeps pouring
I pop another benzo
they look to god
god sees no reason to help
People forget they were created by god
he used up his resources
we forget we are God
do I really want quiet?
I’m most connected when I’m isolated
I don’t know where home is
I thought I found comfort at home
where is my heart?
how do we start?
I think I’m finished

untitled poem

by Patrick Hughes

the snot settlements of the past
rearranged and carefully maintained for permanent residence
like a handkerchief planned to forever last

in two iotas
grizzly voters
will strut out of the wilderness
and hope to open up the trash
it’s safe still
everything wants their fill
their confusion shows us how
if we ran out of the woodwork
like brash voters
bears to locked latches
clutching anthems of the past tense
we’d be shot down and awakened
back of our story
and into farther away regions of our minds
so be young
some kind of night
at least in a windowless room so dark
it’s hard to really understand the light switch
we’d just make it one way for sleeping
one way for what must be called day
and call it day, day after day, we’d sleep into day

there’s a world outside
with a sun over head
beyond every congested area
beyond every dark and paved road
right on the borders where it looks like there’s room for no more stuff
there’s a world out there
and it’s not crammed in and rough
it’s social media’s meaning
when you look past how we get down on ourselves
and go out into our feelings
it’s a bird chirp’s construct
after your car alarm is shut up
it’s to hear clear just how those who aren’t here
will wake up to butterflies on their toes
it’s when we’re getting away
from our most easy to find ambitions, the rabid pink slips
and finally grab the pen, tip of our voice, upwardly hoist
because dreams have pictures
and it’s an energy, then a handshake, then a new found purpose rolling forward

i have ears so i can witness the march of gathering slow words
an idea so commonly perceived will one day breathe when we see the hue of colors we could emit into space

crying should be waged

by Manuel Arturo Abreu

two scotch-tape birds sit on a cigarette butt
two reptilians walk past the birds
two windows open and say ‘huzzah’
two clairvoyants will never admit to wanting to die young
two drops of sleep in between my fingers
two days who are also sisters
two people buying pizza and dousing it in ranch
two centipedes too shy to hold hands
two former lovers who got lost on the phone
two atoms who can’t help but always feel nauseous

untitled poem

by Mike Bushnell

google voice automatic transcript:

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Fury From Within

by The Product Poet

We each have our Fury.
Mine is buried deep inside.
Waiting to explode…
…like a volcano.
Wondering who she’ll burn.

Harnessing my Fury.
But her tremors are coming.
My own Richter scale…
…measures her progress.
Many friendships she’s spurned.

Controlling my Fury.
Despite her annoyances.
Not with medication…
…but with meditation.
Patience is what she’s learned.

At peace with my Fury.
She will not turn to rage.
No earthquakes coming…
…to swallow me whole.
But she always will churn.

The Conjugation of Friendship

by Michael Harper

What does it mean when a prophet kills himself? Was it something I said, or will do?

I know the future will be a Top Ten List on Buzzfeed, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be #sincere. It will all be familiar, like I found your profile days ago.

I feel both my hands are telephones, I swear I can still hold you. Please hold.

I am concerned about the tenses & conjugation of friendship: friend, friending, friended. To befriend becomes a singular action, hollow like the tips of my fingers – it does not echo in the deep cavern of my cellphone.

The internet is what happens to us when we don’t feel like growing.

The future of typing can be taught by a woman who is missing most of her fingers that she did not lose in shop class because “shop class” is just something from television and television will soon be vintage internet; it is scary that television is more tangible than something.

You will soon need a phone to know who north is. There will be an app for sunlight. There will be an app to make the ceiling of your bedroom look like stars because looking at actual stars makes us feel small & alone.

Do you think anyone is staring up at this same sky app as us? I don’t know, dear, it’s not done loading.