Giving one shot to the point for a reason very different from soft wax in your stamp on the ground, I apply your eyes with both my hands at once to hold up the room a minute when you may suppose I am not able to walk as fast as you drive the sandstorm and pursue your short breath to overcome everything I guess with your brain. I begin to go backward and forward not to conceal from myself what I have done at short intervals, I mention your name. You are hot and cold, and black and white, all at once when you are a young libertine in everything I have experienced, I wait for your next questions which are surprised and inconsiderate for elders who are still learning to rewrite their names.
Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah is the author of the new hybrid work, Z. His individual poems are widely published and recently appearing in Rigorous, Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, The Meadow, Juked, North Dakota Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Sandy River Review, Strata Magazine, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, etc. He is algebraist and artist and lives in the southern part of Ghana, Spain, and Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.
Yer Teacher Izza Toadstool
(I Won’t Be) Boxed In
Cellulite dimples through her black leggings, the scent of weed woven in her untamed hair. We drive to Grimaldi’s. I say it’s my favorite restaurant. But it’s not.
We split the spinach salad. “You can have the red onions and cherry tomatoes,” she says. She sucks on the bacon and picks out the blue cheese. But it’s not.
“Gorgonzola,” I tell her, “is more mild.”
“On your first time, dessert is on the house,” the waitress says. A dragon inks her left arm, a nose ring hangs on her septum.
We say, “Yes, it’s our first time.” But it’s not.
Dinner over, we say, “Let’s do this again.” We take home the Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake—made on site, split in half. She, slowly now, says goodnight.
Later, in bed, I eat the cheesecake out of the to go container, the whipped cream dwarfing the slice. And then, I rip the bong.
I wish it was the whole dessert. But it’s not.
Elizabeth Jorgensen is a teacher and writer. Her memoir of sister Gwen Jorgensen’s journey from CPA to Olympic Champion is due in 2019 from. Shorter works appear in Harvard University’s Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture, Wisconsin English Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among others.
This Year’s Grey
Says she’s sorry –
should I be sorry too?
Or is she just blessing
her cold ego by being the one
who speaks first, righting the wrong
her mouth twisted like a bag
she’d hidden a live rat in?
Or are these words performing
the same rite for me, blessing myself
with silence as she blesses
herself with words? And how
will I tell black from white
or white from grey, when everyone
is wearing it this year?
Ian Mullins dredges debris from the banks of the river mersey. The autism-themed chapbook Almost Human (Original Plus) was published in 2017. The music-themed collection Laughter In The Shape Of A Guitar (UB) was released in 2015. Number 1 Red, a novel about professional wrestling and property wars, escaped from a headlock in 2017. All should be approached with caution.