/let it out/
saliva & blood
/let it out/
Ladies and gentlemen, please.
Thank you, thank you—yes, the magic
tonight was real.
In memoriam Tennyson said
Nine years of things about his friend
Who’d died. He brought him back by slow
Degrees, from sunsets, wind in the trees,
We met at a birthday party. You were the only rum drinker in the room. On the couch, Al Purdy was going on about the stunted trees in the Arctic.
M sent me a photograph by Daguerre. It is of the first human being to be photographed.
he traces the tattoo
of Africa on my back
tells me how he wants
to go back to Sierra Leone
A pinhole projects
the moon topping the sun
onto Portia’s palm
“A ballad for messy brown girls” is the honourable mention of Room’s Poetry and Fiction Contest 2018 as selected by judge Vivek Shraya.
Aunt: f. from the Latin amita 1. small creatures that can carry more than their share 1.2 stand-in mothers (who can’t hold seventeen hours of labour over you) 2. photo filler used for major childhood moments: christenings, communions, etc. 3. antonym ex-aunts: members of the family easily erased by divorce
Strip the skin off my body and hold
me tight. Take this ugly brown shell, burn
scar, thrown to sea. Let waves batter
me against rocks, shark teeth ravage carcass,
oil spill on pale water.
the two of us
you face the tv
your lips they twist
perceptions in an instant.
Our 2017 Poetry Contest Honourable Mention.
She built a tower for herself. What a waste
of sand, they all thought, and to not lower
her hair down—who waits, in a desert, to be overcome
—not part of me. She makes up games
like Quidditch and plays with me.
Body throws me down
If our gratitude dries parched, we think nothing of water
If our tongues shrink, we think of nothing but water
nothing of water; foresight shortened
dry, memory of these -dry -days
Abattoirs, Abortuaries, and America (HOO-RAH)
Bleach and Beer-Batters, Batman!
Camaro . . . Catchphrases . . . Catachresis . . .
Donkey-sauce; Donkey-sauce; Donkey-sauce
Our 2017 Short Forms Contest Honourable Mention.
Every night, you sleep on my neck.
Contentment seeps through our chakras.
Low dirt path parts Loch Awe as a helix unbinding.
We walk like thistled mutants to Kilchurn ruins.
Currently on Newsstands
Room 42.2, Borderlands
Edited by Rebecca Russell
In this issue:
Selina Boan, Jenna Butler, Leonarda Carranza, Carolina Corcoran, Šari Dale, Marisol Diaz, Sarah Ens, Paola Ferrante, Katie Fewster-Yan, Hannah Hackney, Lori Hahnel, Natalie Homer, Liz Iversen, Jac Jenkins, Jaslyn Marshall, Laura McGavin, Emily McKibbon, Alessandra Naccarato, Ezi Odozor, Caitlin Prince, Rebecca Salazar, Ellie Sawatzky, Alysia Sawchyn, Farihah Aliyah Shah, Josephine Sloyan, Tanya R. Ward, jiaqing wilson-yang, Elana Wolff.