Our bravest contributors have shared with us some of their more earnest efforts from the misty past. Scary Bush should not be reviewed while in the process of drinking liquids, and the reader assumes all risk.
I slap the sink knobs back into starting position
before my aunt, vicious in her prowess
(despite the maid)
hurries to chaperone my shower.
Every morning, last night's clothes
appear at the bed foot
ironed in dangerous angles.
Her food tastes deliciously prechewed
and people I don't know
rough in nearby rooms.
Daniel M. Shapiro
Drugged Up Succubus
Elsa M. León
I keep the candy hearts I've collected
in a pill case, marked by day.
Same shit different day they say
but this is the good shit
and when I pop open a day the sugared dust rises
and I can't keep my trembling fingers from plucking
one, savoring the coating and how all that sugar
forces my eyes to roll back and my plum lips
quiver, corners curling, spiraling upwards
as though aiming to meet below my flared nose.
When I crack each little shell, pale pinks and dusty blues, they
bleed and my tongue, quick as silver,
laps it up. The taste jolts up
the spine straight to the crooked folds
of the brain and my eyes crackle, my irises pinpricks, flecks
of fire and coal in sour milk.
Hush Puppy Bell Sings the Blues
Death of an Orange
Meditative suspension from flowing trees
is too distant to fathom,
because I'm changing,
Juice splatters from unwanted penetration,
as my insides spill out,
and she's squeezing, twisting.
The citrus of pulp and guts chokes my smell,
burns my vision.
The pain cringes at my screaming,
as I uselessly grasp at amputated flesh.
I can only watch, through heavy eyelids,
as she drinks my aborted remains,
imagining a seed wash into her belly.
I want it to gather strength and grow,
to sprout wondrous limbs,
and puncture her skin, and grate her insides.
The Beauty of a Flower
Rainbow Drive (excerpt)
Brother we were not bred to be apart. Tell the air you love me and I will tell it too. That's enough for now. Shooting heroin was not a sport, and I tell you this for some reason, even as I try not to justify myself. Drugs are not stories, they're endnotes. Lovely even that these years have been a burial. Lovely even that these days have marked a noir. Lovely even that in Rochester, New York you see the snow and think of Scout and Zero and me and struggle to remember what it meant. After I remember who it was you loved, after you remember why, in the first place, we were children, running on Rainbow Drive, promising me our Aunt's raspberry sauce wasn't poison after all, squeezing my shoulders when Didi died, watching the lightshow through the window when the thunder made us quiver like a bookpage through a breeze, writing my student council speeches, riding the big green bikes, lifting me from the asphalt on Rainbow Drive; after you decide it's all right to come back, after the ink dries on your dissertation, after the ball drops on your 28th year, and everything cries for a long while…all the disquieted, massively irresolute moments of these past few years will begin to slip through the sieve which wraps the heart. Everything that turned and whirred and withered away will return to these folded hands, happy to have once been as thin as parchment, for the sake of learning what it meant to be a human being.