The pothole of sky, junked
with ice, haloes the city—dirty
diadem. The light off the main street
sighs with assent. I had it
wrong. There is nothing
neutral about a bruise.
Like a cat without
its tongue, matted with burrs, tangled
and neurotic, I can’t help but rub
my mangy hair against the pane
of somebody’s window.
Can’t help holding the stains of another: hoop
of the mouth, coil of the fist, but don’t
make me sing. Don’t make me
smooth my self out,
each kink in my chest
a grief knot. I tell myself to find
the working end, the bitter end,
then dig a hole. It should matter
that I’m alive,
that I can jumpstart my own
halved heart. I’m not afraid of tenderness
or the bright belt in the sky
splitting across my face.
I trail dirt
handsomely, tough-hipped and counting
a yellow weed’s petals piling behind me: soft, hard
Teendom as Lady Macbeth
The mirror’s a spook: Banquo hovers
behind, takes your lunch money and slaps
your ass, laughs at how you jut and jut.
Your heartbeat is faint, bored with ritual,
but your mouth is queen—regent of all
that falls in and that which rushes out. You
inhabit dresses—floral and loose because
you’re an addict for the way things hang
off the body. You watch girls at lunch tear
crust from bread, drink milk, cartons
opened like origami. You enjoy the logic
of the box, its custom of being broken down.
In every bathroom, you stand at the sink
scrubbing your skin until you can no longer
feel its heft: Out damned spot! Out!
At night, you sleepwalk through the house,
pull the scale from the cabinet, its creak
guilt-sharp under the slightest of weight.
MEGAN PEAK holds an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, Linebreak, Muzzle, North American Review, The Pinch, Ploughshares, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her manuscript was a finalist in the 2015 Levis Prize in Poetry at Four Way Books.
ALEXANDRA BEGUEZ is an illustrator, cartoonist and mythographer based in New Jersey. She has a love for bright colors, science fiction, hoofed beasts, potatoes and cautionary tales. Her comics and illustrations appear in Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, Quarter Moon, Ink Brick and Carboncito. She has received an Honorable Mention from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Illustration West 53 and a 2014 MoCCA Arts Festival Award of Excellence, as well as having work featured in the Society of Illustrators 2015 Comic and Cartoon Annual. Recently, her work was chosen to be included on Latin American Ilustración 4’s online collection, The ARCHIVE. She is currently enrolled in the MFA Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts.