is a French-American writer currently living in the green mountains of Vermont. Her writing has been featured in Teen Vogue, Q/A Poetry, The Honey Mag, Capsule Stories, honey & lime, and as an upcoming featured poet in Mineral Lit magazine. Her writing was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award. When she isn't writing, Margot is usually reading, knitting, or taking care of her community garden. You can find her on twitter @margotnwrites
In which we’re digging through any potential consequence and circumstance
(Before and after when there were tulips in cups and flowers from dirt)
The confluence of water and earth
Moon slivers on the backs of the fields to which you feel near
Did you forget to plant the seeds?
Take your time, and in any case, I’ll tell the universe you said hi
All the while
Waiting for you
You don’t need to try
As you wait for the world to come to
The senses you seek to find
When you open the
Door and see all this time you had the lines
For all you needed to say to
Someone hoping to speak
Patiently wanting to tend to your
Silent light and ease what you mind
is an Irish-American studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has previously been published or is forthcoming in The Blue Nib, FEED, The Blake-Jones Review, the debut issues of Truffle Magazine and The Initial Journal, and elsewhere.
There was an unlocalizable hissing
That for a second I thought had to
Be connected to the rain smell, the
Landscape like a struck match. An
Angling of the head in relation to
Noise seems to echo against how
We are all waiting to become some
Other thing, currently, or for time
To become some other thing, to
Diffuse or melt. The buzzing part
Came from a haloed tangle, the
Dense clot of wire conversing. If
Predictions serve us I suppose the
Peak will be in four days, or seven
Days, and I hate how they don’t
Know. I hate how I don’t even
Know what a peak means, really,
And would you notice one in its
Pre-crash swelling translucence
From the couch, from the folding
Chair in the garden. I hear tell in
Video calls of people wearing
Masks in places closer to town, or
Police coming to a friend’s house,
But out here I can’t really imagine
Centres, space appears to have
Both grown and shrunk as I angle
My way into the backgrounds of
Sitting rooms in Germany but I
Have not seen Grafton Street in a
Month. As I cried the room began
To swell with sunshine like there
Was some sort of fizzling energy-
Spike, most pathetic of fallacies
Really. The desperate feeling itself
Seems like something that lights
And wells, nervously filling corners.
Why are you telling me this
two poems: on the morning of my colposcopy / the territory you’re looking for has no map by V. S. Ramstack
on the morning of my colposcopy
the rain began at 4:36 a.m. i had been dreaming about a way to get everything done - in this, just a list of mundanities, mostly shuffling papers into piles and screaming at my hands for not working like they used to.
i, woman destroyed, & simone de beauvoir: seated on the table behind my head, all together swimming - we were waiting for the inevitable snip of tissue. under a microscope, what do i look like? what do i look like with the sunlight trailing across my arm? my whole and my parts, skin sucking in and promptly spitting out.
i think about ladybird beetles, the infestation in my parents’ old house when i toured it for the first time. the landlord said a quick poison would do. but i saw their eyes, the pockets of red coalescing in the door frames and along the window latches, drinking each other’s wings as i stood above them.
the territory you’re looking for has no map
sand, pine, baby gnat wings
stuck in the corner of her eye
subtle swab of cotton
to wipe it clean
shaved her head beneath
a halogen lamp, dust-soaked fan
heaving with static, feeding and
whirring the forgotten cells
she dreamt of riding her bike through
five states, water bottle kept
between her legs, a sharp 45-degree angle
maybe a few drops for the snails
took to a trail, 172 miles in and collapsed
in a bush outside of Oatman, Arizona
a donkey shuffled by, clattering hoof
a silky buzz of lost adrenaline
if she gets up, feet a revered tool,
she’ll see the bike resting deep
in a patch of desert marigold
tracfone cracked, 12 prepaid minutes left
sticks her hand in the side-leg pocket:
a gum wrapper, bike key, a loose nug
another donkey in her periphery,
what could she make from this?
a fly lives on her eyelid for one minute
and lives the rest of its 38,000 minutes
elsewhere, like it knew the body
would have to go home
Paste a wife on me.
Spend the evening
engagement ring shopping.
Plan out a fancy proposal.
Wash my life in wedding white--
anything to put a wife with me.
My grandmother will marry me
to a toilet if she could.
Does everything have to be
bouquets and baby names?
Does everything have to be
cooking and cleaning conversations
with the wife she is casting?
I understand my grandmother
is super old school, but I’m more
than just a handsome man who looks
like husband material. Grandma,
you do not have to always throw
flower petals in my face or ask me
about long-ago lovers, they’re just as
dead to me as bridal veils.
When the right one comes, I promise
we will all be able to pop champagne
over it. Until then, you don’t have to
shove me in a house with a wife and kids
and call it happiness. Happiness is
loving life without having to love it
To be frank, I’d rather be an old bald
bachelor writing poems about when
she comes than to be tied down
with the wrong one.
Quarantine poem #131 “public health is confirming 5 additional cases...”
He walks from the hill a little kid inquisitive he won’t hear a word he’ll give you these theories like
putting their bulldog to death was a sign from god and ghosts in the wheelbarrows and did you lose power too ? because he did down there and who needs water ? we wondered what happened with a white bandana around his face and mosquitoes like telephone poles strung up silt-splashed legs and in his hand, balanced, a saucer of meat and onions grilled in blue smoke he walks to a patch of sand and dust stripped of long grass then steps through an orange door, a long step, too long for the carcass of his mom, which bends at the waste in bush shade that sits in leaf slur and shadow dance give me a car he says I’ll be president I’ll give them the wind too and lungs to have it baskets like rubber chickens everywhere like dog toys in the store
Quarantine poem #128 NV → UT
Quarantine poem #125 remembrance through farm pits of sound
lives in North Berwick, Maine. He has worked as a State Park Seasonal Aide, a bookseller, and as a poetry teacher for elementary schools (before the pandemic). He holds a degree in Philosophy and has served in AmeriCorps and FemaCorps. He is a winner of the Mendocino Coast Writers' Conference 2019 Poetry Contest. His work has appeared in 7x7, Joyland, A) Glimpse) Of), Cabildo Quarterly and elsewhere.
and every child moves to the side--
that is the rule
of playing in the street.
these kids part in the middle,
two on either side.
a black sedan passes between them.
when i was growing up, i played
baseball with my neighbors,
first and third base marked by
a broken paving stone on the sidewalk.
second base was the lane line.
my biggest fear was breaking a window.
the yell reclaims my attention.
these kids are not fighting over
the front passenger seat.
they’re playing shoot ‘em up,
their “bangs” echoing off buildings.
they are screaming
slashing at each other's necks
with flat, empty hands.
they’re playing in the parking lot
stepping on weeds in the cracked pavement
and crumbs of broken glass.
as i watch their games,
i wonder what these young
eyes have seen.
four poems: 3 1/2 Sonnets for 7 Minutes / Size Zero / poem for a Blue Page / ways to harm a seed by Sal Kang
31⁄2 sonnets for 7 minutes
here’s a confessional.
the first time I kissed a girl, it was in front of everyone
I held dear at the time, a few feet from the bathroom
with both calves pressed to the ground. imagine a
bullfight, if you will, except the estoque is my tongue &
there is no marked climax. still, the boys cheered us
on like racehorses. we were all there, semi-aroused in
the semi-light, & there was always someone missing
out. all i tasted was the absence of taste. (if this is what
heaven feels like, I don’t ever want to know hell)
the first time I kissed a boy (not you), it was an airless
summer. we were spinning bottles & inflated stories &
no one yet knew what all the bases were. the girls were
never brave enough to ride their crush’s shoulders. but
more of us were starting to understand—what all the
perverse references meant, where they were looking
when they stared—& I think, at some point, our hands
morphed into broken glowsticks. I remember all the
imprints, how they stuck to skin like chlorine, how
some interactions just couldn’t be washed away. the
girl I kissed got hypothermia, possibly from sticking
her head in the clouds for too long. is going to heaven
really a choice, or is it more mandatory?
let me try again:
she kissed him first, even though she wasn’t single,
how does that work? WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
we’re on the margin of november & on the peak of
adolescence. some say things like I’m a teenage boy,
I can imagine fucking her next to your bed if I want.
we don’t skip scenes in any movie, not anymore. we
skip entire movies to make our own scenes. some guys,
amidst the chaos, have to be categorized as collateral
damage. honestly, I’ve known her for a while now, &
I’m still not sure if she’d go that far-- ah, beauty of
hindsight. what was it about your scentless breath &
effortlessly pretty palms? are our heavens relative?
if so, is hers better than mine?
have you done it yet?
there comes a time when you can’t just brush off that
question. the gossip’s a healthy blend usually, jealousy
disguised as judgement & vice versa--how many times?
—as if this desire were quantifiable. (we still played
truth or dare at this point, just without all the ‘mild
stuff.’) we all wanted to do shit but no one wanted to
be done. they held a contest to see who could colonize
the most bodies & we took it too far, once or twice.
somewhere along the way, I woke up, & she was gone:
probably for the best, that I stopped seeing so much
of her. no more feverish pipe dreams. looking back,
it doesn’t seem so bad, our makeshift heaven in the
semi-light. —I think I miss it, just a little.
Size Zero | Pantoum
Stretch marks are a sign that I don’t belong
in this body I was given. I don’t exist
between the lines; I remain invisible
until I am able to squeeze my thighs
into the crevice of these jeans.
In this body I was given, I don't exist
without emptying myself to feel whole.
Until I am able to squeeze my thighs
into the crevice of these jeans,
I'm just a tsunami that over-floods, crashing
without emptying myself. To feel whole
is to cut a hole in my stomach. Today,
I'm just a tsunami that over-floods, crashing
silently, packed away in the mud.
Today, I cut a hole in my stomach.
It's hard to locate something silent
when it is packed away so thoroughly. Look,
nobody bothers to search for me under
water. Nobody tries to locate something
between the lines, so I remain invisible.
See? There is no hand that bothers to look
under these stretch marks.
poem for a Blue Page
when their daughter first started speaking
to my parents again, she asked for blue
overwhelmed with joy, they said anything
you want, love
and proceeded to let my walls bleed azure
that same year, the girl lost 20 pounds
in the blue room, the girl forgets
how to take mirror selfies: her phone
doesn’t capture her body properly
underneath all the cracks. the girl
buys more baggy clothes to hide
her bruises under. she got them
from a failing immune system (it wasn’t
long before her entire leg started growing
purple), but she doesn’t know that yet
girl starts drinking blue vitamin water: three
bottles a day. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
girl finally learns about anorexia
in health and wellbeing class. they teach
her all the symptoms & all the ‘warning signs’ &
any stressful or traumatic event
could lead to it: abuse, rape, divorce...
how do we seek help? just don’t
have a traumatic experience. girl listens,
laughs as she sucks on a gumball. the
most satisfying meal she’s had in months.
that same year, the girl loses 20 pounds &
everyone congratulates her for the glow-up
the color blue represses your appetite. it’s basic
psychology, her friends said. best weight loss
technique out there, the internet said. we all tried it
together as a joke at first. it wasn’t supposed to be
serious. we didn’t mean to turn an entire girl blue.
forget about it for a while.
that you were supposed to not
forget. try your best to
cough up some guilt. pass it on.
give it water. give it acid. give
it moonlight. overcompensate.
let it germinate, then
give it hormones. approximate
& formularize & repeat. marvel
at how easy & simple life
must be for the seedling.
sever the branches that repel
you & graft new twigs onto the
remains. bestow it a surgically
attached, calculable path
it just has to follow. marvel
at how little it’s grown.
when the tree becomes too big
to raise in the yard,
remind everyone of where it’s
rooted. ingrain the texture of
toxic soil in its veins.
ignore all the bruises &
self-inflicted slashes on it.
gift it a name & a destiny. a
heart & no means to follow it.
I learned of love
as a drought, scavenging
for scraps of light
in a dark room. it wasn’t that I
never knew how
to speak. it was that you didn’t
An Asian-American Becomes an American-Asian
three poems: To be Temporary is to be Chronic / World Wrestling Entertainment / Beata Beatrix by Katherine Beaman
To be Temporary is to be Chronic
World Wrestling Entertainment
for Stephanie McMahon
for Elizabeth Siddall
--This poem refers to the 1967 Martha Graham Dance Company’s European tour, performed at the Shaftsbury Theatre, London.
It was a challenge to dance
night after night in the paint peeling
Shaftsbury Theatre where we three
were crammed into a cubby hole
dressing room while one of us warmed up
up on the floor. When Dana or I entered,
we had to step over Louise, carefully
slide out our chairs while she
contracted and released behind us.
The stink was staggering--
from sweaty costumes,
overpowering b.o. and
from layers of warm-up woolens
rarely washed because nothing dried
in this March-damp UK climate.
One night, after repeatedly telling
Louise to exercise on stage,
I yanked out my chair too quickly
stabbing Our Lady of the Floor.
I’ve had it, I said. No more floor work
on the floor. I once had compassion for
this so-so dancer who, it was rumored,
Martha invited into the company because
Louise’s ancestry could be traced to
some saint from the Middle Ages
as if this made her Graham-worthy.
Nothing changed. Dana and Louise
stuck up for each other and it was two
longstanding members against
a first-timer. So we continued
to clench our razor-sharp fangs.
began her career in the arts as a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company. As a playwright she’s been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Edinburgh. Her poetry has been published in several journals namely Askew, Spillway,Third Wednesday and the American Writers Review. She’s also shown up online at YourDailyPoem. Most recently M. Colonomos has been writing with poet Ann Buxie. Their new work is titled KNOCK KNOCK and they’ve been featured readers at the EP Foster Library, the Library of Thousand Oaks and Beyond Baroque. Her chapbook is ART FARM published by Finishing Line Press. For more go to her website.
Holding emotion in the body is a visceral thing. The center sinks, turning bowl or vortex.
I read somewhere that the fabric of the universe curves around mass. Like that. Cup your
hands, like holding a bowling ball. A round weight. Lay down. Set it onto your chest. Feel
your edges start to flatten. I want to remember what it felt like to look into a mirror for
the first time. To watch a body move as you move. See yourself depicted — perfection,
simply by existing — each hair, the twitch of a brow, curvature of your lip. To lean
forward, watch shadow fall over your face. Closer.
I have been marked by things during my days on this earth. Sometimes I used to drag
towel to grass and lie for hours. Finger on wrist. Controlling the precise inflation, release,
of my ribcage. All of this air in me — and out again. I could almost see it, as steam from
slow kettle. I have been marked many times. All of this air. I let myself obstruct
everything that happens to me. Writing them, one by one, into shadow. It is almost
empowerment. To do this to myself. Not quite.
In nature there exist groups, containing all different shapes and sizes of things. Protists
and jellyfish. We metamorphose, just like mayflies. These groups. It moves as you move.
Hold its gossamer wings like a goblet. Lift stream-water to your lips. Abstraction has
always been this for me. Comfort, gliding down my throat. I float here, between myself
and this other. Both are me, but one is a stranger. Her body suspended in liquid, jarred
and shelved. Panic stings in the nostrils.
How can I look at myself like this other person? Drag fingertip over the surface of the
mirror, and wait intently for response, for movement. The center of the bowling ball,
pulling everything deep into my sternum. Sometimes I believe the weight of this will
crush me. Scatter me as pottery into ash.
How can I look at myself?
As I lie breathing on the grass, I feel it travel into the air. This reluctant release of my
lungs, the air pulled out of me, squeezed like paint from a tube. It moves like mist,
slowly, then faster. A migration, from lips to air, fine particles sucked out and away.
And as a faint recollection, somewhere far, I hear the sound of a deep inhale.
is a student at UC Berkeley, and is currently Editor in Chief of Berkeley Poetry Review. Her writing, forthcoming in Lumiere Review, Emerge Literary Journal, and Red Alder Review, explores the ways we carry emotion, inhabit our own bodies in illness and health, and find ourselves pulled towards or away from expression. She studies environmental science, but makes room in her heart for poetry and language, always.
So yes we’re okay
We say it with our saying apparatus
We are good this is
The answer assessed as appropriate
You register our response
On to the next task to optimize
Cool, great, yeah you too
So yes we’re okay
You’re okay too
Everyone continue with your assignments
These Kinda Scales
I’m a thousand odd shimmering scales of wonder and terror
A few shards short of cool crystal symmetry
I’m busy bouncing back beams of sunlight
I’m charred and obdurate all at once
I’m good and slippery with incantation varnish
Drunk gutted bug eye gonzo heart bombing
Do it! Point out the unworthiest among us
I got mean magic to dole under duress
I’m half of this and half of that
Crow feather/ rainbow of oil
Don’t touch me/ do touch me I guess
I’m big and glorious and I will burst