ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

When You Are Sleeping

Susan L. Lin

I was that girl: sensitive eyes, always wore
sunglasses indoors. Eyelids like, well. Eyelids.

At night, memories unspool, the muddy ribbon
of a cassette in a tape player that never stopped

recording. Half-formed words escape my mouth
as if they were prisoners, crooked and shapeless

along the barbed-wire fence. A glowing red dot lies
in the darkness, waiting to greet them. My ex-something

was an amateur psychologist, interested in sleep patterns.
He sat beside the latent mattress, feeding me stories

I swallowed dry, regurgitated. Then came the morning
he played the tapes back to me. I heard my voice

unraveling zzzzz. I didn't remember zzzzz. Instead,
I remembered the lamp he bought for my nightstand,

remembered him holding the shade in front with both hands,
like an A-line skirt he was stepping into. "This is a pretty

color, don't you think?" He told me it matched my eyes
as they were dreaming. He said, "I get to know them

quite well when you're sleeping." While a fly darted
around the naked bulb, a dark pupil on a ball of light.

Susan L. Lin recently completed her MFA in Writing at California College of the Arts, where she spent her days photographing toy dinosaurs and eating pie. Her novella Goodbye to the Ocean was a semifinalist in the 2012 Gold Line Press chapbook competition. Her short prose recently appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Ghost Town, Midway Journal, MadHat Annual, and Gravel.

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem

Jude Marr

Bill Neumire
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   Water Cycle #3: I Thought
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       from drone: poetic monologue
       for monotone

Aimee A. Norton
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Katherine Swett
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Amy Schreibman Walter
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Paul Strohm
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KJ Hannah Greenberg
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   Assistance with Quickly
       Becoming Unbearable

Susan L. Lin
   When You Are Sleeping

Ana Maria Caballero
   Another Airport Poem

Ann Skiöld
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       Drive A Car

Jeremy Dixon
   In Retail (xxii)

Pete Coco
   Especes Perdue

Jessica Joy Reveles
   Surviving the Desert