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3 Poems by John Bennett

November 25, 2013

… Ask the creamer / about our ancestor’s first gathering, a time when / things were far from dishwasher safe.

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Matching Sheets by Kristen Gentry

November 22, 2013

Mama said she’s tired, but I know she’s not.

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Stop It: by Kimi Traube

November 18, 2013

Even when love goes rancid, it’s hard as hell to throw it out.

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Three Poems by Marcella Yakalis

Poetry by Marcella Yakalis

Cephalopod

There’s a cephalopod
in my ribcage,
it’s tentacles wrapped
through my organs
like the ribbon on a
Christmas present.
The suckers cling to
every surface,
leaving rings of salt
on my thighs…
would you lick them clean
if I let you see my scales?
I’ll sing you an ocean
from my siren throat,
worthy of a sailor’s
weeping
wail.
Watch, those human feet
on my coral reef,
those shards of memory
will split you wide open,
and I am not the only one
who is starving
in the sea.



Yes and No

I come from a family of “yes,”
appeasement is our causality.
Yes ma’am
Yes please
Yes of course
Yes you can.

My yes was never my own.
I will
I can
I should

My choices were made of guilt.

Don’t displease
Don’t offend
Do not disappoint.

From birth girls are taught to be
agreeable
don’t argue
don’t tease
don’t fight.

“Do you mind?”
“Is this alright?”
“Why are you crying?”
“What did I do?”

What have you done?

My “no” is trapped
somewhere between the gap in my teeth,
where secrets hide.
My tongue pushes forward,
aching for no.

“No I will not.”
“No, you may not.”
“No, I do not want this.”

My tongue traces maybes and what if’s
on the back sides of molars
and canines.
The enamel grinds out agreement.

“Yes, come home with me.”
“Yes, touch me like that.”

Maybe is a tease.
Perhaps is a lie.
Later is a promise.

A word never felt so foreign in my mouth as “no,”
and never as much a lie as “yes.”

Port

My palms were the water color
canvas by which I painted my
artichoke heart,
watered down into
a grey ocean for my paintbrush helm.

When I was a child I drove it often,
steering blue and pink rivulets
onto paper that wrinkled under
the weight of my ship.

On the fridge I taped my
flights,
my sunshine days,
my paper mache spine,
begging attention for my masterpiece.

Nowadays I don’t boat so much,
and the rivulets are my own.

My keel is rusted out,
and my rudder runs me in circles,
swirling with the chum of my heart.

Marcella Yakalis is a First-Year MFA Candidate in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

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