December 12, 2015



Barely past its prime, the fruit
is refused by the girl. Appreciate

the almost-perfect strawberry in winter, I chide.
Outside the temperatures are deficits.

Cold is leaking in around the windows
and the girl is so bored in her lush skin.

At the sink I cut out all the softest spots, bloodying
my hands with juice so she doesn’t need

to put something imperfect into her body.
Here I say, handing her a clean bowl

heaped with berries, each split open
to reveal its small pink cave of a heart.

Amy Pickworth’s book Bigfoot for Women was released by Orange Monkey Publishing in 2014. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island. You can find her at

December 11, 2015

ADVENT DAY ELEVEN: Elizabeth Treadwell


& of the citysea then
& to our coral chapel
& of our mercy lane
the antique & the daily
waltz & relevance
& in & of our forepaws
as our tidal hymnals
an infinite mossy cathedral
long the shore, this being
skin & explication
the parish & the organ
as little lakes form & 
as we, gentling
a mercy’s distillation
futurities & presence
astride passage & curious
the daily antique
as a phraseology as
an infinite waltz
of mercy lanes
& to the velvet sidewalk
& of the citysea

for DxE

Elizabeth Treadwell's Penny Marvel & the book of the city of selfys is forthcoming from Dusie in 2016. Posy: a charm almanack & atlas appeared from Lark this fall. A selection from her earlier books is included in Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America & the UK (Reality Street, 2015) and her essay “Ecology” appears in the Chicago Review’s recent forum on gendered violence in literary communities. This poem is from a manuscript titled Shimmer.

December 10, 2015


mi amor,
(para alli)

1.     ¿te aseguraste de cerrar los libros?
2.     ¿y la cotorra verde, voló ayer?
3.     ¿con quién dejaste el poema?
4.     ¿y el carro dónde está diluido?
5.     ¿llegaste a tiempo al jardín de corales?
6.     ¿tienes cambio suficiente?
7.     ¿tienes suficiente cambio?
8.     ¿por quién desumirás tu carne?
9.     ¿dónde pasarás tu decepción?
10.  ¿recibiste mis palabras?
11.  ¿llamaste a tus lagartitos? ¿entraron finalmente?
12.  ¿las ventanas, las abriste por si llueve?
13.  ¿recuerdas tu tía que murió asesinada?
14.  ¿recuerdas tu tío que la murió, asesino?
15.  ¿vendrás al recital de changos?
16.  ¿tendrás tiempo para venirme?
17.  ¿con quién dejarás las concesiones?
18.  ¿me prestarás el cuarto? ¿la cama? ¿las balas? ¿la soga?
19.  ¿matarás el que me quemó la espalda?
20.  ¿pedirás un injunction?
21.  ¿llamarás a mi padre? ¿te dirá que no? ¿violarías la ley?
22.  ¿tienes lámparas, pañuelos, alcohol?
23.  ¿nos encontramos? ¿a qué hora?
24.  ¿llorarás por las mujerotas asesinadas por no cumplir?
25.  ¿llorarás por mis hermanas con dedos, longitudes, pelucas?
26.  ¿llorarás conmigo por puerto rico, por la deuda, por nunca pagarla?
27.  ¿pagarás mis deudas con las tuyas, mi amor, mi amor blanca, mi amada, te irás conmigo a mi único hogar a nunca pagar?
28.  ¿me amarás entera, invisible, boricua?
29.  ¿leerás mis libros, mi capital del cuento, mis historietas sin peso, mis flotas de flor de maga(zine)?
30.  ¿aprenderás mi idioma? ¿te sentirás fuera de lugar?
31.  ¿aprenderás el desdominio?
32.  ¿comerás conmigo, beberás jugo de parcha, pisarás erizos?
33.  ¿pisarás jardines de corales rojos?
34.  ¿velarás los libros para que no se caigan?
35.  ¿perderás conmigo la luminiscencia de la bahía?
36.  ¿te quedarás en san juan cuando el gran éxodo nos ofrezca el otoño?
37.  ¿darías por mí lo que he dado por ti?
38.  ¿tendrás tiempo, esta noche, para colgar chiringas en los cortinas? ¿para quedarte dormida sin el mar?
39.  ¿me darás, estás navidades, un caracol de nieve?
40.  ¿me darás, las próximas, un caracol de mar?

mi love,
(for alli)

1.     did you make sure to close the books?
2.     yesterday, did the green parrot fly?
3.     with whom did you leave the poem?
4.     and the car, where is it diluted?
5.     did you arrive on time at the coral garden?
6.     do you have change enough?
7.     do you have enough change?
8.     for whom did you disassume your flesh?
9.     where will you spend your deception?
10.  did you call your lizards? did they finally come in?
11.  the windows, did you open them in case it rains?
12.  remember your aunt who died, killed?
13.  remember your uncle who died, killer?
14.  will you come to the chango recital?
15.  will you have time to come me?
16.  with whom will you leave the concessions?
17.  will you lend me the room? the bed? the bullets? the rope?
18.  will you kill the man who burned my back?
19.  will you ask for an injunction?
20.  will you call my father? will he say no? will you violate the law?
21.  do you have lamps, handkerchiefs, alcohol?
22.  should we meet up? what time?
23.  will you cry for the ufff women murdered for not passing?
24.  will you cry for my sisters with fingers, longitudes, wigs?
25.  will you cry with me for puerto rico, for the debt, for never paying?
26.  will you pay my debts with yours, my love, my white love, my love, will you go with me to my only home and never pay?
27.  will you love me whole, invisible, boricua?
28.  will you read my books, my fibcapital, my weightless lil stories, my fleets of flor de maga(zine)?
29.  will you learn my language? will you feel out of place?
30.  will you learn disdominance?
31.  will you eat with me, drink jugo de parcha, step on erizos?
32.  step on gardens of red coral?
33.  will you watch the books so they don’t fall?
34.  will you lose with me the luminescence of the bay?
35.  will  you stay in san juan when the great exodus offers us autumn?
36.  will you give for me what i’ve given for you?
37.  will you have time, tonight, to hang kites from the curtains? to fall asleep without the ocean?
38.  will you give me, this christmas, a conch of snow?
39.  will you give me, next christmas, a conch of sea?

Raquel Salas-Rivera has published numerous poems and essays, most of which have been published in Puerto Rican poetry magazines. She has also published a poetry book titled Caneca de anhelos turbios and will soon publish her second book, tierra intermitente.

December 9, 2015

ADVENT DAY NINE: Barbara Jane Reyes

Wisdom’s Rebuke

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 
— Proverbs 1: 20-21

I am not the polite little colored girl you are looking for. You did not fashion me in your image. It is not my ambition that you glance my way, to acknowledge my foreign face, to learn my barbaric tongue, to cherish my diminutive body. You are not my gravity.

I am not your ethnic spectacle. I am not your cultural poverty. You don’t get to frame me.

I do not ask for your permission to speak. I do not ask you to hear me. I write whether or not you invite my words. I will not be housebroken, ador(n)ed for my tameness. I am not afraid of you.

You don’t get to catalogue me. You don’t get to warehouse me. You don’t get to rescue me. You don’t get to touch me. You don’t get to explain me. You are not the standard by which I judge my own worth. You don’t get to draw my boundaries.

Fuck your tender fences and applause.

I do not ask for your acceptance. I am not your child. I am not your pet. I am not your object lesson. I don’t need your absolution

Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of To Love as Aswang (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2015). She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of three previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the chapbooks Easter Sunday (Ypolita Press, 2008) Cherry (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008), and For the City that Nearly Broke Me (Aztlan Libre Press, 2012).