scarring the surface of reflection
that there is nothing real in this

i broke the whole with what i know
opened those fissures with terrible grace
my fingertips
my teeth
eliminating all mirages
creating rain within this space

the color stained my pallor
dark spaces that smelled of incense
shredded the fabric of separation
left us shivering in bone-white frames
wet with the exposure of need

then Athena allowed me to taste
so deep in my throat -
i choked without reluctance
swallowed without regret

we drew these fragments close
forced them into poses
wine-soaked words of forever
and the glue of mother's milk

i will wake with the memory
laced between my fingers
the scars on my eyelids
lingering like splinters

in silhouette
scattered on the ground
gestures gentle against my wrists

now accept
now accept.
Rebecca Williams
Josephina Campbell -

Fat-lipped parishioner, Christ woman.  Hail.
Listen to me, my skimpy Judas,
my stilted nanny apropos, grafting skin to pseudonym,
melding breast scabs to death masks: my little twin.
Hike the skirt, sup on skim
lull the pretty.  Dash the fag half-lit under cask.
I know you've had lovers, they were plenty.
But empty?  Frankly--
I know you're acquainted with conniving waitresses,
black cowls, eye-folds, skinny scowls.
They'll stay wed to their keg gimps.  You'll slim
your bone arches, your tabernacle bodice.
This glass is half-empty, you think.  Think, how?
For those sows there are limp grooms:
wood labeler, soot-smother, house of pheonix brothers
under guise of match and thatch -
This is a spitfire for cock and snake kings
swallowed tail to sail.  Tear away the webbing.
To each her own broomstick; Circle St. Patrick's.
Tonight we'll hunt the rain, suck it up by the fang.
Candice Rice