The Undefended Border

My husband wants to know why the line is always broken.
I say the poem is made of words, but the words are not
the poem. The words are the way in. The broken

lines are openings. I remember how his skin turned
gold under a streetlight the first time he took off his shirt,
and I saw his waist, small below the broadness of

his shoulders. I took hold of his shoulder blade, the narrow
rudder of a slender boat. Which is the poem? I ask,
his shoulder blade or the words: narrow, slender, boat.

~

This Kind of Fairytale

We polish our big bellies with creams,
          we henna Eden vines on them,
we Buddha rub them, as do strangers, for wealth.
          In birth class they tell us
your body was made for this. They tell us
          your mothers were strapped down and drugged.
We are capable of doing so much more:
          of squatting, of controlling our contracting
muscles, of talking to our babies, guiding them out.
          Picture your cervix opening, opening
they tell us, and we picture mandalas everywhere—

37:3 Geek Girls

Calling all geeks! Room wants your geekiest fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, graphic literature, and critical essays for our September 2014 issue, Geek Girls. The issue will be jammed-packed with Canadian geek culture, including superhero-inspired art by Sandra Chevrier, short fiction by science fiction author Larissa Lai, interviews with some of the wittiest geeks on the Internet and more!

Check out our guidelines for full details.

Deadline: January 31, 2014

Assistant Editors: Taryn Hubbard, Carrie Schmidt

Volunteer with Room

Help shape the future of the Canadian literary landscape, and feminism too! Join the volunteer collective of Canada's oldest literary journal by and for women. We are looking for literature-loving women in the Metro Vancouver area able to commit approximately 2-4+ hours a week to running a literary journal.

No direct experience necessary. Must be willing to jump in and learn! Most work is done remotely, with monthly in-person 2 hour administrative meetings.

Current opportunities include

Saturday Family Picnics

I learned how to pick locks in prison. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon; the adults were drunk and some had paired off to have sex in tents pitched on the lawn. I was sitting on the scratched wooden pew of a picnic table, playing backgammon by myself. I shuffled the pieces back and forth on the board and tried to shut out the moans ten feet away, the barbed wire on the fences, the prisoners eating cold chicken with their families at the other tables.

I was ten years old. I didn’t know where my father was. Maybe in one of the tents. Maybe pissing on the side of the building.

Cloak

I hide my power in a cloak I hoard as anger.
My jaw gears like a charging bull;
hairs horn from my butting forehead.

Snatch and Release

Manolo called it the Everybody Laughs Scam, but as I approached the couple on the bench I found that prospect hard to imagine. The woman looked teary-eyed and the man had the strap of his camera bag wrapped three times around his fist.

Pages

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 41.2, Changing Language
    Edited by Kayi Wong

    In this issue:

    Manahil Bandukwala, Fang Bu, Allison Graves, Kadijah Guillaume, Ava Homa, Ashley Hynd, Amy LeBlanc, Vanessa Lent, Tasslyn Magnusson, Chloe Yelena Miller, Amy Oldfield, Alycia Pirmohamed, Mia Poirier, Victoria Prevot, Michelle Purchase, Jade Riordan, Ellie Sawatzky, Bren Simmers, Dahae Song, Anne Stone, Susie Taylor, Katherena Vermette, Kayi Wong, Hiba Zafran, Shellie Zhang

    .

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