A poem for when I see you in the passenger side window and don’t stop. A poem for summer, lush and salt, and I break dishes in bathroom stalls to stop my hands from shaking.
My car has no brakes and in dreams, I crack the ribs of deer over and over. Walking on eggs dyed blue and green like Vietnam dusk. A palm open to the sky. A dirty towel on my chest, eyes ravens and wood wide.
Hunger deep like September grass and my thighs and my fists. When I blink, I find trailer park dreams: a face that’s no longer my own, a love that has grown beyond me. Butter knives. Wet petals beneath my tongue. Too far gone out to sea to ever come back.
Knotting my thousand tongue words in a way that drowns summer, gives my hands purpose, gives me something to think about other than television static and paint stains. Voice like a sutured wound, and still, I go to playgrounds and give sigh-eyed boys finch kisses by the swing set.
A bathroom stall, white mouthed girls heaving.
A bathroom stall, and you aren’t touching me anymore.
poem for syrup dreams, brush fire smoke, the forest gutted, two miles westward. poem for pink tongues and the broken headboard and how you slept in jeans nights we got home late and scared, our knuckles bruised, noses bleeding. poem for glasses off, blind. poem for cups of sugar on the front porch, salt in our bed. poem for empty fridge, empty pockets, all the vases broken, flowers peeking through. empty bowls of porridge, this house too big for the both of us. poem for my name, rebirth, and how you look at me in the dark, our silhouettes the lightest parts of us.
Winter Tangerine Review has teamed up with poet Rosebud Ben-Oni for an online feature that explores what home really is. We are drawn to the idea of origins- be it ethnic, religious, sexual, etc- existing in new geographies but longing for, challenging and speaking to homelands, however distant.
We hope for slow, white-mouthed nostalgia, for the pull of Oceania, for the splintered weed fairy tales of the forest. Give us your forgotten, your remembered, your baked bread, your french braids, the broken glass on your city street. We want your comfortable, your uncomfortable, the place, mood, state of mind that you call home.
We want to explore the complexity of voices inhabiting spaces which challenge stability and certainty. There are all sort of homelands, and they are all not necessarily physical.
Submit up to four poems through our Submittable here by August 31st. We look forward to your work!
yea sure!! it’ll take me forever tho i’ve got a hella lot going on rn. email@example.com <—— email me!
Thank you! I really liked Rosebud’s original proposal and it was really cool forming what became Homelands. :]
jesus called he said he’s sick / of the distance
sunday afternoons at the theater, passing bags of pills like licorice sticks, kissing roach faced ushers and watching the moon lay her thigh, her palm across the man in the back seat. i told him to stop bitching, just enjoy crescent while she lasts, and he opened his mouth, let a hundred thousand moths fly out, i said god dammit, and maybe two vultures, maybe a dove. i said wait, he blinked. i said lung or liver or kidney stone, he licked the side of my face, pushed crescent to the floor. now, twelve trailers, a reprise.
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