Zero Readers

Category: Issue #5

Misplaced Karenina

Aniket Sanyal I am perhaps in aweof your feathered-cap majesty,you hypocrite princess,our transplanted Kareninaof a Kremlin motorway.What good or what rot,in being a century short or tall,when I cannot put thumb and fingeron your oily roots …I see such strange woundsin your sideways gaze.You are inverted, translucentbefore my searching eyes.Around us, in evening’s light, gleamfar […]

I was told I was a natural pianist

Luke Carmichael Valmadrid Your words have faded, once perchedbetween the lines, now aloft in eddiesmore erstwhile than eccentric, that distortthe shape of sadness that hangs overmore than it looms. Your shadowhas lengthened, once tailored to an acerbic wit,now high off karmic eutrophy, spinsredbud stories into redwood sagasthat in their grandeur still cannot hidethe kinds of […]

The letters between us

Cat Dixon 1.Did you hear the horse thunder and taste the dustin your cabin? The wild hooves kicked up a stormlast night. The hours passed as I reread your letter,licked the envelope flap you sealed, traced your name, and wondered if you were reading my poems.Nothing fills this pit except your words—cursive and hurried across the […]

point nemo

Mark imileski I was told truth is the oakthat holds its leaves each winter. A promisedelayed. As it turns out, I forgetthe rules. I never can know them. This one is anothermask for doubt. This one is the coverfor an empty bed. This one is the sheet drawn back—the old clothes gathered in the cornersof […]

the cha cha slide

Claire heinzerling the DJ wants us to do the cha cha slide.the DJ wants our claps our stomps our“cha cha real smooth”—the DJasks us to give breath to death andbreathe seething into laughter and standa couple feet apart on the laminatedance floor and turn our insides intoour outsides. the DJ would like us toshout our […]

conversation

merri andrew He tucks the $5 into his sockand looks up at my babysays When my son was a babyI used to sit up all nightto make sure he was breathing WHERE IS HE NOW?I am screamingin my headWHERE IS HE NOW?he is also screamingin his headmaybe With practice we canlisten past the screaming Yes, […]

my plan for marriage

merri andrew My plan for marriagewas couragethe way a planelands by sinkingthen with a rush of strengthflexes to kiss the tarmacas an equal a drama soon forgottenas we wait to seewhose luggage is whoselooping round the lucky horseshoemagnet pull of what will emergeand what must be swallowed againwhole but when I’m nearly asleepand my hand […]

skybound

Claudine Guertin-Ceric She’d only meant to ride the elevator down to collect the mail. Now she was trapped in it. Contained by sleek, unclimbable metal walls, a round chrome rail that raced around the space to nowhere, a dark touchscreen panel of buttonless buttons, and underneath her, the same grey-veined carrara marble floor that lined […]

seagulls

Ella rous Seagulls prefer to nest by open water, but they’ll make doif they must. This bathroom, sinking into the foundation aslittle green plants force their way through the grout, will do.It will do, even once we’ve outgrown & left it, the shivering husksof our shadows peeled away and left to drown in Grandma’s clawfoot […]

at dawn, a woman

Marcella eve at dawn, a womandrags herself through cobbled alleyswailing, and then beginsover a plate of dry eggsto speak and from the doorway of a key shop, a manwith no teeth yells at a plazaof tables and chairs, and smokes so mucha rain-cloud forms over Los Angeles and the drinking fountain in the plaza becomesa […]