"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison



When a dream dies but you keep going

A Dog bit some Kid so
they shot it (in a heartbeat) but
the mouth clenched so
they cut off the Dog’s body (with a shovel) and
it still won’t let go so
they carted the dead head (and the screaming Kid)
to the hospital and
the Surgeons (with gloves)
put their hand inside the skull (like a puppet) so
the jaw would un-click and
the Head was gone but
in the Kid’s knee there are still teeth (like seeds)
past the stitches, past the scar, where the Dog will not let go.




the Fox of Songi eats the monsters off maps saying
one day I’ll see pretty things,
while pale-tongues dart past reflected lamplight
testing the heft of a voice’s flavour

we played conservationists little boxes marked
help the leopards, save the cheetahs, for the tigers
parents pressing coins into their slots a la Genie
miracles, we thought
a proof of purpose

people pour sugar on their dead tying garlic
around their ankles to repel leeches but
meals are tasteless without season and
needing no hands blood leaves

can you name me outside fences calling
those that belong to nature like lady Lazarus and the fig wasp
do you remember the word for foliage after it is crusted under
your weight sticking to your knees and elbows

you wouldn’t blame a twig
snapping is what twigs do besides
discarded items are never wasted because
something must feed the flowers



Meager Fare

there once was a bear in this cave whose
flesh tasted of honey
he likes to be thanked when he crushes you
he took pleasure in your shatter
(half-moons on arms and shins, I managed to save my eyes)
This is not my hair this is a calling card
saying night slunk by while you were out buying asparagus thinking
(maybe they’ll boil well with lemons, maybe they’ll be sweet baked with cream)
his feet left marks in the clay
connecting the floor to the wall
(I find they match the curtains of the hole I dug running)
this is not food, this is circumstance
melting my tongue trying to remember
the taste I once swallowed.

Sophia Noulas is a graduate of Fordham University's creative writing program and a reader for Electric Literature and Frontier Poetry. This is her first publication.

Cover photo by howling red on Unsplash

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