photo by Mirja Paljakka

Bagel Boy
by Susannah Jordan

I called him Bagel Boy. We worked together one summer, wrist deep in cream cheese or whatever else people order on round bread. He had an aquiline nose and a surname I always butchered.

Some guys wear a baseball cap so often they look weird without one. I picture them sleeping, or showering, just navigating life’s minutiae with their hat glued on. Bagel Boy was never without one until the day he stood before me, his back pressed up against his fridge.

“Touch me,” he said, the freezer handle poking into him, the bulk of the appliance holding him steady. We’d listened to music for an hour, stoned, his girlfriend elsewhere.

I touched him.
He closed his eyes.
We switched rooms.

I’m still spreading regrets on round bread.


 

the monotony of days
like empty caskets
killing time
by Firdaus Parvez

photo by Mirja Paljakka

 

photo by George Stein

Bone and Cartilage
by 
Libby Christensen

Whittle words into bones.
Carve the brittle, untouched whiteness
with rich ink
and turn the leftover dust of
marrow into meaning.
Spread the sand of unsaid words
and dig them into spaces of
broken edges,
raw meat.
Tendons stretched, transformed into leather is
the paper of poetry.
Connect the split pieces of
bones together to
create a jigsaw puzzle of
wild thoughts
left unwritten.
Trembling hands
tear muscles from cadavers
and blood spurts
onto tiled floors
washed away with bleach water.