Amber Day Wild

Taylor, I Love You, But We Should Have Gone to Therapy Instead of Fighting with a Frat Boy in the Rain

Absence makes the heart
burst open. Every now and then,
Reason yields to desire.
Grief logic ebbs and flows—
a linguistic pull towards home.
My self-talk snags on a memory,
and I inhabit the dream in reverse—
total eclipse of coping techniques.

Instead of calling my X, I spend time with family.
At dinner, my grandma uses Tinder
as a verb. Have I Tindered any men
this month? I change the subject.

I jokingly say that buying Taylor Swift tickets
was the most stressful day of my life.
This upsets my entire family. They partake
in a rage-fueled trauma dump. My mind grows
another hour. The alphabet rearranges itself again.

The alphabet is a symbol for sounds
that live inside the body. The body
is biodegradable; Taylor’s scarf is not.
What if we let Things control us
because we know they will outlast us?
Does time still paralyze you, Taylor?

I don’t want to be a human
with a body anymore. I want
to be a garden filled with toads
the size of Taylor Swift’s discography.
From my periphery, someone steps
inside my dirt. Honorary lover,
help me cope with grief.

No, this isn’t right, either.
I go back to dinner with the fam.
My sister fights with my uncle
over reproductive rights.
Sorry Taylor, but the etymology
of hysteria is dumber than dancing
in refrigerator light. No, there’s
nothing wrong with my uterus.
I’m just really fucking sad.

All the things we’ve done for love,
but none of us went to therapy.
It’s not like you lay on a couch
taking a Rorschach test, but fine.
Let’s make it cliché. Taylor,
tell me what you see here.

No, this isn’t your X
lover’s window streaked with rain.
No one’s dancing in a fenced-in
parking lot with you. These lines
don’t map the position of your bodies.
Blades of grass don’t crowd
an arbitrary boundary.

This is a square with vertical lines inside it.
This is a symbol for our grief.
We can draw lines around anything,
Taylor. We can make anything
mean everything to us.


Amber Day Wild is a Certified Child Life Specialist who helps children cope with stressful medical procedures. She also writes poems about her experience having borderline personality disorder. Her work has appeared in ē· rā/ tiō, Ghost City Review, and The Cackling Kettle. You can find her on Instagram @amberdaywild.




Michi Cabrera

immigrant story

In 1969, Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic, 
he worked as a mechanic for an American company
mining for a mineral called bauxite. 
Balaguer was president. Mucho gente no lo queria.
Tu Abuelo fui al cine. They started showing previews
and were demonstrating the good he was doing in the country.
Many people started booing. 
The military came in and said whoever was booing stand up.
No one stood up. They picked five people at random.
Lo dieron golpe mucho golpe. Lo encarcelaron. 

El Capitan del ejercito era amigo del tu Abuelo. 
He would fix his car. 
Pero el no fui a ayudarlo. 
It came out in the newspaper: 
5 communistas arrestado por estar contra il gobierno. 

The only communication she had with him was over radio.
She lived in the Capital and was 15 hours away by car.
The principle office was in the Capital and she brought
the newspaper there and asked them about it, they said
they were going to send an attorney over there to find
out what happened. 

Tu Abuelo fui con su camisa lleno de sangre.
He was certain that they were going to kill him.
He spoke to the judge and defended everyone.
Tu sabes como eres tu Abuelo.
El tenia una cortilla rota y mucho golpe por todo parte pero
mucho en su pecho encima del corazon.

They sent him home for 15 days
and told him to come back to work after resting.
He quit.

Tenia mucho rancor
y por eso decidió
por venir acá.

agricultural landscaping
Claverack, NY
August 14, 2017


an old jacket with missing buttons and yellow paint

Why did you send this to me? Essentially, is what Guillermo said. He expressed concerns that someone
was trying to steal his identity. What
an odd
package. -he DMed me on Instagram.
My friend said you would bring it to Argentina—she’s in Bariloche. My friend Che from la
Mandala—she lent it to me when she lived in New York City.

It was five years ago now.

We watched the fireworks on a Greenpoint rooftop that summer.
Have you ever had Ethiopian?
There’s this place called Bunna in Bushwick.
We had the feast for three there
with another friend. It comes with six rolls of injera instead of four with the feast for two.
I like the butecha selata and the shiro.

One weekend, she
wore a
black and yellow
Pirates cap
and met me at Dweebs. I drove local and took us to Fort Tilden.

One night, we
saw her boyfriend play
jazz bass
Coca Cola Club.
And this brown boy about sixteen came out at the end playing the saxophone.

Floyd Mayweather won a big fight that night.
The waitstaff was talking about the bets they placed.

Anywho, she
said her brother Nils works with you. Michi, Willie (Guillermo) knows about
the jacket!
-she texted me
on WhatsApp.

This is the second time I sent it to Utah.

Tell him

“the first time I mailed it,
we got the zip code wrong and it came back to me a few days
later, but
by then you had already left.”

I was wearing a white linen button up the night she lent it to me
and these navy colored…
these navy colored…
these navy blue swishy pants.
It made a great oversized blazer.
It was also navy blue.
She told me it was her mothers and showed me where she got paint on it. Let’s paint the town red. Or at least the neighborhood.– she said with a grin.

Did I mention I just had major knee surgery?
It was five hours long.
I spent six weeks at my mother’s recovering. I’m just starting to walk again. It’s actually my mom who
mailed it. I couldn’t walk to the post office.

That’s all to say
no one is trying to steal your identity. Yes, he said,
it makes sense now.
I remember now.
I’m going to Argentina today, I’ll see Nils tomorrow.
Thanks, Willie

Bushwick, NY
October 11, 2014


Michi Cabrera is a Puerto Rican-Dominican New Yorker, writer, and wellness practitioner. Her poetry and essays explore sensuality, the passage of time, kinship, and presence. They reference stories from her adventures abroad, and canvas her NYC hometown and Caribbean motherlands. Michi (pronounced Mickey) is a real estate attorney. Her favorite paddleboarding spots in the world are in Condado Lagoon, Puerto Rico and La Boca, Dominican Republic. She has a daily meditation practice and drinks 80-120 ounces of water a day. She lives in the Bronx and has six plants. You can find more on her website at




Hideko Sueoka

Scenes from a Bullet Train Journey, 2022

For a moment, all I see is ochre: a sequence
of amber rice fields and weeds.
After the harvest, everything
is waiting for the next season
before the descent of cool air at Mount Ibuki.

All persimmons are gone, all maples are gone.
The white train slithers across the emptiness
where watery mirrors reflect such verdant leaves.
White mist. A colder place.

Out of nowhere, flow and blend in my mind
short pieces of K-pop and J-hip-hop.
The mix of small tunes with train’s rattling rhythm.
Outside, the fleeting images of sheep.
Flowing scenery without scent or subtitles.

All I hear is the grating wheels.
Speckled spaces in foggy frames.
Abstract images move forward, losing
all previous meanings.

A quick shift of the subsequent view:
we are leaving the area of hard frost and edging closer
to mild air. We enter an unknown season.
No more snow-capped roofs and electricity towers.
Farewell, sudden snowy world: 銀世界.

The sun follows our train carriages as we travel past
the copper-colored bridge across the River Kamo.
We think of our friend on the platform waiting for us.
Imagine what a feeling to hug someone after three years.


Golden Pair

for John Skelton

Canary and curry
are yellow treasure
for the Indian diner.
Masala, this powder
as heavenly spice,
an addictive substance
like Pernod with ice.
Bird, your beak or
throat so hungers for
oat groats and fresh water.
Your clapper on standby for
a closer contender:
your pals; a rooster;
and a diner customer.
What a spirited
and social bird!
Your voice trained by
the chef as a chary guy
with Youtube via wifi.
His recipe of
spice mixes having clove,
coriander with love.
Red chili guiding
the tongue to an exciting
sense. Mesmerizing.
Your favorite is cannabis.
Your singing appearance
seems to be a trance.
Your body is syrinx
shaking as if with drinks.
With the menu and bird’s blinks,
chicken curry,
vegetable curry,
fish tikka and samosa.
Color of mimosa
so sparks. Paradise, Ah!


Hideko Sueoka is a Tokyo-based poet and translator born, raised in Japan. Her translation on photography, Shigeichi Nagano – Magazine Work 60s, was published in 2009. Her debut poetry chapbook, Untouched Landscape, was published from Clare Songbirds Publishing House (New York State, US) in 2018. Her poems were published in British magazines such as Stand Magazine, Porridge, Ink Sweat and Tears, etc., Canadian magazine long con mag, various anthologies and zines. She is now writing poems towards a debut full-length collection.




Kimberley Chia


wears flowers in her hair. exudes nourishment, occupies space without questioning. lays claim to being. throws parties with bright techno music and actually enjoys it. disagrees, freely. she lies naked in your bed and farts in colour. it is a position i am decidedly unenvious of, and yet something, somewhere, is stillborn. it sputters and spills inside of me. i listen to my therapist, who is also white and grunts distantly whenever i say the word intersectionality. i am fisting the counter-narrative and it returns a relentless nothing. my forearms are soiled. i’ll bet she knows how to use a fish knife. how to opt (regrettably, of course) out of discourse. and how to ski. in my dreams i am squeezing into her skin, a pair of too-tight jeggings, while people are loudly fucking in the changing room next to mine. it splits halfway up my back. looking down, my shins have turned magenta in protest. someone, over oat milk flat whites, tells me that decolonisation is a praxis. maybe deleting vsco is practice. maybe michelle yeoh is practice. or maybe it is deep-throating my worth, holding it flaccid in two hands, pleading for it to stand.


Kimberley Chia is Singapore-born and Paris-based. Her poetry has been published in Sine Theta Magazine, Clare Market Review, and elsewhere. When not writing, she is exploring movement, working at an international organisation, and/or cooking elaborate soups. Find her on Twitter @kimberleycq or Instagram @catchingpenumbras.




Shelby Pinkham

Unskippable Pharmaceutical Ad


such luxurious bones

open, my mouth in       listen 
usually, I        avoid intimacies
like loving myself is selfish.

of course,   sincerity alludes me.
in the dentist’s office, I fight the 
urge to say:        drill me, daddy. 

you say deeper. here 
is a recovery              for me. 
something, of course I cannot

afford.               therapy: 
to focus                            on talk 
            I’m in it for the action. 

my rotten, half-developed wisdom 
               tooth.    I pay 
out of pocket. dentist and I,

in radical communication: or 
a lie brought to you            by the same 
system that insinuates care.  

a drug I would take for healing: 
being paid a living        wage 
at                        the university. 

you say                     wider. 
I press with my whole 


Shelby Pinkham (they/she) is a Chicanx, bipolar poet from the Central Valley. Their first collection of poems, Rx / suppressor, was a semifinalist in Noemi’s 2022 Poetry Prize. She works as an editor for the Kern County literary journal Rabid Oak and as an educator. They were selected for Lambda Literary’s Emerge Editorial Scholarship and fellowship at Lambda’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. Her writing recently appeared in or is forthcoming in ctrl + v, The Ana, and Lunch Ticket. 




travis tate


I think that feeling happy is akin to feeling briskly alive, 
aware and cognizant of your hands, the gravity of 
your body, the sounds of each singular thought that
I have paired with some kind of movement. There is
rain on the horizons. There are lines from here back 
to where I am, a circular motion that leads me back 
to myself. That isn’t a new notion. To discover oneself
against the grinding uneasiness of life. You are eating 
something that I find disgusting. But I let you eat it. 
I whisk Time in a large Pyrex bowl where it fluffs like
eggs, a meringue, tart & delicate. When I wake in the 
morning, I call you sunshine. You are a new brilliance.
I get too drunk & someone I barely know tells me a 
story wherein I am the hero, normal, valiant, smiling. 
There are many apples. There are rain clouds that 
hang but do not burst. Every sound hurdles towards me
in a gracious manner: I love you I love you I love you



To sup on ice cold martinis, like babies, 
like little village people on the 
prowl of alleviating wanton feelings— 
To want more than your two hands can hold.
A white queer, wearing one of those large
locked chains says that conversation is going
nowhere—to us as we discuss the dumb 
fallacy of gender. The moon glides 

between the clouds,

hanging softly like earrings on the ear,
low & silver. I don’t believe you when 
you when tell me no one dies by falling into 
one of those grates at the edge of bars. I say
I’m a highly anxious person. & I touch my 
heart. Everything is always looming 
over me. Now, I resolved to just live in it. 
Because I don’t deserve much more than
I have been given. Even if it all drowns
me, I’ll pretend the water is gin & the 
moon will be the twist.



I’ve been made to lick my wounds. I can’t find what animal I am. 
Am I an animal? See, where the thing differs is that

I have no hair on my head. No fur to caution against the cold wind. 
Animals love their mothers—that is the same. I perch atop my bed

like a small bird. Or a bird of prey. I killed a mouse in my room 
once. See, I do love death. I sing when the moon is full. There is a 

lack of children as I gave them away. See, I have no feeling for 
material things. I count the wolves, brethren. One. Two. A mole 

hides and sometimes I do that too. 
But look at the havoc god has placed in between my body and yours.

Isn’t it a blessing? Not to be hungry, venomous,
for something more? Ha! I don’t understand

that blessing. I want more. Ravenous, raven-like, 
like a beast with an empty belly.

But that’s not nice.
See, writing a poem about being 

an animal and being Black is hard. 
The poem’s been written before

in blood.



The shape of what you know is, say, a circle.              & what you don’t know is a triangle. 

             You could see how they wouldn’t necessarily fit together. 

I am sweating on the train home carrying a vampire costume that I paid 

too much money for.

             I keep thinking some things are behind me. 

             Metaphorically, but also literally.          The train is moving forward. 

Yesterday, I felt an acute sense of sorrow mixed with contentment. 

Why do I feel lost when I’ve been found?

                         The great sorrow of this is THIS               I S the way 

things should be. 

Sometimes I dream of things that end up being real.

                                                        So maybe I’ve known these things all along.

                                           Sometimes we are made to listen. 

                                                        To keep the ear wide in anticipation 

             of great new learning.

                            —I’m meant to put the knowing around what I do not. 


travis tate (they/them) is a queer playwright, poet, and performer living in Brooklyn. Their poems have been published in Southern Humanities Review, Vassar Review, The Boiler, among other publications. Their first collection of poetry, Maiden, was published in June 2020 by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. They were a fellow in the Liberation Theatre Company’s Playwriting Residency and currently are in Theatre East’s Writers Group. Their plays have been produced by Dorset Theatre Festival, Victory Gardens, Theatre East and Breaking The Binary Festival. They earned their MFA in playwriting and poetry from Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Find out more information at




Aerik Francis

Mourning Meditations

after Cameron Awkward-Rich

I wake up to the rubble & ruin of broken hearts, another day of pandemic & aftermath – my gut sinks. I stay inside my bed a little longer & check my phone – my gut sinks. I lift up my comforter, lift up my morning body, walk to the bathroom & sit on the toilet – my guts sink. I contemplate my rebellious body, my only religion. My gut sinks. I gaze longingly out the window – I see a fence. There is a dream I have in which every cage melts. I gather carbon dioxide in the air like it is pollen or nectar & I am a hummingbird or a bee & I feed it back to the Earth. There are no borders, just flora. I sigh & swat the stupid toilet paper roll. Hand on my stupid guts. Hand on my shit-lipped hole.        

“Mourning Meditations” is written after Cameron Awkward-Rich’s poem “Meditations in an Emergency”, itself an “after poem” written after Frank O’Hara.


Aerik Francis is a Queer Black & Latinx poet and teaching artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They are the author of BODYELECTRONIC, their debut poetry chapbook now out with Trouble Department press. They have poetry published widely, links of which may be found at or via their website




Isa Pickett

John Wayne Carrying A Baby

pretty boy,          i can’t be 
               your swollen cow       you won’t touch 
my belly but to plug
               the gunshot        i’m a different 
kind of man—a woman, of rib

giant plastic cactus         my pregnant 
               stomach              the yip 
of my dog           hurt paw           clean bed
             my partner’s partner plays 
the harmonica         poorly, slowly

             in my negligee, the baby kicks
violence in the xbox      my mom while pregnant
             felt like John Wayne
i felt like a tired fool in her womb—
              violent like an egg
bandana dirty

               the first time i wore a skirt
i was told give us a spin                he pushed
                                 a spoon into my mouth, 
               sent me to the bus
to be spanked in accessible seating
               while off-duty historical
reenactors snapped photos 
               it was humiliating           i loved it
i’m stuck
               on true imagination, attack horses,
what it feels like to give

                 your body a body

these days i’m crying
               at tender graffiti, wondering 
about the fears                 of my grandfather’s
                            childhood best friend
                waking at night he checks 
under the bed swearing                 he felt a kick

i feel like a globe with no land
               like a mother in danger
my baby              will look
              nothing like me


I Am Not A Woman Today

Today I am an  ailing       femboy              with an orange 
               cough    waiting               for God to spit 
                               rain into my car wash

Hawks at dawn abscond 
              toward a bluer freedom                A lonely flagpole slaps 
its own thigh                    My thrifted pants are too tight & I’m angry 
                at the weather                   All sun, no cream

The Virgin Mary                           statue in the Catholic suburb               of the cemetery
               toppled in the storm                                                            Lifting with our knees
Pam and I can’t budge it                                       We place the snapped head 
               tenderly             near the neck
I pray like I’m hiding                   a frog from the class

             When I forget to say thank you                 the gas station attendant puts 
out a cigarette             on her arm          The burn forms an image of Christ 
                            if Christ looked like nothing

Let’s say what we feel like            I’ll go first:       I feel like a puppet 
              with a wet bulge                           like I’m helplessly watching
a golf cart die                  in a sinkhole                  I can’t love right
              I’ve got all this leg hair               and small tits 
                             A lousy milk cow           A buffet              of coleslaw

I dreamt I found my lost rings
                You were there forgiving
me like a mirror rehearsal
                             I sobbed in your arms
               and said I just want to be happy
but those are your words—You gave the dog her pill
                            and rubbed my neck       until it went down
Of course          I worry               I won’t wake up                I always do


Isa Pickett (she/they) is a trans writer, musician, and educator. Her work has appeared in Five South, Philadelphia Stories, and is forthcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch. Their work has been nominated for Best of the Net and made the long list for Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets. She lives in Philadelphia. Follow them on Instagram @isapickett_ or Twitter @pickett_isa.




Rochelle Hurt

Nan Goldin – Greer in a Babydoll Dress, NYC (1981)

[Greer as bouquet¹. Greer levitating. Greer as rice grain². Greer with measuring tape³. Greer as ghoul⁴. Greer as Sissy⁵. Greer with a pin in her chest⁶. Greer as studio⁷. Greer modeling jewelry for Einsteins⁸. Greer in bed⁹. Greer posing nude for her friends¹⁰. Greer in open-mouthed laughter¹¹. Greer getting hitched. Greer getting high¹². Greer giving side-eye. Greer opening Sissy’s torso¹³. Greer dressing Divine¹⁴. Greer flirting with Candy Darling¹⁵. Greer smoking with Teri Toye¹⁶. Greer blotting her lips. Greer papering her skull. Greer swallowing knives¹⁷. Greer with a light in her chest. Greer with birthday cake¹⁸. Greer with pointy red nails¹⁹. Greer in a veil. Greer looking away. Greer as bruise²⁰. Greer as pretzel²¹. Greer in Greer suit²². Greer taking a bubble bath²³. Greer tucking Sissy in. Greer with wires for ribs²⁴. Greer hanging her dermis like pantyhose²⁵. Greer in stitches²⁶. Greer giving the finger²⁷. Greer ascending.]

¹  The artist Greer Lankton once told Nan Goldin she gave birth to herself in a dream.

²  After art school, Greer lived in Nan’s loft, where she made dolls and met her husband, Paul. Six years before Nan photographed their wedding, she took this photo.

³  Among Lankton’s notes: I was born April 21 1958 at 1:09am in Flint Michigan at McLaren General Hospital, I was 6lb 13 oz, 19” long, 13 ½” head circumference, 13” chest. At 8:00am on August 14th 1978 I had sex-reassignment surgery by Dr. Richard Murray in Youngstown Hospital Southside Unity, Youngstown, Ohio. I was 5’8” and weighed 130 lbs.

⁴  Preferring a daughter to a sissy son, her parents paid for the operation with help from their church, where her father was a minister. 

⁵  Sissy was the doll Greer cut open most. Like Greer, she had the operation. Like Greer, she had a tiny waist and a red heart painted on her chest. Like Greer’s, all her teeth were human. 

You don’t forget that you used to be a boy. (Lankton)

Goldin called The Ballad of Sexual Dependency “the diary I let people read. It enables me to remember.”

After AIDS in the 80s, Goldin said, “I lost everybody who carried my history.

At 38, Lankton wrote: I’ve been in therapy since 18 months old, started drugs at 12 was diagnosed as schizophrenic at 19, started hormones the week after I quit Thorazine got my dick inverted at 21, kicked Heroin 6 years ago. Have been Anorexic since 19 and plan to continue. A few months later, she overdosed.

¹⁰ “Greer had few protective devices or defenses from the world.” (Goldin)

¹¹ When Rilke writes of childhood dolls, he places them somewhere between ourselves and the amorphous world pouring into us.

¹² After her own overdose, Goldin called opioids “a padding between you and the world.”

¹³ Lankton was known to wear doll flesh around town like a great soft shell.

¹⁴ The dolls’ skins and names were always changing. Arms and wigs on the floor. Their insides varied: glass eyes, foam guts and nylon tendons, steel joints and plastic elbows. Sometimes a drop of blood from Greer—kindred.

¹⁵ Those Coke bottle hips.

¹⁶ Those coat hanger cheek bones.

¹⁷ Goldin said Lankton’s work was like surgery without anesthesia.

¹⁸ Body as art: Lankton made plaster casts of her friends’ bellybuttons. “She had a fascination with them,” Goldin said, “as a symbol of the source of life.”

¹⁹ Her own she recarved directly into her skin.

²⁰ Goldin: “Supposedly, the brain can’t tell the difference between emotional pain and physical pain.”

²¹ Without anesthesia, you’d remember everything.

²² Body as red herring: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency contains over 700 snapshot portraits. “I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough,” Goldin wrote.

²³ Right before she died, Lankton washed Sissy’s face and hung her in the closet.

²⁴ Her first self was small—a split clothesline she twisted into a doll.

²⁵ So in the end we really destroyed you, doll-soul. (Rilke)

²⁶ For her last show, she wrote: FUCK Recovery, FUCK PSYCHIATRY

²⁷ Fuck it all because I’m over it. Over the roof.


Rochelle Hurt is a poet and essayist. She is the author of three poetry collections: The J Girls: A Reality Show (Indiana University Press, 2022), which won the Blue Light Books Prize from Indiana ReviewIn Which I Play the Runaway (Barrow Street, 2016), which won the Barrow Street Poetry Prize; and The Rusted City: A Novel in Poems (White Pine, 2014). Her work has been included in Poetry magazine and the Best New Poets anthology. She lives in Orlando and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida. 




Hiyoowi Hamainza

Mereo-Logical Cybernetics

I am a cybernetic vector  
towing this domain (and it’s orbit)
about my immovable centrality.

Bounded polytopes, (deceitfully [inert]),
clutch their geometry,
announce their vertices,
in a topology of laminated pigments,

and my [sensor arrays]
ping echo ping echo
in sensorimotor feedback loops.   

This ambient plenum
which embeds my extension
into non-Euclidean manifold
warped by depth and volume. 

Where forms update their evolutions
& stitch memories
into the groove of the substrate… 

But at each iteration
the output is always
[nil]** [nil] ** [nil]


Hiyoowi Hamainza is an emerging poet who resides in Cape Town, currently working on his debut novel. He has a poem previously published in ANMLY. He works as an English editor, studying psychology and philosophy part-time.