by Emily Bartlett
We navigate familiar rocks
as if scattered by a hatted chef
with careless, exquisite precision.
Driftwood charred and bloated,
washed up, and our silence is sliced
open by the cries of seabirds.
And other pieces of whole float stiff;
crab shell, cicada wing, twig,
cast adrift, sucked into cavernous
spaces, spat into currents laced
with torpid, yellowing foam. How long
to roam before our final resting place?
You really have to wonder.
Never before has this ocean
made me afraid, except
on such days, when churning
water blurs; seclusion hoped for
but not promised beyond the waves.
Emily ‘Emmy’ Bartlett (nee Walsh) is an Australian writer, artist and Pleiadian starseed living between Sydney and Coffs Harbour, NSW. She runs a creative agency and is writing her debut novel, Ozora. Emily is the assistant editor of Plumwood Mountain Journal and loves etymology, singing and the feeling of being underwater.
by Julian Palacios
tonight i taste like warm, wet nothing.
like an excess of self pushed into the crevasses, and
loneliness. it tastes like lemon
and looks like a boy pretending to be the girl of your dreams
staring out the window,
elbow deep in bubbles, and calling upon
some primal part of herself that waits
to do something stupid and make
one glorious, defining mistake.
apron on, children running amok
a fervent heartbeat on hardwood floors;
the idea born no sooner than it is dying.
waiting for you to come home so that she can begin again.
her animation, your imagination, me
holding my breath,
mouthing the words i want her to say but
trying to be quiet.
Julian (he/they) is a writer, cat dad, psychology student and aspiring vampire. He writes poems and gets his hands dirty with good-old fashioned glue-stick and paint making mixed-media collage - all about gender and sexuality, love, obsession and dreams. You can find his work on Instagram @patroclus.incarnate.
Seeking words with sizzle, poetry that wraps us in burning ribbons and won't let go. Send us your best!