Planet Nitrous Oxide

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By Michael Rivers

Reclining in the sterile chair
far from planet Earth
somewhere near planet nitrous oxide,
curved drills
burrow into my molar.

Pain echoes
in my tongue’s living half,
dying memories
screaming across time;
one last brilliant gasp for life.

In these death throes,
as the Endodontist
mines my jaw,
the assistant sings along
to Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl.”
“I always thought they were black …
Not saying white people don’t have soul.”

Excavating my tooth,
obliterating its nerves,
the Endodontist replies,
“No, I know what you mean.”

I am a million miles away in space and humming along with the tune.

These Lines

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By Alanna Pass

THESE LINES
from my pencil
anchor me to this earth
like a kite on a string.
These lines
form words on these pages
giving shape to my thoughts
running wild in my head.
These lines that form words
are lassoed into sentences, then paragraphs
a calm order brought from the spiraling chaos.
My soul is tamed
At least for a while
From the simple act of writing.

The Ferocity of Silence

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By Montaffera

As I wash my hands –
Watch soap slip silently;
The thrill of cold water
Numbing to nothing –
I can see a spare sock
Stuck under the doorframe
Just a little bit;
The rest too thick to fit.

And our child, standing,
Staring at that sock;
Pondering his next move.
Flexing a narrow finger.

The weight of your absence
Is ubiquitous here;
A fierce silence, rent
By pointless everyday.
And I dry my hands
On a soggy towel,
Suddenly knowing that
I’m finished with typical.

Put It Down

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By czvasser

I’d like to put it down
rest my arms
and shoulders
shrug

lay my head on
smooth stones
rather than rocks

ash lays deep

Small brass bells
on every hem and hair
opposite pearls
irritations of the mind
metastasized

My hands grip and strangle
beyond caress

I’d like to put it down
pick up
where we left off
I’d sing
You’d say
your song
my name

each bell tolls
heavier than before

let me put it down
pick you up
Toss you to the sun
catch you in my mouth
swallow all

Equilibrium

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By katagene

strip me bare

and I’ll pretend I didn’t know where we were headed
this idiosyncrasy we tangled
somewhere between the frames of paper doors

if I could take from you
I’d steal you all
[not just so I could say this]
nurture all the rewrote skin
until it’s feign and flutter
: we know I have no soot

I reside only in moments
the fleeting shot where the world dyslexes
numbs my sense of motion
the flurry grounded

strung together by your words
they hold me close
fingertip

to fingertips

and I wonder whether you noticed
ever
I was gone

White Petals

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By Jade M. Wong

A chilly breeze plucked a white petal off the tulip sitting at the open window.

He loves me.

A second plucked petal floated with the breeze before coming to a rest on the damp soil.

He loves me not.

The flowerpot trembled as a stronger wind blew in, sending petals fluttering in the air.

He broke my heart.

A giant gust rushed in, flinging the flowerpot across the room, shattering the clay and showering the floor with soil.

So I’ll break everything he’s got.