discount silky conditioning lotion for oily skin

by Nasrin Lin 

*TW: contains queer slurs

golden immigrant child

watches the Sunday football game

plays pong with his friends

in letters and track pants

drops a “faggot” at each plop

a prepackaged narrative arc

golden immigrant child

lands jobs at fancy acronyms

a bona fide entrepreneur seeks

a bitch that cooks and free

reign on the n-word

using the friend card that doubles

as business card coded handshake

golden immigrant child

aims for that penthouse

with three pools and immigrant maids

collectively known as the ah-yis

because one saves too little face

and two is just the Congratulations

paper cutout on the cake

three is the cake you stick your dick into

after everybody leaves        


golden immigrant child

gets a wedding invitation

from his disowned sister

the estranged daughter  

that dirty dyke   cancerous

rot in this great family name 

golden immigrant child

pure golden bred reminiscing

on brighter days

yellow news

by Elli Sol Strich

When she called the sky was a yellow-cold

static spewing over the line 

hollow voice cracking

I held my breath and

traced thin wavering pavement cracks

slender summer rain that started slowly

was now thunder crying 

a heaving silence- 

I tried listening to her sliver voice

words plunging into my ear, 

nestling into crevasses, throbbing, itching 

Tried explaining to the worms writhing past

the too-clean-sky morning, her once bursting laugh 

that marinated words in saffron-

no longer listening now only watching.

empty shadows on sun-stained cement, 

frail dandelions wilting; 

their heads bowing, bowing as if praying, 

that metallic after-taste of sour yellow,

swallowing the bitterness.


By Nuha Shaikh 

情爱的你 —

Fall is the season of goodbyes, of turning over new leaves and pressing the most brightly colored memories in between the pages of the few books I brought with me to college. I’ve been compulsively picking up the leaves that catch my eye, I feel guilty otherwise. There’s a stack of at least eleven of them now. I don’t want to forget any of these days.

                 O Allah, there is nothing made easy except what you make easy, 

                 and You make difficulty easy, if You wish

                                                                             اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ سَهْلًا إِذَا شِئْتَ

It’s 2020, I’m now 20, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so clearly. How desperately I wish my reflexes were right, so that I could hold on to you forever, curled fingers around your own, and we could be young and eternal, friendship and love perfectly balanced as we found a home in each other, growing up together.

                Find, find, find a friend, 

                I found a good friend, 

                salute to them and hold their hand, 

                You are my good friend, 







I left home, finally, after dreaming about it for years, escape was such a tantalizing flight, as I headed East into the Sunrise. I left a space for you, honored who we used to be, and gave us room to grow. But giving you room and board only left me lonely and alone, dusty beds and cracked mirrors, open windows restless in the wind.

                  I don’t think anything will happen but I still hope, God willing.

                                                                                                                            إن شاء الله.

I’ve now latched the windows and closed the doors. You still have the key but the path to me is quite different than when you left me, and then I left you. If you make your way back to me, I welcome you with open hands, as always. And if you don’t, that’s okay too. I’ve said my goodbyes and made my peace with the ghost of you that lingers in me. 

                    Please take care of yourself. 




Catalogue of Searching

by Isabella Urdahl

        modeled after Rebecca Lindenberg’s Catalogue of Ephemera

I’ve been given soft maple lighting threaded with pieces of piano.

I’ve been given un coup de foudre, bouleverser, and tu me manques.

I’ve been given caramels of his language to coat my tongue with.

I’ve been given her playlists that stick like gum in my brain.

I’ve been given a stress ball made of shards of broken glass. I used to like that photo.

I’ve been given sound bites on Tokyo, PhDs, Arcadia, and Paradise Lost.

I’ve been given little electric text bubbles on the best way to drown in knowledge.

I’ve been given a needle full of serotonin.

I’ve been given the pages of Possession and the melody of Honeybee.

I’ve been given lyrics of Luck Pusher and I’ve been given bad odds.

I’ve been given a heavy sweater that swallows me whole in defenseless cashmere. 

I’ve been given soft folds of pleading, delicate cream cotton.

I’ve been given the souls of Europe’s lonely, hopeful cobblestone streets, New York’s 

ambitious hum, and a forest lake dripping in sunshine.

I’ve been given midnight November runs.

I’ve been given ice-cube ears, snowflaked hair, a face full of moonlight and 

cheeks of poppy petals.

I’ve been given humid August nights, shirts kissing skin, clinging tight 

through sweat and a heartbeat. 

I’ve been given gasping for air.

I’ve been given hands faltering over a keyboard, stumbling syllables. 

I’ve been given awkward teenager poems.

I’ve been given a cramp in my cardiac muscle, 

a corkscrew exploding open a pomegranate into pebbles. 

I’ve been given the plum slosh of mellow red merlot.

I’ve been given an absinthe-burned tongue.

I’ve been given the dehydrating warm beige of the Sahara.

I’ve been given the fresh laundry and dried basil aroma of a well-loved studio 

in a city held together by aching plaster stones and cracking plywood wishes.

I’ve been given a bookshelf to hold the overflowing pile on my bedside table.

I’ve been given Christmas decorations in May.

I’ve been given About Time and melting bronze clocks that stain my hands sunset.

I’ve been given a pulled tooth and the raw, fleshy gap 

that it leaves behind.

One I can’t help but touch, 

despite the blood.

I’ve been given Murakami’s On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful 

April Morning and I’ve been given wondering if 75% Perfect means a best 

friend or a glass ¼ empty.

I’ve been given the amnesia of Iceland’s Northern Lights.

I’ve been given accidentally blue fingers.

I’ve been given the thing that feathers.

I’ve been given a fresh page and the first drop of ink.


by Lauren Daukaus

you are not safe 

and I am not safe.

you may, however, 

be tempted to believe 

otherwise, as many fools 

before you have done, and as 

many fools after you will do. you

may be so inclined to fall subject to 

promises of the forever, the certain, the 

damned. and you may find yourself wishing

that the existentialist within you dies as you crawl

into bed with a naive smile and a mind shut so tight it

forgets how to inhale. I, of course, do not wish you this fate. 

I pray that you live knowing every step you take may lead 

you off a cliff, that you understand this impossible, 

fragile, random existence. and that you use this 

knowledge to be grateful, brave, loving every

chance you get. we fleeting humans tend to

long for security. and with that dream

we discard our sacred vitality. if 

you’d like, we can hold hands

and just freefall, tumbling

into uncertainty. please, 

darling, please leap 

before you look.


by Nasrin Lin 

Think about / the allure in being vulgar

this walking banyan freak

flooded to the brim / a barbiturate-assemblage

self-tentacled / goddess of the swamp

call me Nüwa / so I can sing myself a song

and mold a choir out of recurring dreams / a pillar

from the five elements / in my own image

transmembering into a song

this procreant urge of the world / out

of order, right order / breathe into me a composition

not pensées but processes / revisited via turning pages

in and out and in between / then call me Hart Crane

and meet me at the bottom of the sea / the cruel and the free


by Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez 

my footsteps feel heavy

in my childhood

backyard tonight as i relight 

i feel my nose touch

flame and i burn 

up it’s a subtle 

touch and i’m grateful 

for my lips pressed 

against a nurturing 

burn i feel go through 

my throat it hurts 

but it’s kind as well

sometimes i feel 

really beautiful 

when my cheeks 

are flushed and my hair 

is golden but

i envy the girls 

who never get cold 

built with frail frames 

that don’t hide 

under swarms 

of jacket and scarf

i don’t even want 

the second cig

anymore but i finish 

everything i start 

for the most part 

the last ash falls 

into a bruised plant 

and i collect it 

back into my empty

can so my parents don’t 

recognize this vice 

the burn feels good 

on my skin and i slightly 

wish there was more 

to pick up i want 

Museum of Stolen Wishes

by Nuha Shaikh 

There are no more sacred places, 

Just land where gold once hid,

Just shards of history that

I now use to pick through my memories.

What do we collect when we eat?

Does the type of consumption matter

More than what is being consumed?

I wonder if the winners are always

The ones who are eaten,

We all lose in the end,

And their lives are the sweetest to taste.

I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard

That you taste like silk-silver,

Like molten metal made soft again

By digestion.

Is that not what success is?

A delicacy, to be sure.

In our jealousy and shame,

We watched you devour him,

And it seemed like enough

Until you turned to us and said:

Silk-silver or jade-water,

I take what I can get,

And I can taste everything,

For the world is made for

Creatures like me,

Bone-machine efficiency.

And isn’t this fair?

a biotic

by Max Migdail

bats and butterflies

floating gloaters

never done justice

birds too

swoop and swerve and melt and mingle and m.c. escher into one

layers and plains become a fantasy

off glossed paper white and grey are purple and green and red and blue and orange and god 

alive to parallel expansion an exploration in corpuscularianism

better to develop forever on a two dimensional plane or exist confined within a third

frequently birds capture more of what it means

to be human raptors and ravens prey

my only acceptable murder

acted in aid

to scare a weakened swallow into the arms of an eagle

or let the bats end

or collapse the butterflies into a single frame

were apes able to fly

they would never touch the earth again

and would become confined to cages of branches 

and coat hangers shutting down tokyo

a biotic abiotic theory of truth


life ends when it stops being imagined as something        with an end

would fade to nothing and no one 

would notice not a thing

what makes a bat a bat


by Zachary Mintz

Enough! those in whom we’ve sown 

our trust have caved, come 

to naught like stalactites, 

sharpened dangers set to pierce all passerby

Left to coalesce lest someone

Discover you Flaunt! 

I just can’t wait for the day 

your balls get caught 

in the zipper of your lies. 

God forbid 

They think you’re masturbating.