ISSUE THIRTEEN: Ye, Smelly Tsar | next poem →

Above What's Under

Daniel Lassell

You never see it coming.
The purple of a bruise, growing wider and darker.
You ask yourself if you had some part in it.
Your tongue goes numb and your eyes no longer
know where to train, a well without walls
with nowhere to draw reason from.

When I was ten, I watched a documentary on the T-Rex.
Some scientist in it claimed my hero was a scavenger,
pointing to poor eyesight, large nasal cavities, and an inability
to grasp and hold prey for a proper kill.
I hung my hands on the armrests, shaking my head.

Do you remember the first time you were truly disappointed?
Tell me because I can't. And I wonder why it isn’t
already some marker
mothers jot down in their scrapbooks.
Baby’s first steps

into a new perspective of existence—
which can be exciting, surely,
though you'd think this welcoming
could be a little kinder, maybe sprinkled
with a little more voice,
and little less, a little less.

Daniel Lassell is the winner of a William J. Maier Writing Award and runner-up for the 2016 Bermuda Triangle Prize. His poetry can be found in Slipstream, Hotel Amerika, Atticus Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, and elsewhere. Recently, he received a Pushcart nomination from Pembroke Magazine. He lives with his wife in Fort Collins, Colorado.

ISSUE THIRTEEN: Ye, Smelly Tsar | next poem →


Ashanti Anderson

Alan Elyshevitz
   BLDG A, STE 4-22

Deidre O’Connor
   Vision at a Dublin Airport Hotel

Claire Scott
   The Morning After

Daniel Lasell
   Above What's Under

Chey Davis
   The Indictment

Hilary Sideris

John Rodzvilla
   Then Bring It Double (12 & 35)

Kathleen McClung
   After the Election

Matthew W. Schmeer
   Disturbing the Peace

Mark Cunningham